[Twisted-Python] twisted.web in 60 seconds...why aren't these on the frontpage of TM.com?

Jessica McKellar jessica.mckellar at gmail.com
Wed Apr 21 23:03:28 EDT 2010

Hi Jason,

I was up for revamping the front page until school hit, but in about a month
I'll be back and ready for action and happy to help with this / provide
feedback. You might find this IRC snippet about the front page relevant:

21:27 < jesstess> exarkun: so you're saying "Want an IRC bot? BAM follow
this link. Want a TCP server? BAM follow this link?" for the top 5 things
people try to implement?
21:27 < exarkun> jesstess: something like that, yea
21:28 < jesstess> exarkun: I'd be up for working that up.
21:31 < exarkun> jesstess: It would be awesome if you could work on that.  I
think it will help a lot.
21:32 < exarkun> jesstess: I think it's also important to have the website
direct people quickly and easily to the documentation they need.
21:33 < exarkun> jesstess: There are too many clicks involved now, so they
might not even find a new set of topic-oriented guides.
21:33 < jesstess> exarkun: I'll do it if you give me a list of the top 5
applications people try to write :)
21:33 < exarkun> jesstess: Doing something about that would be another
highly productive task.
21:33 < exarkun> ah, there's the rub.
21:34 < radix> 1. IRC bot that execs python code, 2. caching web proxy
21:34 < radix> 3. XMPP something
21:34 < radix> 4. MMORPG
21:35 < radix> I can't think of a fifth
21:35 < jesstess> does "simple TCP server" really not make the list? That's
why I first used Twisted.
21:35 < thijstriemstra> mimic skype..ish
21:36 < thijstriemstra> chat, streaming, authentication, porn
21:36 < exarkun> jesstess: not sure if it comes in the top five
21:36 < exarkun> probably the top ten though
21:36 < Screwtape> I'd say half the questions in here have something to do
with IRC bots.


On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 8:53 PM, Jason J. W. Williams <
jasonjwwilliams at gmail.com> wrote:

> I guess I am. :)
> Honestly, we've used Twisted in my org for quite some time and until I
> was forced to use it my view of it was colored by my infrequent
> beatings by it and the derisive comments of the primary maintainer at
> that time.
> With the 4 hours I spent actually learning the concepts, Twisted is no
> longer a black box...it makes sense. That and I've
> optimized/re-factored a bunch of code to work with that theory instead
> of against it. Huge benefits.
> I'd say the biggest barrier to entry is the documentation. And let's
> face it...there's no reason Twisted shouldn't be used by more folks.
> It's great...but learning it feels like a frat hazing. That's largely
> because reading the docs feels like learning from that comp sci prof
> who was smart...but wasn't smart enough to explain the concepts at
> your level.
> Let's take Tornado for a second...right now I'm building a web API for
> our services and I'm in platform selection mode. My experience with
> Twisted.web's URL dispatching system made me want to cry. Tornado was
> a breeze to use. But here's the problem:
> 1.) There's no good async libraries for Tornado...so if I want to
> integrate with Redis or MySQL or anything, I've got to accept that I'm
> going to block when it's not necessary and live with that.
> 2.) Tornado's performance from the the benchmarks I've read is only
> between 15% and 30% better than twisted.web.
> 2 is not enough to justify 1, because let's face it (and yeah I'm
> coming to a point) 1 is going to kill your butt often enough to make 2
> not matter.
> But because I'm pretty comfortable with Twisted now...it makes more
> sense for me to write my own dispatcher that emulates Tornado's than
> give up all the rock-hard awesome features and reliability of Twisted.
> deferToThread may not be the preferred way of handling a blocking
> task...but when you need it, you need it.
> ...so my point is...Twisted's PR problem is it needs more accessible
> docs. They need to be understandable, entertaining...and pretty. It
> all starts with that front page...and the web app in 10 lines right
> smack dab there.
> I'm going to start with the front page...and then I'm going to write
> some articles on my blog that are what I wanted when I was learning
> Twisted. Hopefully, they'll be of use to someone.
> -J
> On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 6:15 PM, Glyph Lefkowitz
> <glyph at twistedmatrix.com> wrote:
> >
> > On Apr 20, 2010, at 7:06 PM, Jason J. W. Williams wrote:
> >
> > And yes I'm volunteering to reorg.
> >
> > Wow, you really are a glutton for punishment, aren't you? :)
> > Go ahead and create an alternate front-page wiki page, and let the list
> know
> > when it's ready so we can pile on and critique.
> > I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to do better than what's there, though.
> > Looking forward to it,
> > -glyph
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