[Web-SIG] WSGI in standard library

Bill Janssen janssen at parc.com
Fri Feb 17 02:11:19 CET 2006

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

If you are doing any work with the Web (spidering, for instance), and
need to do rendering of the Web pages (say, for pop-out prism, or
building an ebook from it), a CSS parser is pretty much necessary.  I
tend to think that you really can't understand the Web
programmatically without a CSS parser.

An ECMAscript interpreter would be a big help, too.

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

I ran into this building the Plucker web spider.  You need to be able
to issue requests for web pages (or other resources) and come back
from time to time to see if they had loaded yet.  I think the addition
of generators might be useful here.

> - 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.

My philosophy of the standard library is that it should keep working
when you lean on it, not break and force you to find something else
when you lean on it.  Apparently (and oddly) that seems to be a
somewhat unusual way of thinking about it.

> - Server-side SSL support
>    What is the current state of this?  It's mostly there, isn't it?

Not there at all, as far as I know.  The standard library only
supports client-side SSL.

> - 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).

Yes, I think this is covered by WSGI.

> - A standard server framework on the order of Medusa
>    Well, we have BaseHTTPServer, and now a WSGI based server.

So, does either work as well as Medusa?  Surely BaseHTTPServer doesn't.

> - Explicit cookie handling
>    I guess I brought this one up?  I'm not sure what I mean ;)

I had to do some client-side cookie handling lately...  There are some
missing pieces, like cookie databases that automatically sync with the
user's browser cookie repositories.

I don't believe there's any support for server-side cookie handling either.


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