[Twisted-web] Copying Nevow features into Twisted Web (was Re: Status of divmod-dev list?)

Glyph Lefkowitz glyph at twistedmatrix.com
Mon Dec 20 13:35:00 EST 2010

On Dec 20, 2010, at 1:37 AM, Werner Thie wrote:

> I've quite a few very active projects based on nevow/athena, (operating at 100k hits/day) dubbing nevow/athena as 'a large pile of aging JavaScript' sounds like it's going to be thrown overboard and simply does not credit who's credits are due.

Sorry, this was not intended to be a comment on the quality of the implementation.  Although the implementation does have some issues, I share your impression that "nevow/athena is THE single bidirectional framework which deserves this name".

I was trying to comment on the challenges presented by maintaining Athena.  JavaScript is probably the most popular programming language on earth at this point by some metrics, with new techniques and new libraries popping up every day, and since JavaScript actually have the concept of a "library", each one seems to require some new hack from Athena to work right.

Not to mention more browser versions popping up every day.  Browser interactions are complex and the mocking layer used to test Athena is incomplete.

Maintaining Athena's code requires a skill set almost wholly unlike every other area of Twisted, the rest of which is all in Python (with a tiny bit of C) and all relatively easy to test by simply running the unit tests.  Not to mention the fact that twisted.web is _already_ strained for lack of maintainers, and I'm sure that the code that we already want to add (the template system) is not going to make that problem any easier.

> Writing RIAs was what fed me for last few years so if nevow/athena is going to be flushed count me in as able to host it on trac/svn

It's not going to be "flushed".  My comments were an explanation of why Athena will likely remain a separate project from Twisted, not why it is going away.

If you want to do something, hosting trac or SVN is probably not the best thing - we can take care of moving it to a project hosting site.  Focus on continuing to maintain the code, removing deprecated things, and simplifying the implementation so that it can be more easily maintained going forward.  I personally haven't had time for Nevow in quite a while and I'm not likely to be free to hack on it in the forseeable future.

I would certainly feel differently about Athena+Twisted if there were a large community of active maintainers who were working diligently to gradually remove all the deprecated stuff and strip it down into a simple, coherent core.

If you'd like to host something, a buildbot would be the best.  I don't think we have a plan for bringing that back just yet.

Hypothetical future stuff aside: today, right now, Twisted generates some HTML in a few places.  It does this in a variety of ugly, potentially buggy ways.  There are many simple features I can think of which haven't been added to twisted.web because generating more HTML without adding a pile of new dependencies would be so unpleasant.  I'd like it if it could do this using a more robust technique, which is why I'd like to see Nevow's templating system in Twisted: it supports Deferreds, and (modulo compatibility cruft) it's pretty simple.

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