I’ve been dabbling with Python Turbogears in the last week. Turbogears is a great framework so far. My biggest like is the loose coupling, allowing you to choose the best component for the job. I’ll write a more detailed blog about the other RAD web development frameworks out there sometime this week, but my biggest dislike of say Rails, Django, and some others, is how they tie you into using their integrated components. You can of course hackishly disable their use/dependency, but not without losing many other features of the framework. In my experience, these type of frameworks are great at getting something up quickly, but they suck when it comes to long term scalability and growth, as you basically end up rewriting the framework to integrate other 3rd party or your own components to the point that it marginalizes the benefits of the framework.
I found out that building Python on a Mac (OS X Snow Leopard) is nearly impossible. You can definitely compile it, but I needed it compiled to work with mod_wsgi, and various modules. I also needed to compile mod_wsgi against a particular version of apache, which required me to compile python as a universal binary to support i386 and x86_64 architectures. That’s where it started to get painful. Snow Leopard is distributed with Python 2.6.1 and supports a 3-way architecture (ppc7400, i386, and x86_64), but the latest python release is 2.6.5, so I tried to compile it. I used a myriad of options…
./configure --prefix=/usr/local/python-2.6.5 \ --enable-framework=/usr/local/python-2.6.5/frameworks \ MACOSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET=10.6 \ --enable-universalsdk=/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.6.sdk \ --with-universal-archs=3-way
I also tried to use intel for –with-universal-archs. Both CCFLAGS and LDFLAGS were being set correctly in the Makefile. I even tried setting them explicitly, with no luck: Python’s executable was compiling in all architectures except 64-bit. I wasn’t able to find any references to any such issue anywhere in the user forums and/or on the web. Every reference I saw in compiling python in 64-bit, I tried, with no luck. Evidentally, the Python distributed with Snow Leopard was compiled using some special compile procedures by Apple due to the fact that some packages lack 64-bit compatibility. I couldn’t find any reference to this procedure, nor did I really want to engage is such activity. Come on Python folks, WTF??? Can you either provide compilation instructions, or distribute MacPython as a universal binary including x86_64?
I ended up resorting (unhappily) to using Snow Leopard’s distributed Python and Mac’s web-sharing apache. I compiled mod_wsgi with:
./configure --with-apxs=/usr/sbin/apxs \ --with-python=/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/bin/python
and voila, we have a working mod_wsgi install. I really dislike the fact that I wasted days trying to get it to work with Python 2.6.5 and custom apache install, but at least I have something that works now and hopefully won’t slow me down any more.
I’m loving python, as I have sporadically for quite a while, but I’m really missing the JVM with its problem-free installs, jar/war archives, and things just working.