[Web-SIG] Random thoughts
gward at python.net
Thu Oct 30 21:51:17 EST 2003
I'm just catching up on the archive for this list. Some random
* a new package, 'web', is definitely in order.
"from web import cookies", "from web import http" just sounds right.
(That contradicts Greg Stein's proposal in PEP 267, but I assume
he's not strongly wedded to that.)
* I'm all for stealing good ideas from other sources (eg. PHP,
the Java servlet API), but I'm not keen on the exact semantics
Simon has mentioned from PHP. In particular, I hope no one is
seriously considering global dictionaries called COOKIES or GET.
Clearly, the Right Way is:
(spelling and terminology yet to be decided; eg. I could live with
it getcookie() and getformvar() ;-)
An aside: in the query string
what exactly are 'name', 'colour', and 'age'? Are they form variables?
query variables? parameters? fields? Is this specified anywhere?
(In Quixote's HTTPRequest class, they're called "form variables" --
hence get_form_var() -- but I've never been terribly thrilled with that
terminology. At the moment, I like "query variables".)
* on the fields-with-multiple-values issue: I'm with Steve Holden and
David Fraser. (I.e., the programmer should know which query
variables expect multiple values, and the request object should
always return a list for those variables.) cgi.py is Dead Wrong
here; the type of an object should be predictable from the code, not
dependent on the HTTP client!
(But I disagree with Steve on handling multiple values for a query
variable that expects a single value: in that case, IMHO sloppy
should be the default, and you should get the first value. I don't
want to guard every get_form_var() call with a "except KeyError" to
avoid broken/malicious clients crashing the script!)
(I've mentally toyed with funky types like Barry suggested, but I
think that sort of context-sensitive trickery is unPythonic. Just
because you can do something doesn't mean you should.)
Perhaps something like Quixote's form framework belongs in the
standard library -- the Widget classes solve a lot of problems
with handling HTML forms. There's some out-of-date documentation
* the "PATHINFO" variable is not CGI-specific. Zope and Quixote are
both utterly dependent on PATHINFO, and they're not tied to CGI.
(There are strong connections, but you can run a Quixote app with
mod_python, Medusa, or Twisted -- no CGI there!)
Also, the Java servlet API has a getPathInfo() method, and Java
servlets are most certainly not CGI scripts.
"pathinfo" is just the part of the URL that the HTTP server doesn't
look at. ;-)
* I oppose Simon Willison's practice of using the same variable
in the "GET" and "POST" part of a request, but I will defend to the
death his right to do so. (But not in Quixote, where a narrower
definition of what is Right, Good, and Truthfull prevails.)
Enough for now. I still have lots of archive to read. ;-(
Greg Ward <gward at python.net> http://www.gerg.ca/
And now for something completely different.
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