[mod_python] mod_python bake-off?

Jorey Bump list at joreybump.com
Thu Sep 2 19:57:39 EDT 2004

Nick wrote:

> On Thu, 2004-09-02 at 15:28, Jorey Bump wrote:
>> It seems appropriate to judge a webapp framework partly on the
>> quality of the HTML it produces and the tools it provides to
>> accomplish this.
> Maybe, but why should the app developer have to come up with the 
> presentation?

In this context, to show how well presentation is separated from logic.

Perhaps it's best to impose a policy instead of providing a template. A
real world example is declaring which version of HTML to use, require
that it validates and that it displays correctly in a text browser. Then
demand that it flows seamlessly within a site and provide a fake index
page to use as a guide (and provide logo images and other resources, if
desired). After that, give the developer the autonomy to create the
interface. I work under these conditions all of the time.

> The toolkit may be excellent, but the graphic design/UI skills of the
> developer sub par.

No doubt. By the same token, a snazzy presentation can't hide a broken
application. Especially from us. :)

> I think that all we're suggesting here is that mockups be provided,
> and that the finished product reflect the mock up.

I agree with that part, as long as it concerns general look and feel,
which is a commonplace restriction for developers. I just don't think
the form interface should be predefined in any way. Although it's not
unusual for marketing to send over a nice graphical frontend with all of
the text and form elements in place, I think that's a terrible way to
design a webapp.

> If you want the framework to generate all the HTML to showcase some
> feature, more power to you.  

I write my own routines to output HTML directly in Python, so I *would* 
be interested if any of the frameworks in the bakeoff offer anything 
better. I'm more interested in reusable code than anything else, because 
it's the one thing that truly speeds up application development (isn't 
that what defines a framework, after all?). Code that generates HTML is 
a perfect demonstration of this concept.

> Not all frameworks are designed for that
> purpose, and a LOT of developers prefer the MVC model.  Otherwise
> there wouldn't be JSP in an otherwise fine Servlet/J2EE world.

It's ironic that anyone would think that embedding code in an HTML page 
supports the separation of presentation from logic. It seems like more 
of an institutional concern (which is also important). I consider it a 
weakness of PHP, PSP, ASP, or JSP that the application code can become 
so easily obscured, and I'm not alone. I only mention this to support 
your statement that all frameworks are not the same, so why impose any 
one model on the bakeoff?

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