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  1. Gone Public Domain, 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, 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 on two small-size projects -- those ones that you are just too lazy to design models and views in Django or TurboGears. 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 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 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, 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.

  2. Released

    Remember Aaron Swartz's post on rewriting from Lisp to Python in 7 days? Besides a "blow" to the Lisp community (people you don't want to offend), it also introduced issues with existing Python web application frameworks. The end result?, and 0.1 was released today under an open-source license. You can download the Python file here.

    Yes, the whole "frame work" comes in one single Python module. 1,042 lines and that's all, where almost 300 of them are for HTTP 500 page. It claimed to be the "anti-framework framework" that doesn't get into your way. Actually is so primitive, it is no more than a thin wrapper on top of CGI plus a few helper functions. It has a regex based URL dispatcher, a few database function wrapping around PostgreSQL, WSGI handler and a wrapper function around Cheetah. That's all.

    Comparing with flashy MVC frame works like Django or TurboGears is really like comparing apple and orange. Django or TG has relatively higher setup cost, but makes CRUD-style web applications a breeze, if your brain can fit into their model (which are actually pretty excellent models, btw). on the other hand, can truly be a replacement for PHP -- easy to get started if all you need is a "Hello World" app. It doesn't "get into your way" because it provides pretty much no way. You'll end up writing your own framework to perform common tasks like session management, caching, authentication, form generation, etc.

    So far 0.1 feels a bit disappointing. It is no longer 1996 where is all you need for your dynamic content. I'll stick to Django, TurboGears and probably Zope 3.

    Update: Paul Bissex also wrote about the, and he said:

    In the end I think that whatever small amount of energy dissipation causes will be more than offset by the ideas that it (by which I mean Aaron, really) injects into the discussion of what a web framework should be and do.

    While I don't see useful in my case, but Paul is right -- more frameworks generates more ideas which benefits everyone in the game.

    Update: Robert Sayre questioned the license term of If is indeed released under GPL3-alike term where the whole website needs to be released under GPL if it is poisoned with a GPL library, then I'll say forget about it.