FlightFeather Social Networking Platform + site for office politics, etc.

George Belotsky python at openlight.com
Fri Dec 29 05:58:29 CET 2006

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


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,

George Belotsky

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