Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Re: What Really Makes Rails Work

Or maybe what we should do is provide one clear answer, rather than half a dozen that are three-quarters done. I spend half or more of my time trying to persuade people who _aren't? already Python users (primarily educators and scientists) to adopt Python; please believe me when I say that the lack of credible, definitive entry-level web programming framework is a real problem. Talking ourselves into believing that it isn't will just do more damage.
Comment on What Really Makes Rails Work
by Greg Wilson


Agreed. The community doesn't necessarily want one framework to exist to the exclusion of all others - I think a lot of people got the wrong end of the stick and thought that people were advocating one true solution backed by GvR himself, but that's not what most of the proposals are about - but newcomers really do need clear answers about how to write Web applications that don't suddenly run out when you hit a tricky part of the development process.

Some work has already been done on stuff like deployment, although I'd argue that too much time has been spent in philosophy over less pertinent details than the big picture, but it should be possible both for a newcomer to fire up a simple Python Web server running their application and for an expert to drop that application into a more scalable or sophisticated environment. After that, deployment should be an issue that we don't have to think about so much.

The biggest challenge is offering "good enough" tools that fit nicely into the scheme of things. I'd argue that stuff like templates and data access libraries don't need to be glued on top of frameworks in exciting ways - just having such stuff as easy-to-call APIs behaving sensibly is far better than some of the bizarre autoconfiguring magic that often goes on in the average overengineered Web solution. If you make it clear that "here is the part where you get the user input in format XYZ" and "here is where you send it out as a Web page", people are going to be more likely to (a) get it, and (b) test that stuff separately when they need to.

Anyway, I suppose that more discussion of this will happen on the Web-SIG mailing list - something that all interested parties should be following, I think.

# Paul Boddie