Philip Crow > Bigtop > Bigtop::Docs::About

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Name ^

Bigtop::Docs::About - A document explaining Bigtop's features and history

Guide to Docs ^

For a complete and annotated list of Bigtop docs, see Bigtop::Docs::TOC.

Features ^

Bigtop is a little language for describing the basic structure of web apps including their database layouts and the management of them.

By editing a single description file (with your favorite text editor or the browser based 'tentmaker'), you can have a working web app by code generation. There are good defaults to get you started. If your data model changes, you can regenerate without risk of loosing anything you wrote yourself. Some of the pieces available include:

In all cases generated files are completely separated from stub files where you write your code. Once generated, stubs are never overwritten. This gives complete safety when regenerating.

Further, if you want to generate other things, it is not hard to alter or add them:

History ^

While working on the framework now called Gantry, I became convinced that I was still doing too much work on each app. I wanted a way to collect all the attributes of my data in one place including:

From this I wanted the SQL statements that create the database, the models which make it easy for me to access that database, and the controllers which do the accessing, plus all the other bells and whistles needed for a complete attractive app.

Further Reading ^

With Bigtop's kickstart syntax, you can now build a complete CRUD app from the command line alone. Similarly, if you have a postgres 8 database, you can build a CRUD app for it from the command line. See Bigtop::Docs::QuickStart for details.

To start using Bigtop, see Bigtop::Docs::TentTut or Bigtop::Docs::Tutorial. If those go too fast, try the Bigtop section of Gantry::Docs::Tutorial, which builds a smaller app. After those, try Bigtop::Docs::Cookbook. For a complete doc list, see Bigtop::Docs::TOC.

Why the Name ^

Why did I call it Bigtop? I see it as a central place in the sometimes wild and always disparate world of a web application. It is where all the perfomers come together. But it's also about as discriminating as a circus tent, anyone and anything can easily come in and out. It's a big tent. Oh, and it's meant to be fun (cue the circus music).

AUTHOR ^

Phil Crow <crow.phil@gmail.com>

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