Advice on tools/technologies/books, etc.

Brian breily at
Sun Apr 13 04:15:47 CEST 2008

I would definitely recommend Django as a framework - though the choice of
framework wouldn't really affect your use of AJAX.  And using AJAX actually
doesn't require learning a whole lot of javascript stuff - using something
like the Prototype JS library ( takes care of all the

As for making async apps, AJAX is the popular and simplest choice.
Gears/Adobe Air/MS Silverlight I believe involve significantly more work.


On Sat, Apr 12, 2008 at 9:48 PM, Matt <matthewcroberts at> wrote:

> I would like to create a web-based tool for risk management. The tool
> actually currently exists, but it was programmed in about 1998 using
> old VB, etc, and we are updating it & moving it to the web. Basically,
> as a first step, i'd like to create a basic web site that takes user
> input, gets data from MySQL (i might pickle it, not yet sure) and then
> runs some numpy routines & outputs the results. This will give us a
> platform to develop the backend. My intermediate goal is to have an
> asynchronous site in which as users adjust settings, the computations
> are run & graphs updated. (the computations are pretty simple, btw).
> My fantasy goal would be to combine that w/ google gears so the users
> could use it online or offline, but that's probably just fantasy.
> So, here are my constraints: I know Python & HTML (and lots of other
> non-germane languages) but I don't know any javascript or ruby or XML.
> What is the lowest cost path from here to there? I have been totally
> out of the loop for this whole web 2.0 thing (I'm an economics
> professor). Will it be possible for me to put together an async site
> with only python? (I hesitate to use the term AJAX, b/c its unclear to
> me how generic it is--do all async sites use javascript? can someone
> clarify this?) If so, does it make sense to go ahead and start trying
> to learn Turbogears or Pylons? Will they be able to create async
> sites? Is there an easier way to do it? (Easy defined as me not having
> to learn a 7th programming language) I have looked at Spyce, and that
> seems an easy way to do the basic (step 1) site, but its not at all
> clear that I can do async with it. CherryPy looks like it has a
> steeper learning curve, but it also appears that the route to async is
> clearer.
> I know where I want to go, and I know what I can do now. I don't mind
> getting deeper into Python, but I'd love not to have to learn a bunch
> of other languages if I can avoid it. Any thoughts/comments?
> TIA,
> Matt.
> --
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