[mod_python] supporting modular mod_python extensions vs."folding" mod_psp

Sterling Hughes sterling at bumblebury.com
Mon Jun 9 14:14:57 EST 2003

On Mon, 2003-06-09 at 13:05, Rimon Barr wrote:
> Dear Sterling,
> On 9 Jun 2003, Sterling Hughes wrote:
> >On Mon, 2003-06-09 at 07:05, Geert Jansen wrote:
> >> > PSP is a python handler, distributed with mod_python.  There
> >> > is a clear boundary between the two pieces of code.  I can
> >> > see your political reasoning for not including PSP, but what
> >> > is your technical reason?  The other systems will not be
> >> > technically disadvantaged in anyway, and psp
> >> > certainly doesn't muddy things up from a technical perspective.
> >>
> >> The fact that mod_psp hasn't proved anything yet while other frameworks
> >> have seems a technical reason to me.
> >
> >That's a reason against bundling?  I can see that's a reason against
> >bundling PSP, but Rimon is talking about the chastity of mod_python
> >here.
> I agree with Geert here, and also with Ian's prior email. PSP has not
> proven itself, while other projects have. There are also prior projects
> with that name and concept, that are many years older than mod_psp. Does
> mod_psp even have any users yet?

Well, I believe it actually has a few.  But again, I don't see your
point here?  Is your point that PSP is not the right library to bundle
or that no libraries in general should be bundled?  

> >For one thing, Rimon didn't have a problem with the "purity" of
> >mod_python when he proposed that spyce be integrated, it was only after
> >that fell through in private mail that he refocused the issue, and
> >brought it to the mailing lists.
> First, please do not get personal. It's not necessary. I'm only trying
> to help the OSS community, just like you. And, second, please don't

Don't get personal?  This is not a personal attack.  And it is
*certainly* not off-topic.  I was just pointing out that you had
previously suggested the integration of Spyce into the fold.  I'm
pointing out that you might have other motives than the "purity" of
mod_python, and I think that's very relevant to the context of this

> misquote me. I suggested to you, in that private email, that what you
> were doing had similar goals to Spyce. And what I then suggested, to see
> whether you were interested, is that you help with the Spyce parser. I
> only wanted to combine efforts with you, so that we could build
> something bigger and better. I saw that you were working on a C-based
> parser for psp, and I asked you whether you were interested in working
> on such a parser for the Spyce language. The rationale is that although
> the parser does not matter much for performance, because the compiled
> files are cached, it would be nice as an option for developers, since
> the current Spyce parser is implemented in Python and is relatively
> slow. I also, thinking that you work with the Apache Foundation, I
> offered to donate Spyce to the AF. Donating to the AF does not mean, in
> my mind, merging the Spyce and mod_python projects.

I can certainly dig up the messages if need be.  It was my understanding
from the messages that you wished to donate your code to the ASF, so it
could be included in mod_python.  Which certainly seems to make more
sense then donating your sources to the ASF, just so that I'm able to
work on them (especially when I never made that an issue).

> You seem to be attacking me as an individual rather than discussing the
> idea. I'm not interested in this. I am only interested in making Python
> a more web-friendly language, and I think mod_python is an important
> project in this regard. I also don't have a Spyce agenda, as you seem to
> imply. It's just a project that I work on, because I like it, and
> because I wanted to implement some features that I didn't find in other
> systems.

I'm not attacking you personally, but its convient to paint it that
way.  Your claim is that you have no spyce agenda, excuse me if I find
that quite hard to swallow.  Especially since out of the many lists you
Cc'ed, spyce really has the most to lose.

What is your point by the way?  From what I read, it seems to me that
your point is: 'Spyce will be adversely affected because people will use
the bundled solution.'[1]  Whenever people start using purity as an
argument in and of itself, its a good sign the issue hasn't been in the
crucible long enough.

If you don't want to bring yourself into the argument, then make some
technical claims against it.  Instead of being the maurder who doesn't
want mod_python to be defiled.  You still haven't explained why:

a) Including PSP disadvantages other solutions from a *technical*
b) What is wrong with PSP from a technical perspective?  Have you
encountered any bugs when using PSP?  What do you think can be improved?
c) What problems you've had with mod_python since PSP was integrated

> >PSP is a very small, very fast alternative, it doesn't preclude you from
> >using any of the listed solutions.  In fact you can use PSP in
> >conjunction with any of the solutions listed, or you can even ignore its
> >existence altogether and use something else, or code directly with
> >req.write().  There is *zero* performance loss if you choose to use
> >another option, like spyce.
> Ok, but will PSP be any faster than any of the other solutions?
> Possibly. Perhaps you are a better designer, and that's great. But, if

>From the benchmarks I've seen its much faster. But I didn't make that
claim.  I just claimed it was fast, which is subjective (but i think it
is, so there ;-).  

> it's because of its integration with mod_python, then this means that
> there is something missing in the mod_python API, and we should expose
> that functionality. I'm concerned that this will not be the focus of

It doesn't at all take advantage of the mod_python api in anyway than
any other module does.  PSP is a pure python module, with the parser 
written in C (with flex.)  

> mod_python any longer, just as it was not the focus of PHP. Have you
> looked at the performance of PHP -- it took years to get it to where it
> is currently, and it's still not great.

Have I looked at the performance?  I'm a PHP core developer for god
sakes :)  PHP btw, is a language that has become popular because of its
ability to provide a solution for a broad variety of web problems.

And btw, as for PHP's performance.  Its good enough for Yahoo! :)

> >As for the shift of development focus.  I'm touched Rimon cares so much
> >about how developers spend their time.
> Again with the personal attacks and sarcasm! Please...

Gosh, you're touchy.   I'm not personally attacking you, just pointing
out that your primary concern is probably not how I spend my time.

> >If you want to re-invent the wheel, go for it!  Including Python with a
> >Linux distribution doesn't stop you from using PHP.  PSP is a common
> >feature request, and it lives as a standard module for the 99% of users
> >who just want a solution that works, and don't care how efficient '[['
> >is to type.  That doesn't mean alternatives aren't allowed and
> >encouraged, they just aren't bundled.
> It seems to me, based on everything that is currently out there, that it
> is you who are re-inventing the wheel.

Well, isn't your point that people should reinvent the wheel - that's
how better solutions evolve?

> BTW, Spyce supports the more common <% syntax as well.

I know, I was joking :)

> You know, come to think of it... You're making the same bundling
> arguments that I've heard used before to extend monopoly positions: it's
> good for the user. How would you know what's good for the user without
> any mod_psp users? Just a thought..

Again with the personal attacks and sarcasm! Please... ;-)

Well, I'm not the only one who thinks this way.  But I would think being
a core developer of a web scripting language that powers 12 million
domains might give me a little inkling (how many users does spyce have
btw?).  I also think the fact that grisha thought it was a good idea to
adopt PSP might lend me a bit more credibility.  

But what's your argument here anyway - screw the users, viva la spyce?

"That stuff's easy compared to installing Horde" 
    - Alan Knowles, In response to my applause for creating a LALR 
    parser for PHP.

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