[Web-SIG] Sample/template web applications

Paul Moore pf_moore at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Apr 23 16:35:51 EDT 2004

This may not be entirely on-topic for this list, but I hope it's

I don't believe that the main issue in using Python for web-based
applications is the variety of frameworks available. Nor do I believe
that the issue is with ease of use of the existing frameworks. Rather,
I think the key problem is the lack of decent template, or example
application code, in *any* framework.

I work with Oracle databases, and there are a number of applications
I'd like to develop, all of which are basically very similar - a
smallish group of database tables, report, create and update screens,
searching and sorting, maybe some security requirements (limit which
users can update, or hide some columns from certain users).

I feel that this is a pretty common pattern for an application -
witness the popularity of MS Access (yuk!) as confirmation. (Also,
Oracle has recently produced a web-based application development
environment called HTML DB which targets this application type, as

I'm sure there are other, equally useful, application patterns (just
not ones I have a need for).

If there already existed, *for any Python web framework*, a good
application template which I could tailor for my particular needs, I'd
have grabbed it like a shot and used it. That would have got Python
into my workplace as a web development tool (we already use it
internally for scripting purposes). But there wasn't anything, so we
used HTML DB.

The key things for me would have been:

* Ability to quickly get something basic working
* A slick and "professional" look and feel

The rapid development was important, because we had little time to put
something in place. Bells and whistles could come later, but we needed
simple reporting and update pages *right now*. HTML DB gave us that,
but at the cost of it being very difficult to add fairly simple
features at a later date (short-term thinking wins again :-()

The look was important because we had to make the application
available to management. Something that looked "amateur" or "techie"
wouldn't have been accepted, regardless of functionality. And sadly,
probably because we *are* techies, our design skills are dreadful. I
know that this is more to do with HTML/CSS coding than Python coding,
but maybe that's also the point - people wanting to develop web
applications in Python can do the Python bit, but get stuck on the
HTML side (Java, HTML DB, and the like have designer GUIs for the look
& feel, Python has raw HTML/CSS...)

I don't know - if the focus is on improving features for experienced
web developers, this isn't very relevant. If, on the other hand,
there's an interest in lowering the barrier for casual users who would
like to deploy their app on the web, then maybe there's some food for
thought here.

I hope this is of some use,
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