[mod_python] Why are you using mod_python?

Michael C. Neel neel at mediapulse.com
Tue Apr 1 11:26:37 EST 2003

I broke perl.  No, not in a preformance way, or in I couldn't do
something in perl.  I found that in larger projects, perl's lack of OO
(and the ease of use of the OO features it does have) really casued
large delays in development.  Also I noticed that code in perl seemed to
be apt to more bugs than code in another language.  Over all I came to
the descision that perl's strength lies in the script, and is not suited
for the application.

I have worked with, and took another look at PHP, but I don't like PHP
on a design level.  I like to have data, design, and logic all
seperated.  PHP doesn't lend itself well to this.  You can make that
work, but too many includes in PHP can result in a big preformance hit.

Python does have a very good set of OO features.  I was also impress in
how cross platform it really was.  Many languages claim this, but you
often find you need to tweak code to make it work.  With Albatross I
found a template system that allowed me to have data, design, and logic
in separate places (I also gained a flexible framework for the logic
part, which was a big plus).

Preformance was a concern, as I had forsaken CGI awhile ago.  I ran some
"hello world" test on my laptop, 1Ghz with 256 Megs.  CGI handled about
100 requests per second, perl and python both ran about 250 request per
second in a "fastCGI" setting, python as a content handler ran about 600
requests per second, PHP 650, and perl 700.  A Native C handler ran
about 1400 requests per second.  C has too long of a development cycle,
and the gains in method were worth the 100 requests per second.

I have since deployed several applications for clients in
mod_python/albatross as well as some personal sites.  Some of these have
been massive projects for very big names.  I am proud to say these have
had no issue in this platform, and I actually feel extreamly confident
in them.  I also like that I can hide the fact the platform so that the
user is even unaware the page is dynamic.  A side project I did that you
can see what I mean is www.fistsofniall.com - this site is all
mod_python/albatross (execption is the formus).

I did see a comment that probably only 1% of the people use a handler,
and instead use a fastcgi.  If this is the case, then it is a shame, as
the benchmarks told me.  How publisher fits in, I don't know - I've
never tried it.  If you look into it, you'll find that writing a handler
is really pretty easy.


-----Original Message-----
From: Gregory (Grisha) Trubetskoy [mailto:grisha at modpython.org] 
Sent: Friday, March 28, 2003 5:39 PM
To: mod_python at modpython.org
Subject: [mod_python] Why are you using mod_python?

Hello everyone -

As the original author of mod_python I think I'm allowed to jerk
people's chains with this simple question:

Why are you using mod_python?

You can reply on or off list, either is fine. The results, after I get
to mull over them will be published in one way or another.

I've decided to ask the list because I recently realized that I am not
sure I know the answer. Not to say that I don't like mod_python, on the
contrary, I do, but to formulate in words exactly why is rather
difficult. Besides, my opinion is biased anyway :-)

Thanks in advance!


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