best way to host a membership site

Bruno Desthuilliers bruno.42.desthuilliers at websiteburo.invalid
Wed Apr 30 13:05:02 CEST 2008

Magdoll a écrit :
> Hi,
>       I know this is potentially off-topic, but because python is the
> language I'm most comfortable with and I've previously had experiences
> with plone, I'd as much advice as possible on this.
> I want to host a site where people can register to become a user. They
> should be able to maintain their own "showroom", where they can show
> blog entries (maybe just by linking to their own blogs on some other
> blog/album-hosting site like Xanga), put up pictures (again, I'm not
> thinking about actually hosting these data, since there are already
> plenty of places to put your pictures and blogs). The most important
> thing is they will be able to build up a "profile" where I can store
> in a DB. The profile will include membership information - for now,
> think of it as "member X owns item A,B,C and gave comments on A such
> and such, also member X is a male white caucasian between his 20-30
> who likes outdoors". Eventually, I want this to be a simple social-
> networking site where people can share a very particular hobby (I'm
> doing it for comsetics and for a very targeted group that are active
> bloggers, so they'll be somewhat web-salient) and the backend can
> collect enough data (while maintaining privacy) to build up a
> recommendation system similar to Netflix's movie recommendations, or
> if you will.

You may want to have a look at o'reilly's "Programming Collective 

The code examples are alas very very poorly coded, but at least they are 
in Python.

> I want to know that given I know python best and I abhor C#/ASP, what
> is the best thing to use. A friend recommended Ruby on Rails - not to
> instigate war here, but I'd welcome comments on that (I don't know
> Ruby, but I'll learn).

Ruby by itself is a nice language, but really on the same "niche" as 
Python. Rails is a nice framework too, but there are real problems wrt/ 
perfs and scalability - nothing that can't be solved given enough 
efforts and hardware, but depending on the expected load, this might be 
something you want to take into account (or just don't care).

> I've used PLONE before, but back then I
> remembered the site ran incredably slow (or it could just be the
> server), and there were issues with upgrades.

Plone is indeed a 80000-pounds behemoth, and (from working experience) 
is certainly one of the worst possible solution for anything else than 
pure content management.

> I want to minimze time
> on trying to learn how to write an interface for users to register and
> manage their own space. Also I want an infrastructure that's not too
> rigid so if in the future I want to add more apps it's not to hard.
> I've also heard about django, but not enough to know how far it'll get
> me. I'm open to all sorts of suggestions. Thanks!

We're about to start a couple somewhat similar projects here, and while 
our chief engineer is a definitive Ruby/Rails addict, we finally settled 
on Django. While it's not my own personal favorite Python MVC framework, 
it's still a very good one, and probably the more mature and stable so 
far. wrt/ the "add more apps in the future" concern, you may want to 
read this:


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