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Continuations Based Web Framework - Seaside.

 
 
Ian Bicking
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      01-03-2005
Steve Holden wrote:
> I did actually do some sort-of-related work in this area, which I
> presented at PyCon DC 2004 - you can access the paper at
>
> http://www.python.org/pycon/dc2004/p..._A_Context.pdf
>
> An audience member mentioned the Smalltalk and Scheme-based work on web
> continuation frameworks, and I was sorry my answer at the time seemed
> unduly dismissive. There are some interesting similarities, and though
> my own implementation is decidedly clunky I like to think the paper
> explains some of the advantages of maintaining state and why the "back"
> button is an obnoxious anachronism


I think the technique you talked about is an easier way to achieve a
similar goal as the continuation-based frameworks. While using
continuations for web applications is an interesting idea, I don't think
it's been shown to be successful. It's certainly not something I'd want
to implement on Python (even given the actual features to make it
possible), and from what I've read of the Ruby projects that use it
(Borges and Wee?), they aren't ready to implement production
applications either. The technique you present could be implemented on
any framework, right now, with the expectation that it would work in a
production situation.

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Ian Bicking / http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) / http://blog.ianbicking.org
 
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Ian Bicking
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      01-03-2005
Kendall Clark wrote:
> Between this pressure (which isn't new, since as Steve points out, I
> was talking about this in Python community last year, and I wasn't
> nearly the first) and the growing popularity of Ruby on Rails, there's
> some small hint that Ruby is gaining on Python re: non-Java web app
> mind share. I think that's a v. important niche for Python and would
> like to see us remain strong there (though I've not *done* much about
> this, alas).


I think that's probably true -- at least in terms of mindshare, even
though that might not reflect on actual work done. But, Rails is really
not a very experimental framework, and the existance of
continuation-based frameworks for Ruby is an aside. If such frameworks
happen at all for Python, I think they will be an aside as well.

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Ian Bicking / (E-Mail Removed) / http://blog.ianbicking.org
 
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Kendall Clark
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      01-03-2005
On Mon, Jan 03, 2005 at 01:46:54AM -0600, Ian Bicking wrote:
> Kendall Clark wrote:
> >Between this pressure (which isn't new, since as Steve points out, I
> >was talking about this in Python community last year, and I wasn't
> >nearly the first) and the growing popularity of Ruby on Rails, there's
> >some small hint that Ruby is gaining on Python re: non-Java web app
> >mind share. I think that's a v. important niche for Python and would
> >like to see us remain strong there (though I've not *done* much about
> >this, alas).

>
> I think that's probably true -- at least in terms of mindshare, even
> though that might not reflect on actual work done. But, Rails is really
> not a very experimental framework, and the existance of
> continuation-based frameworks for Ruby is an aside. If such frameworks
> happen at all for Python, I think they will be an aside as well.


There's no sense whatever in which Rails is "experimental" -- who
suggested such a thing? No, Rails hits a sweet spot, for a class (I
suspect) of simple to mediumly-complex web app. Which is what most web
apps *are*, after all.

I don't begrudge Rails any popularity, I just want us to defend our
turf. Sometimes that means ignoring what the other guy does, but
sometimes it means aping him. I suspect in this case some aping would
be a good thing.

As for continuation-based frameworks, as you point out to Steve,
that's largely an implementation technique and similar results may be
achieved with other techniques (though I, unlike you, did *not* favor
Steve's technique, as I recall). Continuations are certainly not
experimental, nor are continuation-based modal web frameworks. The
latter are *en vogue* and being seen to be *en vogue* is often an
important technological virtue, especially for a perceived market
niche leader.

Kendall Clark
--
Sometimes it's appropriate, even patriotic, to be ashamed
of your country. -- James Howard Kunstler
 
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Steve Holden
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      01-03-2005
Ian Bicking wrote:

> Steve Holden wrote:
>
>> I did actually do some sort-of-related work in this area, which I
>> presented at PyCon DC 2004 - you can access the paper at
>>
>> http://www.python.org/pycon/dc2004/p..._A_Context.pdf
>>
>> An audience member mentioned the Smalltalk and Scheme-based work on
>> web continuation frameworks, and I was sorry my answer at the time
>> seemed unduly dismissive. There are some interesting similarities, and
>> though my own implementation is decidedly clunky I like to think the
>> paper explains some of the advantages of maintaining state and why the
>> "back" button is an obnoxious anachronism

>
>
> I think the technique you talked about is an easier way to achieve a
> similar goal as the continuation-based frameworks. While using
> continuations for web applications is an interesting idea, I don't think
> it's been shown to be successful. It's certainly not something I'd want
> to implement on Python (even given the actual features to make it
> possible), and from what I've read of the Ruby projects that use it
> (Borges and Wee?), they aren't ready to implement production
> applications either. The technique you present could be implemented on
> any framework, right now, with the expectation that it would work in a
> production situation.
>

That's true, but there's no denying it's clunky, and there are a few
problems with it. Despite that, I am still persisting with developemnt,
albeit slowly due to lack of time, and hope to have something further to
report.

It's the *ideas* that are important, though, rather than the
implementation, and my initial hope was to publicise the weakness of
statelessness on the web as applications become more complex.

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden http://www.holdenweb.com/
Python Web Programming http://pydish.holdenweb.com/
Holden Web LLC +1 703 861 4237 +1 800 494 3119
 
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Steve Holden
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      01-03-2005
Ian Bicking wrote:

> Steve Holden wrote:
>
>> I did actually do some sort-of-related work in this area, which I
>> presented at PyCon DC 2004 - you can access the paper at
>>
>> http://www.python.org/pycon/dc2004/p..._A_Context.pdf
>>
>> An audience member mentioned the Smalltalk and Scheme-based work on
>> web continuation frameworks, and I was sorry my answer at the time
>> seemed unduly dismissive. There are some interesting similarities, and
>> though my own implementation is decidedly clunky I like to think the
>> paper explains some of the advantages of maintaining state and why the
>> "back" button is an obnoxious anachronism

>
>
> I think the technique you talked about is an easier way to achieve a
> similar goal as the continuation-based frameworks. While using
> continuations for web applications is an interesting idea, I don't think
> it's been shown to be successful. It's certainly not something I'd want
> to implement on Python (even given the actual features to make it
> possible), and from what I've read of the Ruby projects that use it
> (Borges and Wee?), they aren't ready to implement production
> applications either. The technique you present could be implemented on
> any framework, right now, with the expectation that it would work in a
> production situation.
>

That's true, but there's no denying it's clunky, and there are a few
problems with it. Despite that, I am still persisting with developemnt,
albeit slowly due to lack of time, and hope to have something further to
report.

It's the *ideas* that are important, though, rather than the
implementation, and my initial hope was to publicise the weakness of
statelessness on the web as applications become more complex.

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden http://www.holdenweb.com/
Python Web Programming http://pydish.holdenweb.com/
Holden Web LLC +1 703 861 4237 +1 800 494 3119

 
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Steve Holden
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      01-03-2005
Kendall Clark wrote:

> On Sun, Jan 02, 2005 at 10:03:10AM -0500, Steve Holden wrote:
>
>
>>I did actually do some sort-of-related work in this area, which I
>>presented at PyCon DC 2004 - you can access the paper at
>>
>> http://www.python.org/pycon/dc2004/p..._A_Context.pdf
>>
>>An audience member mentioned the Smalltalk and Scheme-based work on web
>>continuation frameworks, and I was sorry my answer at the time seemed
>>unduly dismissive.

>
>
> That was me, actually. I remain surprised that there isn't a move
> afoot either to implement something like Seaside or Borges in Python
> or to adapt one of the existing web frameworks to be
> modal/continuation style.
>

Ah, glad to make your acquaintance again - I lost your email address in
a disk crash shortly after PyCon DC 2004.

[...]

>>There are some interesting similarities, and though
>>my own implementation is decidedly clunky I like to think the paper
>>explains some of the advantages of maintaining state and why the "back"
>>button is an obnoxious anachronism

>
>
> I'd still like to publish a piece on XML.com about modal web app
> style, preferably with a Python example, though Borges would be fine.
>

Would an adaptation of the PyCon paper be any use in this context?

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden http://www.holdenweb.com/
Python Web Programming http://pydish.holdenweb.com/
Holden Web LLC +1 703 861 4237 +1 800 494 3119
 
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Mike Meyer
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      01-03-2005
Steve Holden <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> It's the *ideas* that are important, though, rather than the
> implementation, and my initial hope was to publicise the weakness of
> statelessness on the web as applications become more complex.


This needed publicity? Isn't it obvious to anyone who has ever
written a non-trival web application? Enough so that people started
referring to non-web applications as "stately" rather than "stateful".

<mike
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Mike Meyer <(E-Mail Removed)> http://www.mired.org/home/mwm/
Independent WWW/Perforce/FreeBSD/Unix consultant, email for more information.
 
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floydophone@gmail.com
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      01-04-2005
Hi... I'm Peter Hunt. I've implemented stuff like this for a variety of
different frameworks. I authored nevow.wolf and the more recent
CherryFlow (http://trac.cherrypy.org/cgi-bin/tra...ki/CherryFlow).
I came up with this idea after looking at Cocoon FlowScript examples.
Python generators suit continuation-based web development very nicely.
If you take a look at CherryFlow version 1, the core of it is just
about 15 lines.

I'm constantly updating CherryFlow. I'll keep you posted.

Also, if anyone wants to assist me with Subway, my Ruby-on-Rails clone,
let me know

 
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