[mod_python] Session confusion

David Kramer dkramer at aptima.com
Tue Feb 27 13:27:10 EST 2007

David Kramer wrote:
> Hi.  I'm pretty new to mod_python.  I'm porting a mod_python program 
> from Windows to Linux, and ran into the problem I posted a week or so 
> ago, where under Windows, all the variables automatically persisted (due 
> to Apache being one process under Windows), and the program was written 
> to expect that.  I'm trying to store and recall the data using a 
> session, but I'm having some strange problems, and some questions.
> The biggest problem is that on occasion, when I call
>    sess = Session.Session(req)
> the program just halts and never returns from that line.  No errors in 
> /var/log/htttpd/error_log, and the page times out.  What can cause that? 
>  I can often get the program working again by deleting any cookies 
> created by it, then restarting Apache, but that's not exactly 
> production-ready.
> I wrote a small test program that tries to create an instance of a small 
> class and store that in the session data, and that seems to work (though 
> I've never worked in a web evironment where you could store objects in 
> cookies without somehow serializing them yourself).  Is that really the 
> case?  Is there some rule about what can be stored in sessions and what 
> cannot?
> Is there a way for me to see the contents of session data on the server? 
>  I tried following the code in the Session module, but I'm not sure 
> where or in what format the data is stored.  I'm guessing "dbm" is a 
> Berkeley database that gets stored in a file somewhere, so I should be 
> able to query it somehow.  I read somewhere that the stored data is 
> pickled, so I'll have to write a Python program to display it, which 
> shouldn't be a problem.
> Lastly, I found the Session documentation "rather lacking" at
> http://www.modpython.org/live/current/doc-html/pyapi-sess.html
> Are there any mod_python tutorials or examples or other docs that could 
> help me?  I would love to RTFM, but I think I need a better FM.
> Thanks in advance.

I neglected to mention that, since this is an older app, we're using 
Python 2.3 and mod_python 3.1.3 and MySQLdb 1.2.0, under Red Hat 
Enterprise 4.0.

Thanks again.

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