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Modern Web Development with Python and WSGI

Mark Ramm, Software Developer, Optio Software

Track: Web Applications (client-side and server-side)
Date: Tuesday, July 24
Time: 8:30am - 12:00pm
Location: D136

We will explore modern web development techniques in Python, with a a particular focus on next generation python frameworks like TurboGears and pylons, the WSGI Specification, Ajax, JSON, and REST. We will build a simple web application that shows how easy it can be to create multipurpose web applications that include highly interactive, Ajax-powered web interfaces, that also provide REST-style Web Services.

We'll go beyond the surface techniques that make this possible to explore the philosophical and technological underpinnings that make Python web development such an exciting place to be in 2007.

It has been said that Python's biggest weakness is its fragmented approach to web development. There are dozens of frameworks to choose from. But recent developments in Python such as the WSGI specification, and the advent of frameworks like TurboGears and Pylons, have shown that this diversity can also be a strength, because they prove that it's possible to quickly bring together various existing technologies into a highly competitive framework very quickly.

Much of this explosion of activity is due to the widespread adoption of the WSGI specification, and a growing awareness of the possibilities for interoperability, and code re-use between frameworks that it brings. We will spend time looking at the nature of a "WSGI application," and exploring a few of the new techniques that arise from the practice of building a web site from stacks of loosely coupled WSGI applications.