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Gluing it all together: progr.es Behind the Screens – Part 2

Combining Django and Node.js

An overview of the progr.es technology by Herman Schaaf, lead software engineer.

In Part 1¬†of this two-part series, I discussed how, in choosing the frameworks to power progr.es, we realized that it would be best to combine the strenghts of two different frameworks in particular: Django and Node.js. Django to power the application, chosen for its robustness, thousands of libraries and our experience using it, and Node.js for real-time (also called “comet”) capabilities. Combining these two was an unusual choice – one probably not attempted often up to now – and so we had to figure out a way to have the two frameworks communicate with each other. The common denominator we found for both of these is a messaging library called RabbitMQ.

The progr.es Architecture

The progr.es Architecture: How the different frameworks communicate with each other.

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progr.es Behind the Screens – Part 1

An overview of the progr.es technology by Herman Schaaf, lead software engineer.

This forms part of a two-part series on some technical aspects behind progr.es. I will try to give some insight into how we chose the technologies that we use, and how we managed to make these technologies work well together and perform some of the intricate features of the main progr.es application in a simple, efficient way. The latter will specifically be discussed in Part 2: Gluing it all together.

Choosing Between Buzzwords

In the building of progr.es, we had to make a number of technology-related decisions. Most importantly, we had to choose only a few core technologies – from the swarm of buzzwords that invade our daily vocabulary – to power and assist in the development of progr.es. I need only throw a few names out there to give an idea of the overwhelming number of choices even when merely deciding on a backend application framework: Django, Pylons, Flask, Node.js, Express, Ruby on Rails and Scala are merely a few examples. In evaluating every framework, we gave careful consideration to a number of factors, before settling on our rather unique stack. Read More…

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