[Web-SIG] So what's missing?

Bill Janssen janssen at parc.com
Fri Oct 24 23:32:53 EDT 2003

Apropos Ian's comments today, I'd like to suggest that at this stage
we focus on what's missing, rather than on how to fix/change things.
What have you needed that isn't in the standard libraries?  Here's my


* CSS parser.  I can't really do visual interpretation of Web pages
  without understanding their layout.

* post-multipart (both http and https).

* Asynchronous fetch.  When working over the Plucker distiller, which
  is a web crawler of sorts, I really wanted a higher-powered client
  side HTTP library.  In particular, I wanted to be able to start a
  fetch, go on to other things, and come back to the fetch
  periodically, checking to see whether there was data available.

* Connection caching.  Again, when pulling lots of pages from lots of
  sites, I want to be able to save the open connection to a host/port
  combo and re-use it, if the server doesn't kill the connection.
  There should be a pool of connections, with a user-settable limit,
  so that we don't run out of sockets/file-descriptors.

* Anything else I can do with cURL to an HTTP or HTTPS URL.


* Server-side SSL support in the socket module, and some interface to
  management of certificates/identities for SSL.  I want to build
  HTTPS servers with Python.

* Some kind of response object usable in CGI scripts.  This would make
  a few simple actions simple: write a response as a file (instead of
  using sys.stdout), return an error with a message, redirect to
  another URL, return a file.

* A standard server framework on the order of Medusa.  This should
  support a standalone Python web server, with the ability to serve
  files, and the ability to add new handlers.  Not sure it has to
  support CGI invocation.

What else are we missing?


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