Posts tagged ‘tornado’

A Python 3 Powered Blog

Last week, I posted my intent to port the Tornado web framework to Python 3. Not only have I done that (sort of), but I’ve hacked it to pieces; soon it will be unrecognizable to the original developers, and possibly, to me!

It didn’t take long to get the Hello World example included with Tornado running. Quite a bit more work was the blog demo, but I now have the template, auth, and httpclient modules working, along with the core modules for a working async server. I was able to log into my example blog with my google account, compose some entries, view, and edit them, including the feed.

That doesn’t sound like much if you’re coding blog software for an existing framework (10 minutes in django, probably about 12 in But if you’re coding a web framework for existing blog software, it’s an accomplishment. I’m proud to have a “working” framework (even though it’s full of bugs and working just means “those things I’ve fixed”) for Python 3 in such a short amount of time.

I’ve named the project psyclone, a play on ‘tornado’ –> ‘cyclone,’ and the fact that Python projects oughta have a ‘p’ and ‘y’ in them somewhere. The code is on github for all to play with. Patches welcome! :-)

I’m having a lot of fun with this project, so it’s taking more of my time than I ought to be devoting to it… on the positive side, it’s progressing rapidly!

My plans:

  • Go over the existing code and improve some of the rather messy unicode/str –> str/unicode hacks I had to make to get it working.
  • Write some tests. (The Tornado team seems not to value tests.) I’ll use py.test and may need to write a test client.
  • Write a session framework and auth framework; the current auth framework uses openID only; but I like a more local solution to be available as well.
  • Consider writing an ORM. Likely, I’ll discard this idea, arguing that Judd was right to design a frameworkwith SQL only. The truth behind the argument will be laziness, of course.

Python 3 Web Framework

I got it in my head this weekend that it was about time someone wrote a web framework for Python 3. My head is kind of stubborn about these things, so I asked it some questions:

Does the world need another web framework?
Do I need another web framework?
Do I have time to do this?

The answers were all “no.” Still, I’m planning to go ahead with it until I get bored. Then the project can sit and collect dust with all my others.

A bit of discussion with The Cactus, led to a few ideas:

I discovered that QP is apparently the “first Python-3 enabled web framework.” I didn’t try it, so I was perhaps unfair in discarding it, but it doesn’t look… suitable.

I looked around some more, and found that CherryPy is about to release a Python 3 enabled version. I’m sure that will spawn a whole slough of Python 3 frameworks built around CherryPy. I considered such a plan (I’d call it ChokeCherryPy based on a receipe my mom devised): create some kind of templating system based on str.format, some session support, and some kind of database module wrapped around py-postgresql. Could be fun. But I’d end up with a mess of third-party technologies much like TurboGears, and that would be embarrassing, plus I’m sure the TG team already has people working on this.

Then I came back to my original plan, which was to port either Tornado or to Python 3. Tornado looks like a smaller codebase (easier to port) and I’ve never used it before, so it’s also a chance to learn something new. So today I forked Tornado on github and run 2to3 on it. I’ve already got the “hello world” demo running; it wasn’t too hard once I figured out the difference between bytes and strings. At least, I think I did that part correctly.

The project is named psyclone, a little play on the ‘destructive weather patterns’ genre. I was close to p3clone, but it’s too hard to convince people it should be pronounced ‘cyclone’.

This isn’t a project I expect to go anywhere; django will be ported to Python 3 soon enough, and other frameworks will be popping up all over. But I’ve been working with Python 3 a lot lately, and I thought it was time to tackle the ‘scary’ job of porting an existing app. It’s tedious, but not difficult.