A conversation with Avi Bryant and Andrew Catton about Dabble DB

Last week’s Friday podcast ran afoul of travel craziness but the series continues this week with a further exploration of Dabble DB, the through-the-web database that was also featured in a screencast. In my conversation with Avi Bryant and Andrew Catton we explore some of the underpinnings of Dabble, including the remarkable fact that it’s written in the Squeak implementation of Smalltalk.

I’ve underplayed that point until now, because I’m trying to broaden the appeal of what I do, but it turns out that Dabble DB is a great example of how dynamic languages can produce effects that people see, interact with, and care very much about. Programmers aren’t the only ones to benefit from direct manipulation of objects, continuous refinement, and always-live data. We all need things to work that way, so it’s cool to see how the dynamic qualities of Dabble’s Smalltalk engine bubble up into the application.

15 thoughts on “A conversation with Avi Bryant and Andrew Catton about Dabble DB”

  1. Thanks for posting this, Jon, it was great talking to you (both off and on mic). I hope we can touch base again next time you’re in the Northwest.


  2. Hi, Jon,

    Best of luck with your new career.

    I, too, was surprised to learn that Dabble DB was written in SmallTalk (plus the Seaside Web application framework).

    It’s interesting that Dabble DB has a calendar as a first-class database object. Access developers have been asking for a Outlook-style calendar form for years.

    I wrote about Dabble DB in March 2006 (http://oakleafblog.blogspot.com/2006/03/dabble-db-new-look-in-web-databases.html) after Avi and Andrew won the won the Under the Radar: Why Web 2.0 Matters conference’s Best In Show award in the “I’d Pay for That” category, as well as the Panelists’ Choice and People’s Choice awards for the “Make It Easy” category. It seem to me that Dabble DB answered Ray Ozzie’s question: “How can we utilize our extant products and our knowledge of the broad historical adoption of forms-based applications to jump-start an effort that could dramatically surpass offerings from Quickbase to Salesforce.com?”


  3. Jon,
    If you like dabble, you might want to check out our application. It’s a simlar concept, but more focused on developers. It’s still in alpha stage, but I would love to know your thoughts.


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