The Pylons Project was founded by the people behind the Pylons web framework to develop web application framework technology in Python. Rather than focusing on a single web framework, the Pylons Project develops a collection of related technologies.
The first package from the Pylons Project is the Pyramid web framework. Other packages will be added to the collection over time, including higher-level components, applications, and other frameworks which rely on a particular persistence mechanism (Pyramid does not). Ben Bangert, the Pylons web framework project lead, is already aiming to develop layers above the core web framework.
“The Pylons Project” was chosen to reflect the shared core ethos with the Pylons web framework: an overall effort combining the best parts from different projects.
Unfortunately, the Pylons 1.0 code-base has hit a point of diminishing returns in flexibility and extendability. Due to the use of sub-classing, extensive and sometimes confusing use of Stacked Object Proxy globals, and issues with configuration organization, attempts to refactor or redesign the existing pylons core weren’t working out.
Over the course of several months, serious attempts were made to rewrite sections of the pylons core. After realizing that Pylons users would have to put in extensive effort to port their existing applications, and that Pylons 2 was looking more and more like repoze.bfg, continued development seemed a waste of development effort.
Ben Bangert started collaborating with Chris McDonough to bring the repoze.bfg routes functionality up to par with the stand-alone Routes project. Further development showed that the two projects had much in common, and the developers shifted from building Pylons 2 on top of BFG and towards a full merger.
The Pylons web framework 1.x line will continue to be maintained, though not enhanced. We will provide a package that allows Pylons 1.x applications and Pyramid applications to run in the same interpreter. The future of Pylon-style web application development is Pyramid. See also the FAQ, Should I port my Pylons 1.0 project to Pyramid?.
The Pyramid codebase is derived almost entirely from repoze.bfg. Some changes have been made for the sake of Pylons compatibility, but those used to development with repoze.bfg will find Pyramid very familiar. By merging repoze.bfg with the philosophically-similar Pylons framework, both gain a dramatically expanded audience.
The Repoze project will continue to exist. Repoze will be able to regain its original focus: bringing Zope technologies to WSGI. The popularity of BFG as its own web framework hindered this goal.
This really is a good question. We hope that people are attracted at first by the spirit of the thing. It takes humility to sacrifice a little sovereignty and work together. The opposite—forking or splintering of projects—is much more common in the open source world. We feel there is a limited amount of oxygen in the space of “top-tier Python web frameworks” and we don’t do the Python community a service by over-crowding.
We are a group of project leaders with experience going back to the start of Python web frameworks. We aim to bring fresh ideas to classic problems. We hope to combine a lot of hard-earned maturity into the development of a secure choice that developers and companies can bet on. Couple this with the humility and irreverence gained by surviving every stupid decision that could be imagined, and you’ve got a good basis for a team of developers.
Our mantra is: “Small, Documented, Tested, Extensible, Fast, Stable, Friendly”. Everything we do, from Pyramid to the batteries we want to develop for later “batteries-included” projects, should retain these qualities.
All of us have been around the block a few times. We’ve seen good communities and bad communities, effective communities and dysfunctional communities, arrogant ones and irreverent ones. We pride ourselves on constructive listening, telling the truth even when it makes us look bad, admitting when we’re wrong, and attracting lots of people who actually like to help.
The repoze.bfg people came from the world of Zope and Plone. Paul, for example, was a co-founder of Zope and was at the first Python conference at NIST. Zope was a tremendous success in the first cycle, with some truly fresh ideas and a large commercial ecosystem. Plone continued that in a second cycle, with an even larger ecosystem and an obvious, out-of-the-box value proposition.
Since then, the cycle has moved on and focus has shifted to other projects. We love our Zope roots, the experience we gained helping establish the Zope Foundation and the Plone Foundation, and consulting experience we have on very large projects. But we want to take these experiences and start fresh together with Pylons, one of the clear winners of the last cycle, to work on something for the next cycle.
If you’re doing Zope and Plone and have a project that fits their bulls-eye, use them. If you have something that could use those ideas for an alternate need, keep an eye on what we’re doing.
Development questions related to projects under the Pylons Project can be discussed on the pylons-discuss mail list.
On IRC, developers are generally available on the #pylons channel on the Freenode IRC Network. Each project may have its own channel, too.