Python is a universal programming language that has found its application in the field of web programming. Of course, the built-in features of the language is not enough for a full-fledged web development, so the programmer comes to the aid of frameworks. With their help you can create a full-fledged server logic site, application or game. Many web frameworks have been created for Python, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Make a choice of one of them is quite difficult, because you need to correctly determine which is best suited for the implementation of the project.
What are web frameworks
A framework is a set of ready-made tools that simplify the creation of the framework of a program and the implementation of its functions. Unlike a library, a framework forces a programmer to create a specific program architecture.
The main purpose of a framework is to simplify the implementation of a project. The programmer does not have to write his project from scratch, coming up with a unique implementation for all the functions. Instead, he or she uses the capabilities of the framework to quickly get solutions for standard tasks. This allows him to focus on the project rather than being distracted by writing code that has already been used a thousand times in various projects.
This is the most popular web framework for Python. It was created in 2005 and is still gaining popularity.
Django is an open, high-level framework aimed at fast and efficient development. In addition, this framework follows the principles of: DRY and fast development. Therefore Django developers try to keep the code as short as possible and avoid redundant verbiage. Features:
- Database version control.
- Wide range of ready-made libraries.
- Authentication support.
- URL routing.
- ORM support for linking databases to OOP concepts.
- Template engine usage.
Django greatly speeds up the development process. The programmer doesn’t need to develop basic features because they come with the framework and can be easily imported into the project. In addition, the programmer can be assured that these features work quickly and correctly because they are created by professional Python developers and debugged. Among the tools included in the framework is the ORM layer, which is used to manage database access, sessions, routing, and adding multilingualism.
Django has built-in protection against common website attacks. It protects the site from the following types of attacks:
- XSS – injection of client-side scripts into user browsers.
- CSRF – using user credentials without user consent.
- SQL injection – manipulation of databases resulting in sensitive information being deleted or leaked.
- Clickjacking – intercepting user clicks with the help of a frame that the malicious site wraps the target site in.
This is by no means a complete list of attacks the framework protects against.
Large community and detailed documentation
One of the main criteria for judging a language or framework is its community of programmers. A large community indicates that the framework is actively developing. In addition, experts can always ask for help from each other. According to the official website Django community consists of more than 13 thousand people (and this is just the official data). The documentation will determine how easy it will be for a programmer to understand the functions of the framework. When a programmer needs to solve a problem, he or she looks for the right function in the documentation. Good documentation makes it easy to quickly understand the function’s purpose and features.
Sometimes it’s hard to predict the exact size of a project in advance. Django is designed in such a way that programmers can create a small project and then gradually grow it by adding new functionality. This way it won’t be a problem for the programmer if he needs to greatly increase the number of requests handled, add new features to the project or move to a more powerful server.
Django offers an admin panel out of the box that allows you to manage data using basic CRUD operations. CRUD is the four basic functions for working with databases, such as creating, reading, updating, and deleting.
You can’t say that the framework itself is slow. However, if not properly designed, the architecture, when combined with Python (not the fastest programming language), will result in a slow site or application. And while slow speed is not a problem with Django itself, programmers are forced to spend a lot of time developing a proper architecture and optimization. To do this, caching and many other optimization tools are used.
Not always the right choice
Django is not the best choice for small sites. In this case,it is better to use other tools, such as Flask.
Django is a large and monolithic framework. In addition, each new version must be backward compatible with previous ones to keep old projects running. All this leads to the fact that the framework is not developing as fast as one would like.
This is a lightweight Python-based framework (micro-web framework) that is used to build web applications.
Flask is almost independent of external libraries, even so it can be used to create quite complex applications. The framework allows the programmer to start and manage the server, handle requests, templates, and much more. In addition, it is very easy to learn, of course, if you know the Python language.
Flask is considered the best web framework for creating lightweight web applications and small static sites.
Easy to understand
Even a novice programmer can understand how to work with the framework. Flask has a simple structure and intuitive syntax. In addition, unlike other frameworks Flask allows the programmer full control over the development process.
Only some parts of the framework are not available for modification, because they are already as simple and optimized as possible. The programmer can independently edit most of the framework’s tools to suit his or her needs. Along with Flask, the programmer receives a templating tool which allows the same user interface to be used on several pages.
Good tools for testing
In Flask integrated tools for testing and debugging. The programmer has full-fledged unit tests, a built-in development server, a debugger and a query handler at his/her disposal.
Although Flask is easy to learn, often novice developers write code so bad that the web application turns out terrible.
It doesn’t support asynchrony
Flask handles all requests in a single thread, which means that each request locks a thread for the duration of its execution and then passes the queue to the next request. If you draw an analogy, it is like a single working cash register in a supermarket, with a large number of customers (requests) the cash register will not cope and a large queue will form.
Lack of capacity
If we talk about developing large web-applications, then Flask simply lacks capacity.
This is an open-source framework that is used to develop both small and large web applications.
Although Pyramid offers all the tools a programmer needs for development, it is less popular than Django or Flask, especially in the CIS.
Pyramid allows you to write a small application and then gradually expand its functionality by adding new modules and improving old ones. That is, you can not worry about the expansion of the project in the future, because this can be done at any time without any problems.
The framework has a good documentation, backed by examples.
The framework integrates everything you need to debug your code. Pyramid offers the programmer full-fledged unit tests and debugging tools.
Pyramid allows the programmer to customize many things to create a unique project.
The framework is less popular than Django or Flask. Therefore, it has a small community and not enough jobs.
Which framework is better to learn
When it comes to the question of which framework to learn, a programmer should focus on the following factors:
- Framework demand.
- Community and documentation.
- Relevance to your requirements.
The demand for the framework
The programmer should choose a framework that is in demand in the job market. The more job openings, the easier it is to get a job, to find better conditions (higher salary, good schedule, adequate requirements). In addition, the high demand for the framework shows that it:
- Meets the needs of employers.
- Is actively developing.
- Gives you all the features you need to implement your projects.
- Makes development fast and convenient.
Community and documentation
The larger the community, the easier it is to get help with a problem. A programmer can either easily find the right solution on the Internet or ask a question on his or her own. In 90% of cases, someone has already encountered the problem, so it is usually enough to use google. Good documentation is a programmer’s best friend. With its help, you can easily find the right function to solve the problem and understand the peculiarities of its work. Good documentation makes working with the framework easy and convenient.
Match your requirements
Suppose a programmer wants to develop small web applications and websites. To do this, he needs a lightweight, uncomplicated framework that also allows him to customize many things. Based on his requirements, the programmer should review basic information about frameworks and choose the one that best suits his tasks. The most common and popular web framework in Python is, of course, Django. It is by all accounts the best for learning. True, there is one point. Django has a lot of magic. You write a few lines of code and everything works. A novice programmer might just not understand what’s going on “under the hood” of the code he’s written. If, on the other hand, you want to learn the principles of the web, it’s better to start with Flask. In that case, if you already worked with other web frameworks, Django is the best choice.
Which framework is better to use in the project
When choosing a framework for a project, you should be guided by its characteristics:
- The speed of work.
- Number of specialists.
Different frameworks may be better suited for certain projects. It makes no sense to use a large web framework to write a small static website, and a micro-framework is not suitable for a large project. That is, you need to choose a framework whose capabilities fully meet the requirements of the project, but at the same time are not too redundant for it. For example, if your web application must handle a large number of requests at high speed, you must choose a framework which supports asynchronous processing.
Not all projects need to be fast, but in any case, the faster the code, the better. There are always two sides: code speed and development speed. If companies had a lot of time to develop their products, programmers would write code in low-level languages, achieving fantastic speeds. But all projects have to be developed within some time frame, so how fast the development team can write the application is also very important. When choosing a framework, you should look at the best combination of speed of operation and development.
Number of specialists
In fact, in the IT sphere there is a shortage of specialists. Therefore, if you have in mind to implement a large project, you need to approach the choice of technology intelligently. It is not easy to find good developers, the more popular the framework, the better chance to gather a good team of programmers. If you are developing a web store, Django is the best choice. If you need to write a small website, Flask is probably the best choice.
Web frameworks allow you to create server-side websites and web applications in Python. They have a low enough entry threshold that confident Python programmers have no problem working with them. There are quite a few good web frameworks such as Django, Flask, Pyramid and others. Choosing one of them is hard enough for both the programmer to learn and the employer for the project. Each framework has strengths and weaknesses and is better suited for certain types of tasks. Today, Python is quite well established in the web programming market. With frameworks, it can compete with giants like PHP and Java.