A Python application server?

Duncan Smith buzzard at urubu.freeserve.co.uk
Mon Jun 2 16:20:42 CEST 2003

         I'm trying to put together a (basic) design for an online
examination system.  The system already exists, but is based on Java
technologies.  I have (probably prematurely) assured the author that the
system could have been developed in Python.  This is based in faith rather
than reason, as I have never had cause to consider such a thing before
(although I can now envisage that I might need to develop a simple
application server within the next year or so).

Having looked at PYRO, Twisted and WebWare I'm pretty confident that most of
the technology is in place.  But I have been told that to emulate the
existing system there would have to be a Python equivalent of an 'untrusted
Java applet'.  (I'm not convinced this is actually necessary for the given
app., but the existing system does use RMI and Java applets.)

What I'm basically trying to address is the following statement (from some
of his lecture notes):

"Java is the only mainstream technology that adds the required level of
safety for code travelling around a network, and the flexibility to invent
our own controls, regardless of the operating system being used."

As the system is web-based I also want to address the security aspects
(protecting the server, foiling eavesdroppers, protecting the client).

Ideally I (with some help) can come up with a reasonably impressive solution
that will convince my associate that Python is a good alternative to Java.
I'd rather find a solution that avoided Java altogether (even Jython).
Forcing the client(s) to install much software is apparently out of the
question (so no Grail / Python applets).  Any suggestions?  Cheers.


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