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Open Source Digest: Approximating Py, No. 2: A Hacker's Guide to SkunkWeb

May 15, 2003, 04:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jacob Smullyan)

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"In the previous article, we gave an overview of SkunkWeb's templating language (STML) and component system. This article picks up where we left off to describe some of the other facilities SkunkWeb provides for dealing with real-world web programming needs such as managing database connections, authenticating users, configuring virtual hosts, rewriting urls, managing user sessions, and distributing products. As a foundation for discussing those facilities, we must first take an in-depth tour of SkunkWeb's internal architecture.

"If you look in the lib directory of a SkunkWeb installation, you will see three subdirectories: SkunkWeb, Services, and pylibs. This arrangement is not quite parallel; SkunkWeb is a package with an __init__.py, and is imported as such, while the other two directories are not, and are themselves added to sys.path. The SkunkWeb package contains the core infrastructure of the SkunkWeb server: bootloading, configuration, and process management. The Services directory contains Python modules that are classified as services; they generally have some dependency on the SkunkWeb package or on some other service. The pylibs directory contains Python modules that SkunkWeb may need, but which could also be used outside of the SkunkWeb environment.

"When the server is started, it reads a configuration file (by default, <skunkroot>/etc/sw.conf where is the installation directory), itself containing Python code, which is then executed in the namespace of a special, somewhat magical object globally available as SkunkWeb.Configuration. (This object pretends to be a module, and is imported, but is actually an instance of the class ConfigLoader.ScopeableConfig). The Configuration object is thereby first populated with attributes; its quasi-magical properties will be discussed a bit later..."

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