Simon Willison’s Weblog

The Python Web SIG

Python now has a Web SIG. SIGs are Special Interest Groups, each with a target to develop and improve a certain aspect of the Python language, standard library or community. The Web SIG has two purposes: create a plan for improving Python’s web client abilities (including things like the ability to parse CSS) and work on improving Python’s server side capabilities.

I’m hoping that the SIG can work to bring together some of the work being done with web frameworks within the Python community. As demonstrated by this wiki page, Python users are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a framework for developing web applications. This is a dual edged sword—on the one hand diversity is a good thing, but on the other hand actually chosing a framework for a project has become a lengthy and arduous task. A few web frameworks (such as mod_python) are partially standardised around the interface defined by Python’s CGI module, but this module has some severe shortcomings (the greatest of which is probably an inability to distinguish between GET and POST data). I would like to see the SIG define a more capable interface that covers more common web abilities, then encourage existing frameworks to provide a compatability layer for that interface. That way, developers could code to the standard interface safe in the knowledge that selecting and moving between frameworks would require very little in the way of changes to developed code.

The SIG is open to all, so I encourage anyone with an interest in Python’s web programming capabilities to sign up and get involved.

This is The Python Web SIG by Simon Willison, posted on 18th October 2003.

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