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pmuellr is Patrick Mueller, Senior Node Engineer at NodeSource.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Remembering Web Connect

In Minding Your Business With Smalltalk (part 2 of 4), Steve Hunter mentions using the VisualAge for Smalltalk Web Connect feature. Wow. A blast from the past. I worked on this in a very small team back in 1995 or so. Before servlets. Before Apache httpd.

We had a lot of fun inventing stuff. HTML editors inside the VisualAge Composition Editor. A way to forward requests from a web server into a live Smalltalk image; we called ours CGI-Link; ParcPlace had something similiar; both of these are of course extremely similar to FastCGI, which was also created at about the same time.

The closest I could actually get to a date when I worked on this was based on the presentation I did at OOPSLA. Late 1995, we apparently had stuff working. That presentation is funny; screen shots of the VA composition editor, the OS/2 Web Explorer browser (remember how it used to let you store up to 10 bookmarks! ~shiver~). The slides were actually constructed with a small REXX program; I remember later whacking the Smalltalk compiler so I could do slide presentations as Smalltalk classes.

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