Friday, February 09, 2007


There has been a lot of talk about Django, TurboGears, Pylons, Rails and others. People love crossing swords about this sort of stuff, and the Django Pronouncement added an interesting catalyst to the mix...

One point I haven't seen highlighted, and which I think some people might be missing, is the idea that competition breeds excellence. I don't think I really understood this myself, until I experienced it's effects firsthand.

It was August, 2005, and I was participating in the Pyweek game programming compeition, with a small team of friends. The first four days of the competition, were not good days for us. We couldn't make any firm decisions, we were worried about over-extending ourselves and were getting slightly discouraged.

Then... we saw what some of the other teams were doing. 3D characters on a 3D board. Cool, liquid smooth interfaces. Bouncy, addictive soundtracks. Seeing what others were achieving drove our small team on. We pushed the envelope as far as we could, and ended up producing a entry far beyond our original expectations, which, IIRC, received a perfect score in the production category.

Looking back, I can see that without (worthy!) competition, our small team would probably have given up, and gone home.

How can this apply to Python web frameworks? If there were no competing frameworks, whichever web technology we had would quickly stagnate. Competition helps a team move quickly, make decisions, and stick with them. If the are a smart team, hopefully they will also make good decisions!, I'm not worried about choosing between Django or TurboGears or Pylons or Rails or Xxx. I'll pick the right tool for the job, when it's time to do so. In the meantime, I'm happy that there is competition in the web framework world, because it means I get to use the best tools available, and it also means they are going to keep getting better.

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