[Web-SIG] [Proposal] "website" and first-level conf (was: more comments on Paste Deploy)

Joseph Tate jtate at rpath.com
Mon Mar 5 19:27:23 CET 2007

On Saturday 03 March 2007 23:27:29 Chad Whitacre wrote:
>   3) Common web app server
> Without discouraging the first two efforts, I'd like to champion the
> third. Here would be my proposal:
> First, we define a "website" on the filesystem as a Unix-y userland
> with, at minimum, the following:
>   etc/<foo>.conf
>   lib/python
> Are you guys interested in this proposal? If so, I can write it up in
> more detail.

No, and here's why.  Most apps are deployed as eggs.  This is a relatively 
high ante to pay for complicated setups, but boilerplate setup.py code solves 
the 80% case well enough.  Using eggs means that the apps could be installed 
in different locations, site-packages, user's own pythonpath, anywhere.  The 
config file or files are going to be what determines what gets loaded, and 
where, much more than os.getcwd().  The configuration can be determined via 
searching well known locations /etc/foo.cfg ~/.foo.cfg ./foo.cfg, etc. or 
passed in on the command line.[1]  References to apps will be to their eggs, 
which will be loaded from the Python path.  Installing eggs to arbitrary file 
system locations, while it can be done, doesn't lend itself to 
super-packaging (rpm, dpg, installshield, etc).  It also requires more setup 
by the end user/deployer than just running ez_install foo_app, or rpm -i 

Also, user-land servers are not that interesting to me.  They're great for 
development, but production use is where I see the pain.

I'm interested in a common app server platform that focuses on running one or 
more applications from an egg (which could, and perhaps should include it's 
own configuration) mounted at different url locations.

[1] This use of current working directory for configuration file loading could 
be used in the specialized aspen case for an exploded egg in an arbitrary 
file location.

Joseph Tate
Software Engineer
rPath Inc.
(919) 851-3984 x2106

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