I’m a moderator on a really big flickr group, and we’ve been running out of human power to do the moderation. There’s just too much traffic. So, My mind goes to automation and whatnot, and I’m winding up building something to help.

It’s essentially a webapp, in python.

I’m reminded that while the names have changed, we’re really no better off than we were 4 years ago in the python webapp space. There are tons of frameworks, incorporating any number of competing templating engines, object-relational mappers, and other middleware. It’s just that they’re now a bit more rails influenced. I’d use my own templating and ORM, but it’s all work related now, and I don’t want that dependency now. This will wind up being open-sourced at some point soon. And it’s a good learning experience to work on one of the more modern packages for a while, even if it does make things harder in the short run.

And they still don’t deploy easily on commodity hosting. You’d think that the Rails Revolution would helped that part, as it’s pushed fcgi and proxying to places where id hasn’t gone before.

But really, if I write PHP, it just works on any webhost. You’d be hard pressed to find a webhost these days that can’t do a minimal php/mysql website. I farted with python for two evenings on Dreamhost, and kept running into strange problems that might be the framework, might be the web adapter, and might just be the shared environment. (fcgi must be group writable? really?) So far, I’m 5 evenings into it total. So 2 evenings is a pretty good setback in the scope of this project.

More to come on this project later.

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