[reportlab-users] PDF forms

Tim Roberts timr at probo.com
Tue Nov 29 12:47:54 EST 2005

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 00:03:52 +0000, Andy Robinson <andy at reportlab.com> 

>We've been building cgi-based applications for customers for years,
>and despite a few experiments we have no plans to move away.  One
>of these handle amazing peak loads at the end of the financial year;
>they import our library on every hit, and produce 20-age fully 
>personalized contracts in very small print in 2secs on average
>CGI in Python has some overhead, but that is small compared to
>generating a PDF document.  On the plus side it scales linearly,
>makes life much simpler than stateful processes when you run it
>on clusters, is ultra-stable and easy to support and debug, and works 

This is an EXCELLENT point, and I wish more people would "get it".  Time 
and time again, I have seen developers scoff at Python CGI for web 
solutions, smug in their knowledge that the interpreter load overhead 
will kill their performance.  Absolute nonsense.

I wrote a commercial real estate listing exchange site almost 5 years 
ago that now handles some 4,000 users, and sends out about 100,000 
e-mails a day.  It is entirely in CGI-based Python.  It keeps on 
ticking, and both the users and the owner are happy.  I wish I had the 
opportunity to rewrite it using CherryPy or Webware/PSP, but only 
because it would make maintenance easier.

Now, if I was writing a web site which needed to handle 500 requests a 
second, all day long, I would certainly make a different choice.  
However, there are darned few web sites in the world that fall into that 

Tim Roberts, timr at probo.com
Providenza & Boekelheide, Inc.

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