[plug] Web / Database advice sought

Brad Campbell brad at fnarfbargle.com
Fri Sep 2 22:57:29 WST 2011

On 01/09/11 16:43, Andrew Cooks wrote:
> Hi Brad
> I believe Python is the most valuable tool you mentioned (regardless of how much I personally 
> dislike it) and there are multiple web application frameworks to choose from if you decide that a 
> browser based interface is preferable. Keep in mind that building dynamic browser-based 
> applications involve combining many different components and it can be hard to find and absorb all 
> the information you need. You'll be looking at HTML, Javascript, python and depending on the 
> framework, an object-relational mapper, a Model-view-controller architecture, an AJAX toolkit, 
> etc. My point is simply that it can be hard to determine what the simplest solution to the problem 
> is when you're overloaded with buzzwords.

Indeed. I'm a duct tape and string programmer, so the buzzwords just annoy me rather than confuse. I 
just want stuff to get out of my way and let me get on with it. Example being Openoffice Base not 
allowing me to use the content of a variable in an sql query. You have to write a basic macro to 
take the contents of the variable and construct an sql query, insert that into a control and then 
refresh the control to run the query. Ugh.

It appears that a good programmer will use the framework the way it is designed, that way you don't 
paint yourself into a corner. I, on the other hand tend to make rash design choices based on a fixed 
perspective on how I want it done and if the framework is designed to preclude that I'll find any 
hacky kludge to make it work. Consequently I often get my toes painted.

One day I must sit down and look at Java a bit harder, but right now Python is already everywhere I 
need it to be and it means I don't *have* to make the time to learn another language (which I find 
hard to justify given I don't make money from writing code).

What *is* interesting to me about this web based thingo is having to think about the line between 
the UI and the business logic. Even in the old mainframe days, the UI and the business logic was on 
the same processor and the same code base. Now with the intelligence the UI is capable of, the line 
is a lot harder to define. You seem to have to work a lot harder at getting the communications right.

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