Engineering Software, Linux, and Operations. The website of Jack Neely.    

Had I No Friends

  October 29, 2005   Operations

Had I no friends I think I could write code that might be useful to myself and other people. But alas, I seem to be forced to listen to other folks tell me how bad my ideas are when they do not understand the needs I have. Or, better yet, are just trying to convince me to use their favorite piece of code.

Being the only person that maintains all of Linux at a single university I have a fairly decently sized web site I must maintain. For the last couple years I have been running SnapLook. Its a web templating system written in PHP. I, or other users, can write very simple web pages and the templating system applies a header, footer, css, menus, and navigation. I don’t have to worry about make the web pages I write pretty or getting all the navigation stuff correct.

However, I fear that this code will no longer be maintained. Also, I’m not overly fond of PHP code even if it is well written. I’m a Python person and I have lots of web code written in Python. However, most of them aren’t complex enough to be considered a Web Application or they simply aren’t Web Applications. (Such as XMLRPC APIs or Kickstart generators.) Finally, when I do have code that generates a web page of some sort it can’t be put through the templating system. I want all my web pages to go through the same templating system as much as possible so that they all look alike.

Granted, some of what I maintain does tend toward the web application side of the house. Maybe I should look into TurboGears or some other web application framework. (Although, I’d prefer they run through Apache rather than CherryPy or some other code around Python’s single threaded HTTP server.)

In any case, my reason of frustration today is that I want all my web pages to have the same look and feel and proper navigation. One way to step torward that is to re-implement SnapLook with Python. And using a template of the design of my web site with Kid, SimpleTAL, or some other HTML/XML templating engine.

Why does every one I know think this is a horrible idea?

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