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

Interrupting Coders Isn’t So Bad

Here’s a hot take: disrupting coders isn’t all that bad.

Some disruptions are certainly bad but they usually aren’t. The coder community has overblown the impact. A disruption can be a good thing. How harmful disruption might be a symptom of other problems.

There are different kinds of disruptions. They are caused by other coders on your team, managers and other non-coders, or meetings throughout the day.

The easiest example to debunk is a question from a fellow developer. Imagine someone walks over to your desk or they ping you on Slack, because they have “one quick question.” Do you get annoyed at the interruption when you were in the middle of something important? You help out your teammate quickly and get back to work, trying to pick up where you left off. That’s a kind of interruption we complain about frequently, but I’m not convinced this is all that bad.

You are being disrupted but your team, of which you are only one member of the whole unit, is working smoothly. You unstuck …

Announcing Feet, a Python Runner

I've been working on a problem that's bugged me for about as long as I've used Python and I want to announce my stab at a solution, finally!

I've been working on the problem of "How do i get this little thing I made to my friend so they can try it out?" Python is great. Python is especially a great language to get started in, when you
don't know a lot about software development, and probably don't even know a lot about computers in general.

Yes, Python has a lot of options for tackling some of these distribution problems for games and apps. Py2EXE was an early option, PyInstaller is very popular now, and PyOxide is an interesting recent entry. These can be great options, but they didn't fit the kind of use case and experience that made sense to me. I'd never really been about to put my finger on it, until earlier this year:

Python needs LÖVE.

LÖVE, also known as "Love 2D", is a game engine that makes it super easy to build small Lua…

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…