Having fun with some modern web technologies
Edit: MojoCMS has been renamed to
Galileo and released to CPAN. Enjoy!
Over the holiday break, I decided to have a little fun learning some things about the web. I usually get my Perl fix through science, but several upcoming projects might have some web involvement; so I thought I should brush up. The following are some reflections on that experience.
use command, and that “page”-globals can be used, still feels odd. I can definitely see the need for jQuery, but that adds even further cognitive dissonance. Anyway, I think most of this is my shortcoming, not its.
HTML5/CSS3 on the other hand is brilliant. Its easy to make the markup do what you mean without too many machinations. Of course I pull in some libraries for that too, namely Bootstrap.
Back to the Perl of it though, I must say I have high marks for Mojolicious, for many reasons, but the highest are for Websockets! Now I know Mojolicious didn’t invent them, but it makes them easy. Using Websockets I was able to make the “save page” and “update main nav” windows save without reloading. That was rather cute and feels modern.
The biggest point I want to make (long ramblings aside) is my most recent addition: DBIx::Class. I’m a scientist, not a database admin. I have setup some PHP CMSes and have used mysql just enough to get them started; terrified the entire time. So much so that I started my CMS project with the idea of using DBM::Deep for as long as possible. Soon enough though, I was nesting hash-keys three deep and wishing I had objects; if I hadn’t needed persistence I would have reached for Moose long before.
I investigated KiokuDB, and while I had some hope for it, I think I would need someone sitting in on the setup process with me. Then I remembered, throughout YAPC::NA along with the list of my favorite Modern Perl modules, everyone else adds DBIx::Class. Ok they can’t all be wrong. They weren’t. Sure the syntax is a little different from Moose, but its not that hard. The payoff for me started even before running the site, in the
deploy command. With a simple script I can create all the necessary tables and inject sample content without ever needing to write SQL! After this the ORM quickly and easily replaced the DBM::Deep vestiges throughout the code, and just like that I have readable, OO structures for users, pages and the menu configuration.
Anyway, if anyone wants to play with MojoCMS (or suggest a better name!) feel free. It is still very rough but I may try to see it forward a little further. Passwords are stored in the clear for now, so be careful! But this is my next task. After that and some other work on users (like being able add them through the website!) the thing might even be able to host a small site. Not bad for a one-week side project!