[Twisted-Python] Re: Teach Me Twisted Redux

John Wells lists at sourceillustrated.com
Thu Mar 20 14:08:24 EDT 2008

On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 11:36 AM, Glenn H Tarbox, PhD <glenn at tarbox.org> wrote:
> One of the biggest (glaring?) issues with Twisted is the abysmal state
> of the documentation (none) making the code the best source... and
> history is replete with the massive successes that approach has borne...
>  Clearly, the issues Twisted addresses are non-trivial requiring an
>  appreciation of the problem space before considering Twisted as a
>  solution (you gotta know there's a question before someone tells you the
>  answer)... unfortunately, the barrier to Twisted entry at that point
>  makes most walk away.  I've seen lots of threads concluding, simply,
>  that twisted looked interesting but was simply too dense to even get
>  started with... so, they go ahead and roll their own solution,
>  inevitably identifying the issues which form heart of the twisted
>  architecture, but being too far along to refactor.  And away we go.
>  Exacerbating the problem is the state of the twisted code base.  The
>  core itself is clean, high performance and great.  But, there's a large
>  percentage of the code base in various states of decay.  Some clearly
>  marked as no longer supported... but most simply marked "undocumented"
>  and much of the rest necessitating querying #twisted, hopefully at a
>  time when someone is available to answer questions... twisted-web
>  appears to be worse from a documentation perspective and I'm one of
>  those who chose to "just walk away" when a web framework was necessary.
>  For example, I've been playing with Twisted for a while now and only
>  recently stumbled upon AMP... perhaps thats a personal issue and I do
>  have fundamental intelligence limitations... but perhaps its
>  illustrative.

This is indeed a shame. I come to Twisted an experienced Ruby and Java
developer in need for a event-driven networking framework. I had taken
a close look at ruby's EventMachine, which is modeled after Twisted,
but was strongly leaning towards Twisted *for* the documentation (and
the apparent stability and age of the project). At the very least,
Twisted has an Oreilly book and docs on the website (EM only provides

So, I bought the Oreilly book and Python in a Nutshell. I've made it
through the Nutshell book (I spent 3 months doing python back in 2003,
so it's not completely new to me). My next steps include the book
first and online docs second...but now am I to understand that both
are useless? Should I just dive into the code instead?

Here's to hoping at least the concepts are introduced effectively...


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