13 December 2012

Saying goodbye to pylons

For the last six months, i’ve been in a state of flux with regards to website development. Recently the Pylons. web framework stopped being developed and was merged with another web framework Repoze.bfg. to become the Pyramid. web framework. This caused me a bit of bother. I had previously spent a great deal of time learning pylons in order to develop a number of projects that I had coming up. I successfully developed the projects and enjoyed using the framework. No that it was gone, what was I to do? Learn Pyramid? Learn some other python web framework?


I initially started to learn and build a project in Pyramid. It was clunky learning the Pyramid way, I wasn’t comfortable doing it and to be honest, it just wasn’t fun. In fact, looking back, Pylons had stopped being fun too, towards the end of its time, I could never really put my finger on why but not being fun was definitely a minus in my book and so with Pylons gone and Pyramid bringing no joy I started trying different frameworks and technologies to see what I enjoyed using and what was interesting.

Couchdb & Couchapps

I took a look at doing Couchapps, which are Couchdb applications that are effectively javascript/json files that sit inside the couchdb database itself. I got some traction with this for a while, but there were some things about this that bothered me.
First was the security element, though there are some solutions out there to securely host your files in a couchdb, they seemed like a patch work of solutions and hacks and I wasn’t confident that couchdb, the way it was built was going to provide enough security for my code or customers.
Secondly, although you don’t have to use it, Couchapps rely on evently, and quite frankly, evently sucks. Way too much disjointedness in the files created making it difficult to keep track of what you’re doing or building. I think Couchdb applications have a place and will definitely come to maturity in time but I think the technology still needs some work before it is ready. A better security model would be a good start.


After doing some javascript and reading Javascript: the good parts by Douglas Crockford. I decided i’d take a crack at node.js and see what all the fuss was about. There’s a number of ways of going about developing websites using node, you can use full-stack(ish) web frameworks, light frameworks or just node by itself.
But after some tinkering with this I found out something about myself, I simply don’t like javascript enough to want to build web applications server and client side in it. I think node is great technology and all but if you’re a python developer (like I have been) you could just as easily use the twisted framework to do event driven websites, and I don’t have a need to develop event driven websites, so I’ll be ignoring node.js till I do.

Ruby on Rails

I then saw that Ruby on Rails had moved up to version 3 (the actual release was quite a bit before I noticed it!), and I was excited by this. How about learning a new language (Ruby) and a new Framework (Rails)? I tried some tutorials and looked overs some guides and decided that this was fun and worth investing my time and money into learning.
After hunting around, there were two resources that stuck out as being great places to learn Rails3, one was Code School with Gregg Pollack, and the other was Rails Tutorial by Michael Hartl. I went through codeschools Free Rails for Zombies and found it fun, challenging and a great way to learn. I’ve now purchased the entire 15+ hours of video and ebook from Rails Tutorial and am working through it. The posts that follow on this blog, will detail my experiences and adventures in working through the Rails Tutorial series.

Goodbye Pylons

So to Pylons, It was nice knowing you, you taught me so much about website development practices, python development and web frameworks, but now its time to move on to something different. Its not better, or worse, just different, which I think in the end is what I was looking for. There’s no such thing as perfect technologies or perfect web frameworks. I’ve been looking for something fun to learn and fun to use and I’ve found that in a different web framework than you. Goodbye, and enjoy your retirement.


  1. Got a tear in the eye from that goodbye, so sad. :'(

  2. Perhaps some day there is a comeback to Python & Pyramid ? ;-)
    Enjoy in any case :-)