[Web-SIG] Bowing out (was Re: A trivial template API counter-proposal)

Phillip J. Eby pje at telecommunity.com
Mon Feb 6 17:53:38 CET 2006

At 08:02 PM 2/5/2006 +0000, Alan Kennedy wrote:
>Looking at this in an MVC context, the application is responsible for
>populating the Model (user namespace), and selecting which View
>(template<->media-type) is suitable for return to the user. Templates
>should not vary media types. HTTP headers do need to be set for
>different templates/media-types. But that should be the responsibility
>of the HTTP application, not the template, which should be unaware of
>the application contect in which it is running, except for the contents
>of the Model/user-namespace.

As soon as you start talking about what templates should or should not do 
(as opposed to what they *already* do), you've stopped writing an inclusive 
spec and have wandered off into evangelizing a particular framework philosophy.

OTOH, before I first proposed WSGI in 2003, nobody here seemed especially 
interested in writing inclusive specs anyway, and I rather get the 
impression they still aren't now, my "insistence" (as Ian calls it) 

What I've been trying to do with both WSGI and with this spec is to create 
something that deals with the *actual* complexity and diversity of Python 
web frameworks as they exist today, rather than reducing the diversity to 
match whatever the currently popular paradigm is.  This wasn't a popular 
approach when I introduced WSGI, either, but in the case of WSGI it was 
easy to point to all the previously-failed attempts at standardizing 
request/response objects due to people not taking backward compatibility 
into account.

At this point it has become clear to me that even if I spent my days and 
nights writing a compelling spec of what I'm proposing and then trying to 
sell it to the Web SIG, it would be at best a 50/50 chance of getting 
through, and in the process it appears that I'd be burning through every 
bit of goodwill I might have previously possessed here.  And, although I 
believe that the approach currently being taken to this spec is divisive of 
the community, I have to admit that since my attempts at education about 
the issues hasn't been particularly successful, it would appear that 
continuing to argue about it is no less divisive than what I'm arguing 
against.  (For that matter, it's not even clear to me any more that most of 
the people on whose behalf I'm fighting would even realize yet why the 
future I want would be beneficial for them.)

I really expected more people to see the benefits of the WSGI embedding 
approach, though, and although I've gotten a few private mails of support, 
it isn't anywhere near the level I thought it would be.  Given the intense 
pressure that some parties are putting on having a spec *right* now, I 
don't feel that I can reasonably deliver a competing spec without 
interfering with my work and personal commitments in the next few 
weeks.  Since I've already been using most of my "Python community 
contribution" time in the last week arguing about this, at this point it 
seems the community would be better served by me devoting that time to 
working on setuptools, rather than continuing to fight for a vision that 
hardly anybody else believes in.  And, I'd rather save whatever karma I 
have left here for something with a better chance of success.

Good luck with the spec.

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