[Web-SIG] WSGI in standard library

Ian Bicking ianb at colorstudy.com
Fri Feb 17 01:55:55 CET 2006

Bill Janssen wrote:
>>What would we be PEPing?
> Well, when we started, I made up a list of various things that seem to
> be missing in the standard library, like server-side support for
> SSL-encrypted socket connections.
> http://www.parc.com/janssen/web-sig/needed.html

Here's my thoughts on those:

- Real HTML parser

   Really hard.  Current state-of-the-art is maybe Tidy (sloppy), 
Beautiful Soup (precise, but still not a tree structure), and some 
parsers embedded in some template languages (ZPT and meld3 -- precise 
and create a tree, but require quite well formed HTML).  If the HTML 5 
spec works out, I expect a quality parser can be written, but until that 
happens it's just really hard.

- CSS Parser

   I think John Lee has done some work on this?  Beats me.  I've never 
felt any need for CSS parsing personally.

- post-multipart

   You mean like posting a file upload?  I suppose current interfaces 
don't stop you, but they don't make it easy.  The email module will 
probably help a lot with this.  Maybe it could go in urllib, next to 

- Asynchronous fetch

   Not sure how this would work.  What kind of async networking can we 
do in a cross-platform manner?

- Connection caching

   Seems somewhat complex.  I'm not sure it is appropriate for the 
standard library.  Maybe httplib2 or another such project could take 
this on, but it doesn't seem like a standard library task.

- Traffic monitor

   Eh.  Clark wrote an upload monitor as WSGI middleware, so that's a 
kind of proof of concept.  I would consider this doable enough with 
WSGI, and it doesn't need any special support in the stdlib.  On the 
client side I really don't have a clear idea of the use case.

- Server-side SSL support

   What is the current state of this?  It's mostly there, isn't it?

- A standard server framework on the order of Medusa

   Well, we have BaseHTTPServer, and now a WSGI based server.

- A standard interface to request data

   We have this with WSGI.  It's not a pretty request object, but it's 
standardized.  I think there's room for a standard object-like interface 
to the WSGI environment (not comprehensive, but it doesn't need to be).

- Improved support for authentication

   I haven't tried doing this in a long time, I'm not sure what the 
status is.

- Explicit cookie handling

   I guess I brought this one up?  I'm not sure what I mean ;)

- Form value validation

   I believe this is rather difficult, but not impossible.

Ian Bicking  /  ianb at colorstudy.com  /  http://blog.ianbicking.org

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