Skip to main content

Nevow of the Future

I am not a core Nevow developer, but am only a developer who uses it. I do talk a lot with the developers, and try to keep up with what is going on there. So, I do know a bit about what is going on, and where things are supposed to go. I know that contexts (a type of object passed around that gives access to the current tag being rendered, remembers adapters between interfaces, and does other stuff that isn't so good) is supposed to go away, eventually, at some point, somehow. There is little talk of how, when, and that sort of solid thinking on the subject.

So, for the heck of it, I'll propose a plan of action, and this is it.

Step #1
Fork it, so that all the refactoring can be done and if anyone needs a backward compatible Nevow, it can still be around for them. There is already xmantissa and xquotient, so it wouldn't be a stretch to add xnevow. My other favorite is to just say that Athena is the new Nevow (see Step #2)

Step #2
Pull everything out of the fork that Athena doesn't need, so things can be focused. Refactor so that there is no difference between Page and LivePage, and you can just make any page become live. At this point, things can start to change and context can be factored out entirely. New flatteners would be needed, of course, but those should be more or less straight forward to adapt.

Step #3
Expand the templating system to be smart enough to handle both server- and client-side work. I recommend a nevow:insert directive that defines sub-templates to fill and insert the resulting node at some place, which could replace nevow:pattern and also carry over for used in live pages on the client. While we're at it, add in some good widgets to start with, like containers and tabs and such.

Step #4
Create a fake nevow module that can map existing API calls to the new stuff that would be in xnevow/athena. This would allow for easier transitions to the new system.

I might try and convince the usefulness of this to an employeer and see if some of my project time can be spent sprucing up athena in such a way, depending on just how much this would take to be really useful, or just usable. Then I could contribue something useful, and get some moneys.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why I Switched From Git to Microsoft OneDrive

I made the unexpected move with a string of recent projects to drop Git to sync between my different computers in favor of OneDrive, the file sync offering from Microsoft. Its like Dropbox, but "enterprise."

Feeling a little ashamed at what I previously would have scoffed at should I hear of it from another developer, I felt a little write up of the why and the experience could be a good idea. Now, I should emphasize that I'm not dropping Git for all my projects, just specific kinds of projects. I've been making this change in habit for projects that are just for me, not shared with anyone else. It has been especially helpful in projects I work on sporadically. More on why a little later.

So, what drove me away from Git, exactly?

On the smallest projects, like game jam hacks, I just wanted to code. I didn't want to think about revisions and commit messages. I didn't need branching or merges. I didn't even need to rollback to another version, ever. I just …

CARDIAC: The Cardboard Computer

I am just so excited about this.


CARDIAC. The Cardboard Computer. How cool is that? This piece of history is amazing and better than that: it is extremely accessible. This fantastic design was built in 1969 by David Hagelbarger at Bell Labs to explain what computers were to those who would otherwise have no exposure to them. Miraculously, the CARDIAC (CARDboard Interactive Aid to Computation) was able to actually function as a slow and rudimentary computer. 
One of the most fascinating aspects of this gem is that at the time of its publication the scope it was able to demonstrate was actually useful in explaining what a computer was. Could you imagine trying to explain computers today with anything close to the CARDIAC?

It had 100 memory locations and only ten instructions. The memory held signed 3-digit numbers (-999 through 999) and instructions could be encoded such that the first digit was the instruction and the second two digits were the address of memory to operate on. The only re…

On Pruning Your Passions

We live in a hobby-rich world. There is no shortage of pastimes to grow a passion for. There is a shortage of one thing: time to indulge those passions. If you're someone who pours your heart into that one thing that makes your life worthwhile, that's a great deal. But, what if you've got no shortage of interests that draw your attention and you realize you will never have the time for all of them?

If I look at all the things I'd love to do with my life as a rose bush I'm tending, I realize that careful pruning is essential for the best outcome. This is a hard lesson to learn, because it can mean cutting beautiful flowers and watching the petals fall to the ground to wither. It has to be done.

I have a full time job that takes a lot of my mental energy. I have a wife and a son and family time is very important in my house. I try to read more, and I want to keep up with new developments in my career, and I'm trying to make time for simple, intentional relaxing t…