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Using the Pylons Web Framework for Science Gateways

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1 Author(s)
Mary P. Thomas ; Member, IEEE, Department of Computer Science, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92186 USA. e-mail:

Science portals and gateways are built using a variety of tools ranging from elementary customized tools to existing frameworks that bring both greater capabilities (authentication, account management, interfaces, logging etc) and more complexity (resulting in long learning curves and complex code bases). For gateways, it is important to identify frameworks that can be easily adapted to the specialized environments needed for accessing the required cyberinfrastructure. In this paper we present our experiences in developing a basic gateway portal using the Pylons Web framework, Python tools, the Globus Core Python Toolkit including pyWSRF (Web Services-Resource Framework) and pyGlobus, developing Web service clients to TeraGrid information services, and Google code tools. We have found that the Pylons Web framework, which utilizes WSGI (WS-gateway interface) and AJAX (asynchronous JavaScript and XML), is easy to use and learn, is very flexible and has the ability to dynamically reload services without restarting the server (which dramatically reduces development and testing time). Additionally, Pylons components can be published as services, widgets and gadgets, and desktop applications.

Published in:

2008 Grid Computing Environments Workshop

Date of Conference:

12-16 Nov. 2008