Revlet as backend tool

Michael Kann mikekann at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 13 10:26:35 CDT 2010


Richard, I admit that I even read the "HeadsFirst HTML" book. (But don't let anybody else know). There is also a HeadsFirst AJAX.

--- On Tue, 4/13/10, Richard Gaskin <ambassador at fourthworld.com> wrote:

> From: Richard Gaskin <ambassador at fourthworld.com>
> Subject: Re: Revlet as backend tool
> To: "How to use Revolution" <use-revolution at lists.runrev.com>
> Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 10:13 AM
> Terry Vogelaar wrote:
> 
> > I have been asked to make a HTML-version of a
> Flash-based site,
> > because not all internet browsing devices have Flash.
> The site
> > is not hosted on On-Rev, so I cannot use an .irev
> file.
> 
> Not a problem, since .irev and Flash work on opposite ends
> of the system:  .irev is a PHP-like variant of CGI on
> the server, whereas the Flash plugin provides a user
> interface in the browser.
> 
> 
> > The CMS is Flashblocks; a Flash-based commercial CMS
> that writes
> > all data to an XML-file. So the task of parsing the
> data and write
> > it to a bunch of HTML-files should be fairly simple.
> >
> > So I want to write a revlet with a simple user
> interface.
> 
> I suspect that any browser not running the Flash plugin
> will probably not have the RevWeb plugin available for the
> same reasons, whatever they may be.  I suppose there
> may be a few isolated exceptions, but since Flash is
> pre-installed and RevWeb will need to be installed by each
> user, it's very rare to find a browser that won't run Flash
> but be amenable to running another proprietary plugin.
> 
> Michael Kann's suggestion (and thank you for the very kind
> words, Michael, even if they gave more credit than is
> warranted <g>) of considering a standalone may be as
> good an option as a RevLet:  both require the user to
> approve the download and both take about as long to
> download.  Any place that will run a proprietary plugin
> they don't already have is about as likely to run a "custom
> browser" (standalone).
> 
> But if neither of those are viable for your project, this
> leaves your UI options limited to JavaScript, the only
> language built into every browser.
> 
> Dealing with the semi-OOPness and the differences between
> "=" and "==" may seem daunting at first, but the more I
> learn about JavaScript the more I like it.
> 
> I've been reading O'Reilly's "Head First: Data Analysis",
> and have become a fan of the series.  While some
> aspects of that series may seem a bit too fun-oriented for
> serious programming types, I see no harm in being
> entertained while I learn, and am looking forward to others
> in the series.
> 
> They have one for JavaScript as well:
> <http://tinyurl.com/y9w7pfm>
> 
> Looking at the table of contents, it seems there's a
> chapter on AJAX methods which should provide the background
> you'll need for using the XMLHttpRequest object to obtain
> your XML data from the server.
> 
> Sure, JavaScript is a learning curve, but given its
> ubiquity there's probably no other second language as
> valuable to learn.  Besides, it's good for the mind to
> keep exercising the learning muscle. :)
> 
> 
> Of course this assumes that the client-side UI needs to by
> dynamic, that elements on the page will be changing in
> response to user actions.  Such things will require
> JavaScript, Java, Flash, RevWeb, or another plugin.
> 
> But if it turns out that all you need are static HTML pages
> generated from XML, you should be able to use Rev's CGI for
> this and have a great time doing it.
> 
> The Rev engine makes it easy to read files, parse XML, and
> using the merge function you can easily put function results
> into any HTML template.
> 
> For example, suppose you have this in a template named
> "MyTemplate.htm":
> 
> <html><body>
> Today is [[the date]]
> </body></html>
> 
> 
> The CGI that uses it is simple:
> 
> #!rev -ui
> 
> on startup
>   put url ("file:MyTemplate.htm") into tData
>   put merge(tData) into tOutput
>   put "Content-length:" && len(tOutput)
> &cr&cr
>   put tOutput
> end startup
> 
> 
> If you want to use one of your library stacks with that, if
> you had a library function called "GetXMLtoHTML" in a stack
> called "myLib.rev" the template can look like this:
> 
> <html><body>
> Look at this cool data: [[GetXMLtoHTML()]]
> </body></html>
> 
> ...and your CGI looks like:
> 
> #!rev -ui
> 
> on startup
>   start using "MyLib.rev"
>   put url ("file:MyTemplate.htm") into tData
>   put merge(tData) into tOutput
>   put "Content-length:" && len(tOutput)
> &cr&cr
>   put tOutput &cr&cr
> end startup
> 
> 
> For getting started with CGIs I know of no better reference
> guide than Jacque's:
> 
> <http://hyperactivesw.com/cgitutorial/>
> 
> --
>  Richard Gaskin
>  Fourth World
>  Rev training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
>  Webzine for Rev developers: http://www.revjournal.com
>  revJournal blog: http://revjournal.com/blog.irv
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