Saturday, December 29, 2007

Breaking things up

The winner of the last blog entry was Django. Reading over it again, it seemed that my main objection to Django was that the problem structure - hierarchical data, stored in Mogile, with lots of functions that do things other than CRUDscreen operations (eg. compilation & asset management) - didn't really fit a web framework meant for CMSes. Other than that, Django would be great, and there were a bunch of 3rd-party Django apps I wanted to use.

But there's another option - I could make the structure of our project fit Django, by pulling all the other stuff relating to the game creation language or compiler out into a separate project. And I should probably do this anyway, because it leads to a more flexible, more decoupled architecture. For example, I could run command-line tools that make & publish games and yet don't need Pylons installed.

So I just spent a couple days pulling everything out into separate projects. I have one for the compiler (input: a JSON data structure representing the game, output: a Flash file), one for storing things in Mogile, and eventually one for the website itself. Former 2 are standalone Python projects installed via setuptools, the latter one is a Django project that hopefully will also have a setuptools script. The compiler passes all its existing unit tests for both Python and Actionscript already, the storage module will be tested in a bit, maybe after dinner.

I'm kinda surprised (and very glad) that it only took 2 days. When I did the same thing at my first employer and my last employer (hah, no matter where I work, I end up doing the same job), it took like a month, and in my last employer's case was never finished. Granted, there I needed cooperation from the other engineers, and they all had other things to do.

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Nice post! Can’t wait for the next one. Keep stuff like this coming.

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