[mod_python] mod_python vs. aolserver/pywx and postgresql

Bryon G db8coach at hotmail.com
Wed May 2 16:55:48 EST 2001

I am a student at ArsDigita University.  We recently did Phil Greenspun's 
database-backed website course, and made the decision early on to learn and 
use Python to do the class (instead of the non-free .net tools Philip was 
pushing).  We had to decide on a database and a web server, and originally 
started with mod-python and postgres using pg to glue them together, but we 
eventually  switched to aolserver and pywx.  There were two reasons:

1. our instructors were more familiar with AOLserver
2. AOLServer has database connection pooling built in.

The second reason is probably the one which will be relevant to you.  If 
it's possible/easy to do this with modpython/apache, I'd love to know about 
it because I'd prefer to use apache since it's so much more common, but in 
the *very* limited time we had to do the project we found more and better 
documentation (albeit translated from the C api documentation) for the pywx 
way than for the mod python way.

I explored a few other options before we made the switch, such as the pgpool 
module at the vaults (which people seem to be using with mod-fast-cgi, if 
anyone is using it with mod-python I'd love to hear about it), but since we 
were able to get going faster with aolserver that's what we used.

The syntax for the AOLServer database access stuff was, in my opinion, 
harder to learn than the pg way largely because there was less documentation 
available, but once that was out of the way the pooling question seemed to 
be the only real difference between the two in terms of end performance.


ps- in case you are wondering, our project was to automate the 
secondarysources.com website for college debaters.  The project is not up on 
the internet yet, and probably won't be for a few months, so unfortunately I 
can't point you to it yet, but if anyone's interested I can post the code we 
wrote somewhere.
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