[Chicago] Status of wsgi

Garrett Smith g at rre.tt
Thu Oct 11 16:48:46 CEST 2012

On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM, Jordan Bettis <jordanb at hafd.org> wrote:
> On 10/09/2012 12:09 PM, Garrett Smith wrote:
>> It's been a number of years now since I've built web stuff in Python
>> (forgive me) but last I checked, wsgi was still the dominant force in
>> Python land for anything web.
>> With Python 3, web sockets, crazed fixation on async socket servers,
>> etc. I'm wondering if that's still the case. Has wsgi been able to
>> keep up with the latest trends, or is it falling over? Is there
>> another standard in Python land that shows more promise or growth
>> trajectory?
>> I ask because I'm researching some options for a similar spec for the
>> Erlang community -- and I'd like to catalog the good and bad of
>> Python's (much more mature) web ecosystem.
> WSGI doesn't support async and for that reason neither tornado nor
> twisted use it. Tornado has a wsgi-client request handler, which is nice
> if you want to have a site that is built on wsgi, but need to extend it
> to handle some requests asynchronously.
> WSGI is dominant insofar as the dominant web frameworks (django
> especially) use it. And there hasn't been a lot of pressure for them to
> support async.
> Given what I know about Erlang, WSGI would probably not be a good model
> for an erlang-based web gateway interface. Maybe look at twistedweb?

While Erlang supports "async" topics (this is an imprecise of language
btw :) it's not predicated on event reactor + callbacks the way
Twister and co are. Programming is quite sequential (it's a functional
language) and WSGI, esp WSGI 2 which drops the side-effecty
start_response function, is an excellent fit.

Btw, this is one of the problems that makes Python "async" ecosystem
so dysfunctional -- there's no standardization on a common
library/protocol, so each of these servers lives in its own world.

There are a number of WSGI interfaces to async Python web servers, so
I wouldn't say that the protocol doesn't support it. IIRC there are
some pretty clever hacks using WSGI environ + Python co-routines to
facilitate Frankenstein style apps :)

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