Need advice on choosing the technology for intranet based application

Ian Bicking ianb at
Thu Sep 19 13:45:56 EDT 2002

On Wed, 2002-09-18 at 17:30, Nenad Propadovic wrote:
> Hello pythonistas,
> I'm about to write an application related to injury prevention in big
> industrial companies. It's supposed to be intranet-based (because the admins
> are reluctant to install it on x (where x>>1) clients). So: the client is a
> web-browser. I still don't know whether I will get a server on my own, or
> I'll have to fit into an unknown web server environment, both options being
> realistic.
> By now it seems the logic of the application will be simple. It's going to
> be a relational database with several tables, a modest number of users with
> write priviledges, some more with read priviledges only. Performance is not
> a big issue.
> The GUI has a part I consider complex: I have to present some statistics in
> form of charts or graphs.

I would encourage you to consider the graph-creation process to be
separate from the web interface.  You can program and debug this outside
of a web environment (e.g., just creating graphics files in a
directory), and then plug it into whatever environment you want -- CGI,
Webware, Skunkweb, etc.  Skunkweb isn't Windows-compatible, however,
which may be a concern.  CGI is slow, but easy to install.  Webware
should install anywhere, but may take a bit more server setup -- if
possible I would recommend using Apache, but it doesn't rule out IIS. 
There's a bunch of other frameworks -- Quixote, Albatross, jonpy... I
can't remember them all, but they are all actually fairly similar in
scope.  I would *not* recommend Zope, which is a content management
application and framework, not a good web development framework.

CGI will be a little harder to program -- be sure to use cgitb if you go
that route -- but the application you describe sounds fairly

For the graphics, you may want Reportlab for nice reports, or another
graphic library if you want to inline the graphs in HTML pages.  I don't
believe PIL does what you want -- there are wrappers for gnuplot, and
there's a *ton* of other graphing packages (I think the scientists tend
to use lots of graphs and lots of Python).  Search Parnasus.


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