[Web-SIG] more comments on Paste Deploy

Chad Whitacre chad at zetaweb.com
Sat Mar 3 04:29:27 CET 2007


Thanks, Jim and Ian, for bringing this discussion online.

I have two hesitations with Paste Deploy:

   1. The configuration syntax is really complex. I'm much more
      comfortable with multiple simpler config files.

   2. I'm not clear on how Paste Deploy's abstractions map to the
      filesystem. What does my website root look like?

With Aspen, I went with a well-defined filesystem layout (a 
Unix-style userland) and multiple configuration files (in etc/), 
each with their own simple syntax.

So if you publish a blog app called SuperBlog, let's say, you 
would mount it in etc/apps.conf, e.g.:

   / 	 myapp:root
   /blog  superblog:main

SuperBlog would configure itself with etc/superblog.conf, a file 
with a simple syntax described in your SuperBlog documentation. 
SuperBlog also has access to Aspen's global config through a 
simple API.

I suggest that a system with multiple simple config files is much 
more scalable than a single complex config file syntax. Imagine 
if all of Unix were configured using a single syntax!

Also, I don't think we should underestimate the importance of the 
file/executable distinction. A standard "file format" for a 
website enables a wider tool ecosystem to evolve: interactive 
shells, debuggers, test runners, skel systems, configuration UIs. 
It also makes any given website easier to comprehend and maintain.

So in short, I give Paste Deploy a -1 as our main configuration 
system. I'd like the first-line config to be much simpler, with 
Paste Deploy available as an optional extra.


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