Web development with Python 3.1

Diez B. Roggisch deets at nospam.web.de
Wed Oct 28 12:51:44 CET 2009

Dotan Cohen wrote:

>>> I should probably expand on this:
>>> How can I get an array with all the GET variables in Python?
>>> How can I get an array with all the POST variables in Python?
>>> How can I get an array with all the COOKIE variables in Python?
>>> How can I get the request URI path (everything after
>>> http://[www.?]example.com/)?
>>> That's all I want: no templates and nothing between me and the HTML.
>>> The HTTP headers I can output to stdout myself as well.
>> Again: if you insist on doing everything yourself - then of course any
>> library or framework isn't for you.
> I insist on handling the HTML myself. As for converting the request
> variables into Python variables, if a class/framework makes that
> easier then I would gladly use it. My question was serious. How can I
> do those things?

Using a framework? In Pylons/TG2, my code looks like this:

def some_form_action(self, name, email, password):


so HTTP-variables get parsed, validated, converted, and *then* passed to my
actual code.

>> But then do you deal with headers correctly?
> Yes, so far as I know. This is actually simpler than the HTML, just be
> careful not to output two newline characters in sequence (thereby
> ending the header).

Oh my god. If two newlines are all you think that there is to properly
writing HTTP-headers, no wonder *you* wonder what to use a webframework


That's just an *overwiew* of what different kinds of headers there are, all
of which might require specific rules to parse or generate. 

>> Do you respect character
>> encodings?
> Yes! UTF-8 from database to scripting language to HTTP request.

And if the browser sends them in different encoding? Frameworks make you
deals with unicode only. Decoding/Encoding, setting the necessary

>> Form-encodings?
> Yes, UTF-8 the in the other direction. However, as form data can be
> spoofed, I would like a function that checks it. Does Python have such
> a function? What class does?

Frameworks do check for HTTP-headers that contain the encoding, and thus
convert incoming data to unicode.

>> Is your generated HTML valid?
> Naturally, even though this is not a Python issue.

"Naturally" with print-statements?

I use genshi templating, which is XML-based, so I can't even write invalid
HTML for a great deal of cases. 

>> Are
>> timestamp-formats generated according to RFCs for your cookies?
> Yes, this is not a problem. Is there some gothcha that I am unaware of?

The thing is that using a framework, I just pass a datetime-object. Others
have done it right for me translating that to the needed format.

>> Do you parse
>> content negotiation headers?
> No. I hate sites that do that. If the page is available in another
> language, their is a link in the corner.

Again, you don't seem to really know much about webapps. Content-negotiation
isn't about languages, it's about content-types. Such as serving HTML or
JSON from the same URL. But let me guess, you hate applications that do

>> I think you underestimate the task it is to make a webapplication good.
> Probably, but that would not depend on the scripting language. I make
> bad webapplications in PHP too!

I don't have the *slightest* doubt about that. In fact, I'm pretty sure you
can make pretty bad webapplications in pretty much everything you touch.
Good luck with that.


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