Application architecture (long post - sorry)

Mike Meyer mwm at
Tue Jan 3 23:36:30 CET 2006

limeydrink at writes:
> Ok then, web it is, just wondering how you can test the web application
> while developing and how do you find out the capabilities of the
> browser, I now have browsed WAP pages on my Windows smartphone, is
> there any difference to developing a WAP/WML solution to a HTML -
> obviously it's in a different markup language, but is there anything
> else that is needed between the client and the webserver ?

I wouldn't bother with WAP/WML these days. It's designed for *really*
small devices, like pagers and 2nd millenium cell phones. Unless, of
course, something else dictates it's use. 

You found out the capabilities of the browser by reading the browser
documentation. That should specify which version of
HTML/XHTML/CSS/DOM/etc. it supports. I wouldn't worry to much about
finding a browser that supports exactly the same set of
documents. Find one that supports at least those, then use that. I
like FireFox, because the available extensions include lots of things
that are useful for web developers. Make sure you only use features
that are documented as supported by the target browser. You'll have
problems with bugs in FireFox for some things, and then when you get
around to deployment you'll have problems with bugs in your target
browser. The further you stay away from advanced/esoteric features,
the less trouble you'll have.

> I have only ever played at web development in the past and I used MS
> Active Server Pages and this seemed pretty straightforward, I know you
> can use Python as the scripting language for ASP but I want something
> platform neutral, so I was wondering if anyone could suggest some
> similar framework for Python on both Linux and Windows.

And with that, you open a can of worms. There are so many choices
available for Python that people complain there are to many. The
closest thing to ASP is PSP. There are a number of version of that;
I'd use the one bundled with recent versions of mod_python for Apache
if you want that. Personally, I prefer to Cheetah Templates to PSP -
it plays better in the OO world, and I can use intelligent
HTML/XML/SGML editors on the files. You can also "precompile" cheetah
templates to python, and just put on the server; I'm not sure you can
do that with mod_python's PSP. There are other choices at that level,
and there are also far more integrated solutions available as
well. You may have to byte the bullet and evaluate them.

Mike Meyer <mwm at>
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.

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