Sunday, April 20, 2008

On the Framework Merry-Go-Round

So I have been actively working with drupal for the past several months, trying to get it up and running for an NGO in India. The experience has been fairly smooth and I have even gotten the hang of developing and extending modules for the system. Just a couple of weeks ago following some self-assessment on working with drupal I began considering it as framework for developing a pattern based knowledge management system.

That was of course until two interesting conversations took place. The first conversation was with Yishay who pointed me to the Google Appengine project. He already knew I was a fan of python and django so he brought this up as an alternative to working with drupal.

In all honesty (as I have said in previous posts) I would rather develop with a language like python and framework such as django. Now with the added integration with Appengine it seemed as a an interesting direction to take.

Strangely, the next day at work I was given the green light to begin diving head first into this django/appengine phenomena. We have been actively using SharePoint for most of our projects. Whereas myself I have bucked the system from the get go, instead opting to use google apps and/or building my own as needed.

Well, it seems that my efforts did not go unrecognized and with the help of a few collegues it seems that the google route was partially embraced even if it was just from the standpoint of conducting an investigation of what we might be able to do.

Personally, I would love to develop solely with django and python at work, and well it looks like I get my wish. So for this summer I get to spend all of my time getting acquainted with appengine and see what it can do. Where does this leave me with drupal and my knowledge management system? Well, it leaves with wrapping up my current project for JESA and most likely focusing on using the django framework as the foundation for developing the components needed for my system.

I feel like I have been on a merry-go-round, but considering the options, this summer's work and fellow colleagues giving me the space to become relatively proficient with this system it seems like a given that I will try and use this framework to produce my software.

I'm actually pretty excited about the prospect, as it seems like I'm in a perfect position to take advantage of the django/appengine integration. I'm a huge python fan and it is the language I'm most proficient with. I know django, having built a couple of blog and wiki apps (one day I will move this blog to the one I built), and well appengine uses BigTable and that looks to be an interesting adventure. So taking that together with what I want to do with the application I'm building it seems like a great tool set.

So, thanks Yishay, thanks Gary and definitely thanks to Jamie and Theron for pushing a multi-paradigm software shop at CTLT.

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