Whitebeam Tutorials

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Whitebeam Tutorials

Whitebeam provide a set of 'Tutorial' papers covering various aspects of the Whitebeam development environment. These papers are intended to lead the reader through detailed use of the system. The tutorials bind together the available reference material to provide complete information on how to use the various facilities offered by the Whitebeam environment.



Manipulating imagesnew

We've now added a JavaScript class to the core Whitebeam engine that provides image manipulation functions. These have many uses including automatically scaling images uploaded by users (eg to create thumbnails) or to create graphs and otehr report information.

Postgress Replication

Whitebeam version 0.9.35 has removed the reliance on Postgres Large Objects for file storage, which opens Whitebeam up for various open source database replication schemes.

Unfortunately when we looked into the various schemes available we found most of them somewhat inadequate (either incredibly slow or refusing to work with the Whitebeam schema. This tutorial looks at how we resolved these issues and describes the replication scheme YellowHawk now have in place for their clients.

Postgress API

Whitebeam has been using the powerful Postgres database engine for backend storage for a number of years now. The Postgres implementations of our templates allow application developers to rapidly construct sophisticated applications such as YellowHawks SurveyBox application with no need to learn SQL.

To make Whitebeam an even more compelling development environment version 0.9.30 now includes raw access to Postgres. This interface from JavaScript provides a simple and powerful mechanism for creating and maintaining Postgres database through SQL.

Processing XML

XML is gaining widespread acceptance as a common interface specification language between heterogenerous environments. Whitebeam is designed around the XML core definition and as such provides a rich set of facilities for manipulating XML encoded data. The facilities allow data sets to be built into a JavaScript tree from whence they may be reformatted and transformed. XPath provides a mechanism for querying the XML tree for specified sections and is fully accessible from JavaScript within the Whitebeam environment.


This tutorial shows how to use the HttpRequest JavaScript class to access remote applications over HTTP. The tutorial goes on to show a very simple example of access to a Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) application to read stock quotes.

XPath Support in Whitebeam

The XML support in Whitebeam makes use of a W3C definition for querying XML trees and sub-trees. This tutorial provides a very brief overview - with examples - of how this technology can be used in Whitebeam applications.


Introduced with release 0.9.21 of the Whitebeam Presentation Engine, this class provides full access to SMTP allowing web-applications to create arbitrary e-mail messages including multi-part, HTML with attachments.

Tracking Sessions

Information on how to track user sessions using the tools provided by the Whitebeam system. Tells you how the system identifies session and how an application can store information against the session.

Meta Data

Describes the concept of 'Meta Data', which in turn provides the web author with a simple means of extending the basic data set provided by Whitebeam Templates to satisfy the needs of there clients.

Binary Objects

Binary objects allow Whitebeam application pages to manipulate large data objects - generally associated with 'files'. This note tells the author more about binary objects and how to use them in applications.


This note provides detailed information on the concept of Whitebeam Iterators. These iterators allow applications to quickly and efficiently access large tables of information, such as the results of a search operation.

Managing HTML Forms

Managing sequences of HTML forms can be complicated. This tutorial describes a Whitebeam library that greatly simplifies this task.

Web Page Look and Feel

This tutorial takes you through the use of Whitebeam macro tags that help embody the look and feel of a web site.

Membership Services

This tutorial takes you through the use of the JavaScript objects which support membership services. Currently this tutorial covers the Member and Interest (which extends Member) objects.

Extended Authentication

The Whitebeam system comes with an authentication system bundled. This bundled system is entirely secure, but depends on the behaviour of individual browsers; this makes customising the login and authentication processes and their behaviour difficult. The extended authentication module is intended to allow the designer to extend this behaviour simply.


A common use of web-base forms is for presenting users with questionnaires. This tutorial covers the facilities provided by the Whitebeam system for design, execution and analysis of questionnaires.

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