[Web-SIG] Defining a standard interface for common web tasks

Steve Holden sholden at holdenweb.com
Thu Oct 23 08:49:32 EDT 2003

> On Fri, Oct 17, 2003 at 01:51:50PM -0700, Bill Janssen wrote:
> > 1)  A good CGI module.  This should allow clear access to
> the various
> > values passed in the environment, as Simon points out.  I think the
> > current "cgi" module isn't bad at this, but I'm sure we can find
> > shortcomings.
> * Too much cruft.  We could either deprecate stuff in cgi.py with a
>   vengeance, or think up some new package organization.
My own preference would be for a new package altogether. The existing
module would be difficult to engineer onwards into something clean. Like
Topsy, it "just growed".

> > 2) A standard Apache plug-in.  Does mod_python fill this
> role?  (Should
> > this really be part of the stdlib?)
> Too much work for the stdlib.  Apache support suffers from
> the split between
> Apache versions 1.3 and 2.0; the API changed a *lot* between the two
> versions, but both versions are still pretty common.  Leave
> it to mod_python.

> > 3)  A standard stand-alone solution, but better than the
> three standard
> > servers already in the stdlib.  I been using Medusa lately,
> and rather
> > like its approach to things.
> The problem is that the code in the Medusa package is written really
> unconventionally -- classes have lowercase names, it's still
> 1.5 (and often
> 1.4!) compatible -- and there's a lot of cruft here, too;
> it's often not
> clear which modules are intended for actual use and which ones are
> half-baked experiments.  This could be cleaned up if it's
> deemed worth the
> effort;

I think it would be worth the effort. I don't think Medusa has had the
concerted support that other environments have, and that's a pity
because it appears to strike an excellent balance between complexity,
efficiency and capability. I'd be prepared to help in such an effort
(once PyCon is back on track).

> I initially didn't want to embark on a big class
> renaming because I
> thought Twisted would quickly and completely replace Medusa,
> but that seems
> unlikely to happen.
Well, if those Twisted guys would stop implementing neat ideas and do
some serious work explaining the structure of the framework they would
probably find their code was more widely used. I suspect it will take
Twisted a long time to mature because the developers are who and what
they are. Their enthusiasm is admirable, but sometimes I get a bit
annoyed by the hand waving :-)

My experience is that people who've been walked through the Twisted code
one-to-one by a Twisted developer "get it", but that just reading the
docs or listening to conference presentations doesn't cut the mustard.
Or maybe that's just me...

Steve Holden          +1 703 278 8281        http://www.holdenweb.com/
Improve the Internet           http://vancouver-webpages.com/CacheNow/
Python Web Programming                http://pydish.holdenweb.com/pwp/
Interview with GvR August 14, 2003       http://www.onlamp.com/python/

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