Saturday, February 16, 2008

Great Moments In History: SilverStream

Back in the dark days at the end of the last Millennium, the SilverStream application server was the hottest of the hot application development products. All the best PowerBuilder and Lotus engineers had quit Sybase and IBM to go work on SilverStream, so it had to be good, right?

Well, not so much: hideously hard to use, a performance nightmare, a disaster in the marketplace, crushed by the dot-com collapse, assimilated by Novell in 2002, and finally put to rest in 2005.

But a Great Moment In History nonetheless: Here's the SilverStream stock chart at it's peak:

And to give everyone a taste of what life was really like for programmers using SilverStream, here is a blog posting from back in the day:

The fRiDaY File,
for June 17, 1999

SilverStream By The Numbers

Communication among SilverStream programmers is more efficient when numbers are assigned to common conversational elements.

For example,
"How do I [do some thing] in SilverStream?"
may be answered simply:
"32! 33!"
The person asking the question might then express shock by
"Oh, man, 73! 1!"

Here's the list, SilverStream By The Numbers:...

1 - the Help sucks
2 - it's so slow
3 - Simple Actions are useless, click on Java
4 - you're at the 3GL level all the time except when you want to be
5 - that's really really really hard to do in SilverStream
6 - you can't use javadoc
14 - the Designer's locked up
15 - the Designer's using all the CPU

16 - the Designer's using all the memory
17 - use Task Manager to kill the Designer
18 - the Server's locked up
19 - the Server's using all the CPU
20 - the Server's using all the memory
21 - use Task Manager to kill the Server
22 - the Server won't start
23 - reboot NT
29 - everyone take a break, I'm going to resynch the database
30 - you need more RAM
31 - the day sure goes by fast when you 23 every few minutes
32 - that doesn't work in SilverStream
33 - I had to write my own
34 - nobody's asked that on the newsgroups
35 - nobody's answered that on the newsgroups
36 - I don't think anybody's tried that before
37 - I told you, 32, but you weren't listening
38 - Fulcrum sucks
39 - the debugger sucks
41 - you can't do that with a SilverStream view
42 - try creating a database view to fool SilverStream
43 - you can't put SQL in a SilverStream where clause
44 - you can't use real SQL any more
45 - the Expression Builder sucks
46 - Uncle SilverStream Knows Best
50 - hosed the server
51 - OK, who 50
52 - oops, I 50
68 - SilverStream isn't for programmers, it's for investment bankers
69 - how can a group that wrote such a cool program write such a bad one
72 - that would be easy with a DataWindow
73 - that would be easy in PowerBuilder
74 - that would be easy in PowerJ
75 - how much does Jaguar cost
78 - SilverStream doesn't work with [fill in product name: e.g., 79]
79 - Oracle
81 - I'm screwed
82 - you're screwed
83 - we're all screwed
84 - maybe that's a bug in the VM
85 - maybe that's a bug in SilverStream
97 - maybe that will be in the beta
98 - maybe that will be in the next release
99 - what a kludge

No comments: