[ic] Why I'm dumping Interchange

John Beima jbeima@reality.palb.com
Sat, 14 Apr 2001 18:26:21 -0600 (MDT)

G'Day Mark,

I must say I was rather impressed with the effort you put into your explanation
of why you are choosing to leave Minivend/Interchange.

Although I do agree with many of your points I also thing you have fallen into a
rut with Interchange like soooo many more that I have spoken with over the last
several years of using MV/IC.

First off let me state this for the record, far to many people resort to using
embeded Perl in their pages... I have found one >2< reason why you must drop
Perl into your pages:

#01) You page takes more than 10 seconds to generate before it is send back.
Heck I have timed one of my pages for a complex contest/directory listing to
take 95 seconds to generate. In these cases, going to embeded Perl takes
normally less than a second.

#02) When you wish to update more than one table from a page without having the
user do any sort of entry. Granted I am still using the Perl versions of the IML
tags, I am just using Perl to trigger them instead of the user.

Also given this, the ONLY time I need to use a [SQL] statement is in the same
situation... When I drop to Perl, and I want all my data already queried and in
arrays. Other wise I have NEVER needed it.

There are several bonus to using PURE IML code... First you code is COMPLETELY
protable, both between machines and SQL databases. That alone makes life VERY

I do agree with Mark in that the documentation does lack... If you read the Tag
Reference document, up until recently, it is presented in the form of using the
Tag from embeded Perl. This I find unaccpetable. How are you supose to learn the
true power of the language if right off the bat you are forced to learn it from
a Perl stand point. If the manual gave true example of how the tag SHOULD be
used in it raw IML format, I think far more people would have far less troubles
with IML.

I also think you made a comment in your letter that was never really stated.
Minivend/Interchange has always said you have to be an experance programmer to
use and understand it. You comment on it is an out of the box solution for
non-programmers. It isn't. It says you need programming experance and you do.

Also I wanted to add this as well, you had commented on how complicated the
demos have been getting to read. I totally agree with you here. Basicly I think
this is because Akopia has hired IC programmers for on staff that do NOT know
how to truely programm in IML. I see example of this in many things posted to
the list by staff programmers, os seeing older examples of some of their work.

Now before someone goes off on a tangent here, this is not the case for everyone
there, just a few that I have seen, and face it they had the same things to
learn from that we did! So it is not suprising that some of us can be better
than some of them.

Given all this, I have already started work on some proramming classes and
possibly even a book on the proper programming of IML.

I recently looked at some of the new Tag Reference from version 4.7 and I must
say is it MUCH nicer, even though the [if] tag page have been saved over with
the [timed] tag page. (-: This new document is a GREAT improvement from Akopia.

Now back to the classes... Just so some of you don't think, well he has just
written some small projects... I have written 2 VERY large entirly SQL driven
sites with IC... One being www.kmaxemall.com (I think is the current address.),
which was for Paramount Television stations and containsonly about 12 physical
pages... All the individual store pages are taken out of SQL tables. The other
being www.alocalchuch.com, which any church can buy a 75+ page site and totally
edit it from one central editor and their new site goes live instantly... I also
have a re-write of one other site underway, which we currently use to host over
80 insurance agencies. There are more in the works.

So yes I have done malls, yes I have hosted many catalogs on one server, and yes
I can safely say "With Interchange ANYTHING is possible!"...

Like always hats off still to Mike for such an incredable product!

John Beima

Quoting Mark Stosberg <mark@summersault.com>:

> After using Minivend, now Interchange on and off for three years, I've
> made the decision to migrate away from it. This was a big decision
> because there's was (and is) a lot that is attractive about Interchange.
> I've written up an article with my thoughts on Interchange is here: 
> http://mark.stosberg.com/tech/interchange/review.html
> I try to offer suggestions where I have complaints and give IC credit
> for it's stengths.  
> Perhaps my words will resonate with some of you and you'll hasten your
> move away from IC. For others, perhaps you'll be further convinced that
> IC is the best solution for your needs. :) 
> I wish the best for IC as an open source project. Perhaps one day when
> the project and myself have further evolved, our paths will cross again.
> I offer this to the Interchange community as personal documentation of
> my experiences, hopefully to be viewed as "constructive criticism". :) 
> Good luck!
>   -mark
> _______________________________________________
> Interchange-users mailing list
> Interchange-users@lists.akopia.com
> http://lists.akopia.com/mailman/listinfo/interchange-users

John Beima
jbeima@palb.com, support@alocalagent.com, and support@alocalchurch.com

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