Monday, August 17, 2009

Very Simple RESTful Web Services in Python

I was trying to find something for easy implementation of web services in any CGI language. Firstly I considered PHP. A lot of negative emotions, nothing really simple and a wasted day. Perl has some better support for the stuff, but I've chosen Python (mostly because I've got less experience in it and wanted to give it a try).

Python has a CGI-like standard called WSGI, which makes Web Services implementation much easier. But still not that easy, as I want it. So, spent a day writing my own "library", which you can find here, hosted on Google Code. Now you can write RESTful Web Services like this:
@url_pattern("/users/${username}/plans/${year}", ['GET', 'PUT'])
def get_plans (username, year, request):
return "Inside get_plans('%s', '%s')" % (username, year)
I'm gonna use it to implement a very first version of Pomodoro Server. Some brief impressions:
  • Python is very easy to learn and has a lot of great metaprogramming capabilities, very similar to Ruby. Great language, it's a pleasure to code it!
  • Python's documentation is just awesome!
  • Some Web Frameworks provide the similar functionality, but it's painful to install and comes with a lot of other heavyweight features, such as MVC and ORM.
  • Google Code is a nice place to host your projects, though there are some limitations (for example, wiki is very basic and not compatible with anything else).
Update: I've just found a similar thing in Java, defined in JSR-311: JAX-RS - Java API for RESTful Web Services and implemented as Jersey. Just a short sample from its tutorial:
@Path("/users/{username}")
public class UserResource {
@GET
@Produces("text/xml")
public String getUser(@PathParam("username") String userName) {
}
}
Update2: found a very similar solution for Python called Bottle. Sample code:
@route('/hello/:name')
def hello_name(name):
return 'Hello %s!' % name

run(host='localhost', port=8080)

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