[Web-SIG] Regarding the WSGI draft

Ben Sizer brsizer at kylotan.eidosnet.co.uk
Thu Aug 26 21:46:07 CEST 2004

Mark Nottingham wrote:

> I understand where you're coming from, but I think we're in a different 
> situation here. There are a lot of different ways
> that you can construct an application framework; there is no "one true 
> way," because people have varying requirements for a Web application.


> There has been some progress towards convergence on a common view of 
> what a Web application is, but I still think we have a ways to go, and 
> much to learn, before any one application framework can declare victory.

Although what you say makes sense on the surface, the fact remains that 
technologies such as ASP and PHP are popular and useful because they 
present a simple and standard interface to the user, whether that user 
is writing a 4 line script, a small application, or a large framework 
upon which to base other applications. With Python you seem stuck with 
two equally unappealing options: slow CGI if you want a simple script, 
where simple is relative since you need to fool around with os.environ, 
printing your own headers, etc - or a complex and idiosyncratic 
framework if you want anything non-trivial, but which is often just as 
complex as PHP straight out of the box, except with a much smaller user 
base and generally less documentation.

For example, you know that $_GET[varName] is going to be the standard 
way of accessing a querystring variable in PHP. Yet in Python it could 
be part of a request.form dictionary, or 
cgi.parse_qs(os.environ['QUERY_STRING']), or 
modpython.util.parse_qs(req.parsed_uri[7]), etc. Yet we know that query 
strings are part of the RFC2396 standard, so why not have a standard 
module or interface to present to the user?

I don't see any good reason for this sort of variance, except that 
there's a bias towards accommodating these existing frameworks rather 
than enabling simpler applications of the future, and which I think is a 
symptom of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Ben Sizer.

More information about the Web-SIG mailing list