[OT] Opinions about On-Rev

Joe Lewis Wilkins pepetoo at cox.net
Fri Apr 17 21:51:47 EDT 2009

Hi Jaqui,

I don't want anyone to miss this. I had just spent about two weeks  
learning JavaScript for exactly the reasons you've just cited. (smile)

Thank you for the timely, informative explanation. This does mean that  
on-rev has to be the hosting site for the webpages, however, does it  
not? In other words, a client could not hire one of us to create a  
website that they plan to run on, say, GoDaddy. In that case we'd  
still have to use php or JavaScript for interactive features. Correct?  
I still don't have a really good picture of the process since I've  
done this so few times.

Joe Wilkins

On Apr 17, 2009, at 6:21 PM, J. Landman Gay wrote:

> Joe Lewis Wilkins wrote:
>> I have found this whole subject so far over my head that I'm  
>> embarrassed. Can anyone sight some sort of reference that just  
>> "might" get me off of my desktop. I am soooo uneducated on this  
>> topic. Simply stated, what's this for, why is it needed and what  
>> does it let us do that we can do now? There MUST be others who are  
>> just as much in the dark.
> It's kind of hard to explain if you don't create web pages or have a  
> familiarity with how they are written. But in a nutshell, web pages  
> written in pure HTML are static. Whenever you see a page that does  
> something dynamic -- buttons with different rollover states, data  
> that changes depending on live user input, dynamic content of any  
> type -- those actions must be scripted into the page using a second,  
> scripted language like JavaScript or PHP. The scripted language is  
> integrated into the same page as the HTML code and the server  
> interprets the scripts and shows you dynamic content.
> Up until now, anyone who wanted dynamic content on a web page had to  
> learn one of those other languages. What has just happened is that  
> Runtime has figured out a way to allow a web server to work with our  
> familiar xtalk, and allow that to be embedded into a web page  
> instead of one of the other languages. This is big stuff.
> The server needs to be set up in a particular way to allow this, and  
> as of now, only Runtime has that setup in place. They have made  
> their web service available so we can take advantage of this new  
> capability. Their setup pretty much matches industry standards in  
> terms of features and capability -- except for this remarkable  
> scripting feature which no one else has. There is nothing to lose by  
> changing to Runtime's web hosting service, and everything to gain if  
> you want to write web pages using the language we know and love.
> For years now, the Rev engine has always had the capability to work  
> with a server as long as it was set up as a CGI service. This is a  
> complicated and tedious task in general, but once it was set up it  
> works well. (This method isn't going away, by the way. It will still  
> be functional for those who want it.) However, with the new HTML- 
> integrated capabilities, CGIs are no longer needed. You can write  
> HTML and Rev script in the same web page and your users will see  
> content based on whatever your scripts do. You don't have to worry  
> about any of the complexities of CGIs because none of that matters  
> any more (permissions, engines, Apache installation, missing  
> libraries, line endings, etc. All moot now.)
> Anyone who's had to work with the old-style CGIs will find the new  
> method liberating. One of the hardest things to do was debug a CGI;  
> it was very much like working with HC version 1.0 where the only way  
> to know what a variable contained was to put its contents into the  
> message box. If you got a script error, it was up to you to figure  
> out the problem, because the clues were sparse if they existed at  
> all. That's all over with now. RR provides a live debugger that lets  
> you step through the scripts on a web page just as though you were  
> working in a stack. That alone is worth the price of admission for  
> web page authors.
> For me, I haven't seen such a cool thing since I was gobsmacked by  
> the ability to run a stack from a remote server in one line of script.
> -- 
> Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     jacque at hyperactivesw.com
> HyperActive Software           |     http://www.hyperactivesw.com

Joe Lewis Wilkins
Director of Product Development for GSI

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