Web Development for the 21st CenturyMon 02 April 2018 by Moshe Zadka
(Thanks to Glyph Lefkowitz for some of the inspiration for this port, and to Mahmoud Hashemi for helpful comments and suggestions. All mistakes and issues that remain are mine alone.)
The Python REPL has always been touted as one of Python's greatest strengths. With Jupyter, Jupyter Lab in its latest incarnation, the REPL has been lifted into the 21st century. It has become the IDE of the future: interactive, great history and logging -- and best of all, you can use it right from your browser, regardless of your platform!
However, we still have 20th century practices for developing web applications. Indeed, the only development is that instead of "CTRL-c, up-arrow, return", we now have "development servers" which are not "production ready" support auto-reloading -- the equivalent of a robot doing "CTRL-c, up-arrow, return".
Using the REPL to develop web applications is pure bliss. Just like using it to develop more linear code: we write a function, test it ad-hocly, see the results, and tweak.
When we are sufficiently pleased, we can then edit the resulting notebook file into a Python module -- which we import from the next version of the notebook, in order to continue the incremental development. Is such a thing possible?
Let's start by initializing Twisted, since this has to happen early on.
from tornado.platform.twisted import install reactor = install()
Whew! Can't forget that! Now with this out of the way, let's do the most boring part of every Python program: the imports.
from twisted.web import server from twisted.internet import endpoints, defer import klein import treq
Now, let's start Klein app. There are several steps involved here.
root = klein.app.resource()
We take the Klein resource object...
site = server.Site(root)
...make a wrapping site...
ep = endpoints.serverFromString(reactor, "tcp:8000")
...create an endpoint...
<Deferred at 0x7f54c5702080 current result: <<class 'twisted.internet.tcp.Port'> of <class 'twisted.web.server.Site'> on 8000>>
and like "Harry met Sally", eventually bring the two together for Klein to respond on port 8000. We have not written any application code, so Klein is currently "empty".
What does that mean?
async def test_slash(): response = await treq.get('http://localhost:8000') content = await response.content() return content
This function uses Python 3's async/await features, to use treq (Twisted Requests) and return the result. We can use it as our ad-hoc debugger (but we could also use a web browser -- this is naturally hard to show in a post, though).
<Deferred at 0x7f54c5532630>
b'<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 3.2 Final//EN">n<title>404 Not Found</title>n<h1>Not Found</h1>n<p>The requested URL was not found on the server. If you entered the URL manually please check your spelling and try again.</p>n'
Ah, yeah. Even / gives a 404 error -- we have literally defined nothing. OK, this is easy to fix:
@klein.route("/") def something_useful(request): return 'Hello world'
Wait, did this work?
<Deferred at 0x7f54c53d8d30>
Yep. But it's not a proper sentence...woops.
@klein.route("/") def something_useful(request): return 'Hello, world!'
Nice. Punctuation. Force. Determination. Other nouns.
Did it change anything?
<Deferred at 0x7f54c4b9e240>
Incremental web application development. Without an "auto-loading" "not production grade" server.
We took advantage of several incidental issues. The Jupyter kernel is Tornado based. Twisted has both a production-grade web development framework, and the ability to run on top of the tornado loop. The combination is powerful.