Monday, January 14, 2013 Aaron Swartz

A web framework

I've mentioned a few times on this blog. It is a great web framework that doesn't get in your way.

I've done several presentations on the framework both in talks (PYPTUG presentation) and as part of workshops. The latest workshop was this past saturday, for building a quick interface to a webcam on a Raspberry Pi. It will be online at some point this month.

Aaron Swartz

Little did I know as I was doing this workshop, that the author of the framework had lost his life the day before (the 11th of January).

Although Aaron Swartz passed away, being open source, will continue to have its impact on the world wide web.

Public domain

For open source works, I publish my source code under an open source license. But Aaron published as public domain, about 6 years ago. That was bold.

This is probably one of the reasons why is popular amongst the lightweight frameworks.

Even though there is no obligation tied to the code, there are a few that acknowledged (and thus Aaron) publicly, such as this quote from the web site:

"[ inspired the] web framework we use at FriendFeed [and] the webapp framework that ships with App Engine..."
  —  Brett Taylor, co-founder of FriendFeed and original tech lead on Google App Engine

Low key

There is a google group. It is low volume (a lot of answers are off list, unfortunately), and I don't remember Aaron posting more recently than some time in 2011. This is mostly because is a framework that is pretty trivial to use. Once you get it, you get it.

"The slogan is: "Think about the ideal way to write a web app. Write the code to make it happen."
This is literally how I developed I wrote a web application in Python just imagining how I wanted the API to be. It started with import web, of course, and then had a place to define URLs, simple functions for GET and POST, a thing to deal with input variables and so on. Once the code looked right to me, I did whatever it took to make it execute without changing the application code -- the result was"  Aaron Swartz
It is also because, for most people, the kit is complete. But there is another reason people don't need to ask that many questions.

Plenty of examples

Beside the examples and cookbook, between the various open source repositories out there (sourceforge, bitbucket, github, gitorious, launchpad etc), there are a few gigabytes (GB!) of source code available out there, providing plenty of examples, ranging from feed aggregators, to blogs, to mp3 servers, etc. My own source is here as an hg repository

New audience

Due to the extremely short time required to be productive (minutes), has been used quite a bit in the Raspberry Pi community. I personally use it in workshops because of that. Even without much background in Python or web programming, everybody seems to get it.


It is as good a time as any to conclude by pondering on this:

Behind every open source project, there are humans with their faults and qualities, their likes and dislikes. And perhaps tomorrow, they will be gone. Show your appreciation for what they do, today.



Jame Consul said...

Why did Aaron Swartz commit suicide

PK said...

Hi, did u get around to the quick presentation on webcam for Pi ?

D Entertainment said...

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chém gió
trung tâm ngoại ngữ
- Thời gia qua hoàn hảo, còn ngươi.

Yến Hiểu Kỳ khẽ hỏi, trong mắt có thêm một số phức tạp.

- Ta không biết nói như thế nào, như vậy, ở Thanh Dương Môn ta cũng không có xuống núi.

Dịch Thiến khẽ trả lời, những năm này trôi qua thế nào, nàng cũng không biết nói như thế nào.

- Ngươi chưa từng trở về Lập Anh Trấn sao?

Yến Hiểu Kỳ do dự một chút hỏi.

- Không có, chẳng qua mười một năm trước trở về một lần, sau đó cũng chưa có xuống núi.

Dịch Thiến khẽ nói, tựa hồ nhớ tới mười một năm trước trở về Lập Anh Trấn làm cái gì, có lẽ trở về Lập Anh Trấn, thay đổi con đường của nàng.

- Nha.

Yến Hiểu Kỳ khẽ trả lời, thì ra Dịch Thiến cũng không trở về, cũng chưa biết mình cùng