[Catalyst] What a waste of time

Sébastien Wagener sebastien.wagener at gmail.com
Thu Apr 27 11:49:58 CEST 2006

On Thu, 2006-04-27 at 02:00 +0300, rails coder wrote:
> On 4/26/06, Cory Watson <jheephat at gmail.com> wrote:
I'm consider myself as a Catalyst beginner too, and I noticed that once
you have understood the basic concepts (which took me about one day),
you are even able to write quite advanced code. 
> I'm not that cheap, and I would have paid for a decent catalyst book
> or paid somebody to write a decent tutorial, if such book or willing
> person would have been available.  I won't pay somebody several
> hundred, or even more than a thousand dollars, to explain how their
> poorly documented software works when other well documented software
> is available.
> Asterisk devs are using the same "consulting ware" business model..
> the documentation is incredibly poor to non-existant, and none of them
> will share their setups with you. 
Have a look at http://dev.catalyst.perl.org/#Examples
Those examples helped me a lot to understand the concepts and best
practices for Catalyst. There are several other code snippets in the
net, most of which are even posted in this mailing list or in the wiki.

Nevertheless, you should try to understand the basic concepts, like MVC,
BEFORE starting with a project like Catalyst or even RoR. There are
several wonderful documentations on these subjects, which are valid for
any web framework. If you omit this step, you will probably have some
difficulties to start your project. I must admit that I have had a look
at the RoR book to understand these concepts :-)

If you need more detailed information later on, nobody forbids you to
have a look at the source code yourself, ask on the mailing list and,
ideally, document the behavior yourself. As I guess that you are going
to develop in RoR now, I hope that you are at least going to contribute
in the RoR community and share your setups with them...

> There is always this attitude that "I spent months/years
> learning/developing this thing, it doesn't hurt you to spend
> months/years learning how to use it via trial and
> error/humiliation/newbie pecking order/whatever... 
That's wrong. Take this mailing list as an example. Even core developers
answer to the most basic questions, and there are a LOT of other helpful
people in here. I do not see any kind of pecking order here...
Furthermore, I have not seen any kind of humiliation in this list,
unless the request was really aggressive.

> When they write a decent book, I will buy it. I don't have months of
> free time to waste learning by trial and error.
I've also considered using RoR at the beginning, but then I noticed that
- besides the book - the documentation is as sparse as the Catalyst
documentation. OK, the book helps you to have quickly a result in your
project, but once you have invested some weeks of work into your
project, you get lost, because you do not know how to handle the sparse
documentation. Catalyst does not make such false promises. Or at least
that's my impression, I will know for sure if I progress in my

> On top of all that, the catalyst installation still sucks ass, even if
> one can manage to do it sucessfully.
This has been discussed several times in this list, and in fact it is
not the Catalyst installation that sucks, but the installation of its
dependencies. Besides CatInABox, I've tried cat-install
( http://www.shadowcatsystems.co.uk/static/cat-install ), and it worked
quite well for me. 

> This project really needs to get a clue about attracting new users
> (unless they simply don't want many).
The Catalyst community welcomes everybody, though it does not perform a
marketing that could be compared to RoR, which is OK for me. The efforts
of open source developers should be invested into source code and
documentation, not into fancy marketing material.

One of the drawbacks for beginners is the great flexibility of Catalyst.
The problem is that you have to take fundamental decisions at the
beginning of the project. Perhaps one should start a wiki page
concerning the alternatives one has: A comparison of the various
template systems, the database interfaces, ...


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