[openspending-dev] Porting OpenSpending to Flask

Friedrich Lindenberg friedrich at pudo.org
Sun Dec 21 22:42:43 UTC 2014

I agree that it's be cool to split up OS into micro-services, and I'd say
that only gets easier once we have everything divided into blueprints.

As for OSEP2, I want to focus on the bits that generate end-user value. My
interpretation is that raw data storage would be useful, but less so than
simple file upload. They may end up being the same thing, but with
different attitudes :)

If I had to guess what the most pressing challenge is for the platform, I
would go with domain-specific metadata. OS has apparently got 2000 datasets
now (massive jump, what happened?) - but it's near impossible to find out
which areas are covered, which datasets are current and how one would
update those that aren't.

More than that, the OS home page does a horrible job linking out to the
cool satellite sites like Spending.jp, WDMMG, budzeti.ba, CameroonBudget or
OffenerHaushalt. These shouldn't just be mentioned in random blog post, but
featured in the main system when people browse for budget data.

Another random comment: reading the OS codebase today, I have to say that I
haven't learned to love the BDP. At the moment, it's turning into a
parallel, non-UI loading mechanism, when really the BDP should link into
the process much more smoothly. One mechanism -- model/mapping or BDP
should be the "truth", and the other one should map onto it. I'm really not
sure what the best approach is.


- Friedrich

On Sun, Dec 21, 2014 at 11:23 PM, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org>
> Hi Friedrich,
> I'll overall defer to Tryggvi here who is the head cat-herder here :-)
> My 2c:
> - Time to re-open this pull request
> https://github.com/openspending/openspending/issues/247 :-) (and
> https://github.com/openspending/osep/blob/gh-pages/03-flask-web-framework.md
> )
> - I definitely think getting from Pylons to Flask is an excellent idea
> - My only question is the relation of the port to the larger rework of OS
> to smaller micro-services (e.g.
> https://github.com/openspending/osep/blob/gh-pages/02-data-storage-and-data-pipeline.md
> and http://notebook.okfn.org/2014/10/25/openspending-overview-in-diagrams/
> and work in progress OSEP on this - forthcoming!)
> Rufus
> On 21 December 2014 at 20:24, Friedrich Lindenberg <friedrich at pudo.org>
> wrote:
>> Hey all,
>> as most of you will know, OpenSpending is still based on the Pylons web
>> framework, which has been discontinued and unsupported for a few years now.
>> Pylons was a bit notorious for encouraging questionable design practices,
>> for example a variety of semi global bucket variables (c, g, and h).
>> With a slight attack of Sunday enthusiasm, I started porting OpenSpending
>> to Flask today. The idea is that Flask would make the whole thing a bit
>> cleaner and provide a good reason to cut out the messy scope stuff.
>> Unfortunately, it also means touching virtually every corner of the code
>> base.
>> In any case, I've got a running version of some of OpenSpending in Flask,
>> only the home page and account management are working so far. Would love to
>> hear people's thoughts as to whether this is a bit too radical after all...
>> https://github.com/openspending/openspending/pull/833
>> Cheers,
>> - Friedrich
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