FlightFeather's goal is "social networking for everyone". This means that anyone should have a chance to run a popular social networking site -- on minimal hardware, and without wasting bandwidth.
Although the project is in its early stages, it is functional, and supports the "BoSStats" web application. BoSStats is a site dedicated to improving the world of work: you can discuss what makes a good boss, or share your experiences of office politics. You can also comment and vote on the posts made by others. The application does not set cookies, and no registration is required for anything except voting.
Follow the "Platform" link on the above site to download the FlightFeather source code (released under the GPL). BoSStats is a good testbed for FlightFeather, and has value of its own, since meaningful advice about work-related problems is very hard to find. A "Wisdom of Crowds" solution -- particularly with strong privacy protection (see below) -- is a necessary addition to this field.
The major design focus for FlightFeather are responsiveness and performance; the system should eventually support very high traffic volumes. In addition, FlightFeather allows for a great deal of user privacy -- a critical, rapidly emerging problem in the social networking realm.
FlightFeather's most important feature is that all write requests generate (or modify) HTML files. In consequence, a pure read (the most common operation) merely serves static pages.
This architecture strongly favors the use of Python, because of the complex logic required to manipulate an entire tree of text files. Expressing this logic clearly and succinctly is the key to maintainability of the code.
The Python 2.5 "with" statement has proved to be particularly valuable for FlightFeather development. The implementation started with Python 2.4, and switched to Python 2.5 once that release became stable.
Rewriting parts of FlightFeather using the "with" statement immediately simplified the system's file handling logic. This feature alone is reason enough to use Python 2.5.
Everyone feel free to try out FlightFeather/BoSStats, and give me feedback either on the site itself, or by email. You can post any appropriate content to the site, as the system is live.
Best Wishes for the Holidays,