Frameworks for "Non-Content Oriented Web Apps"

Ian Bicking ianb at
Sun Jan 2 01:37:28 EST 2005

mirnazim at wrote:
> There are great Python Web Application Framework. But most of them are
> meant for content oriented web apps.
> Is there something that can ease the development of application that
> are not content oriented(I call them "NON CONTENT-ORIENTED WEB
> APPLICATIONS" because I don't know what else to call them).

Maybe you mean "interactive web applications", as opposed to 
"document-centric" applications?  But then, that's what most frameworks 
are really designed for.

> I mean the
> applications like, accounting,  high volume data entry apps,  where
> normally GUI clients have ruled. I know very high quality ERP and
> similar packages have been implemented in a web based environment. But
> problem is that they have been developed with the tools that were
> actually meant for content oriented apps like Zope, PHP, etc.

Zope I'd say is content-oriented, though with a bit of imagination you 
can phrase these applications in terms of "content".  PHP and many other 
Python frameworks are process-oriented, meaning that each request just 
plain executes some code.  Which is true of Zope too, but the basic 
metaphors in Zope are that a request displays the view of some object, 
which is a little more abstract way of looking at it.

> But is there some sort of framework or something that is actually meant
> for such web apps,application that make heavy use of forms, have very
> high amount of user interaction etc.

Do you mean non-traditional web applications, ala gmail?  Probably not, 
I think you are talking about certain framework concerns that most 
frameworks aspire to in some fashion, but actually achieve to differing 
degrees.  PEAK addresses some of these, but in a UI-neutral way, and 
it's quite experimental (at least in the perspective of a whole 
application; as robust as the individual pieces may be, there's no real 
model for how to use it for a full application).

There's other form processing libraries, but they all are experimental 
in a way.  I developed FormEncode, which relates to some of this.  Zope 
3 has Schemas, which can be used for form generation and validation, and 
Plone has Archetypes.  I don't think there's anything that's a Whole 
Package, but Zope 3 and Plone/Archetypes might be the closest (depending 
on what your vision is).

> What I am asking here may sound off beat, but I think, in todays world
> where web based solutions offers such a flexibility, we really need it.
> I also know that I am to ambiguous, but as is the characteristic of
> this wonderful community, talks that start as most abigous, transform
> in crystal clear.
> PS: I am a web developer, using PHP for living. I have been playing
> with python for a while. I found python is really a cool language(do I
> need to say that ;-)) with a really, really impressive collection of
> modules and frameworks. While developing a school information system, I
> felt the need of such a framework that makes developing of "Non-Content
> Oriented Web-Apps" easy.

Eh, it just needs some clear direction for *any* kind of web apps, IMHO.

But with what you are specifically asking for, I think it's just a Hard 
Problem that Is Not Yet Solved, though there is work being done and 
people are attacking it from different directions.

Ian Bicking  /  ianb at  /

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