web.py Gone Public Domain

web.py, the minimalistic Python web application framework which I rant about two and half months ago, has been re-released as Public Domain by its author Aaron Swartz, announced in this mail to the news group.

2 and half months down the track, web.py has not changed much, despite heavily development and involvement from the community. Release 0.135 has got a bit bigger (1,700+ lines now) but still quite compact in comparison with other Python web frameworks. However, I have to confess that I am the one who has changed. During the past 2 and half months I have actually used web.py on two small-size projects -- those ones that you are just too lazy to design models and views in Django or TurboGears. web.py is surprisingly easy to use and easy to understand -- which is very important. It doesn't get in my way of doing things, and even if it does, you can always work out the magic from its single-file source code. (Unlike hmm, Django?).

It is also easy to deploy. Download web.py. Download flup. Download other third party libraries (in my case usually kid for web services in XML). Put them somewhere in PYTHON_PATH. Write a stub. Implement the handler. Upload to the web host, and usually it just works. Well, not quite, especially if you are on any random five bucks a month shared hosting, but still relatively easy to have it working than Django and TG. No. No Python eggs thanks.

It feels like writing in glorified version of cgi.py. It makes you feel that you are in control of things.

What hinders me however, was it's AGPL licensed. You were required to release your source code, even though it only provides web services. This has been fixed by that recent announcement. It is now in public domain, i.e. no one is claiming the rights to own web.py, and it can be used for whatever course, business or private.

Thank you Aaron!

I too am puzzled that "why public domain"? As it has been pointed out in the discussion that there are other well coordinated open source projects in PD, but I am sure some developers might be scared away from contributing as anyone else can claim that effort. I think I will watch out for more discussion there.