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Mason Hale on WebObjects

Mason Hale is doing a big web-to-database integration project using WebObjects.

Here's what Mason says.

I don't have the WebObjects software yet, but I have been reading the manuals and digging into the docs on the NeXT web site. I do have a new Dell laptop, but I intend to develop using OpenStep instead of NT (though both will be installed).

My feeling is that eventually WebObjects and Frontier could be very complementary. In the same way Frontier and Tango are very complementary today. Tango now fills a gaping hole in Frontier's feature set - connectively to large-scale SQL databases. Frontier also fills in holes in Tango's feature-set, by doing things like server pushes, sending emails and keeping WebStar as the frontmost application.

The primary difference from my point of view is that WebObjects has fewer holes than Tango. WebObjects also requires a great deal more programming to get things done. But unlike Tango, WebObject code is resusable in future projects -- so the amount of programming required may even out. But I still haven't found any mention of a WebObjects command to send email messages, and I am not yet certain it can do server pushes. So I still see a future where Frontier can expand the feature set WebObjects.

As far as WebObjects competing with WebSTAR, I agree that is almost a non-comparison. WebSTAR is a web server, WebObjects is not. I think WebSTAR will play just fine with WebObjects.

I think it is more accurate to view WebObjects as competition for Tango. But even in that comparison, Tango is marketed to non-programmers, while WebObjects is clearly a programmer's tool. These products definitely do the same sort of things like database integration and user tracking, and both have nice gui editor interfaces.

I really hope the price of WebObjects comes down. It is definitely targeted toward the enterprise market, where in an almost Dilbert-boss-like logic, software that is more expensive is deemed better, so really expensive software must be awesome. Don't get me wrong, I think WebObjects is awesome, it's just priced out of the space where the real action is happening on the Mac platform.

His email address is He developed the Frontier CGI Framework, and is one of the most accomplished members of our community.

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