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The smallest and easiest REST server in Python

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I am creating a web application for writing. This is just the beginning and I am making some experiments.

I decided to use AngularJS for the interface, as it solves most of the problems of any web application interface. Templates, two-way data binding between template and code, easy REST actions, etc...

As I understand, I am just learning, AngularJS is mostly designed for using a REST server for the data load and store. Any server would work whenever it responds to REST requests. For this reason, this solution is the fastest and easiest for creating a REST server in Python.

REST server with web.py

Here is the python script to define and start the REST server.

It defines two endpoints, /authors and /suggest/[param1]/[param2].

#!/usr/bin/env python
import web
import json

# Define exposed URL's
urls = (
    '/authors', 'authors',
    '/suggest/(.*)/(.*)', 'suggest'
)

# Define the application
app = web.application(urls, globals())

AUTHORS = ['Miguel de Cervantes', 'William Shakespeare', 'Francisco de Quevedo', ...]

# Define the actions when the URL's are called
class authors:
    def GET(self):
        return json.dumps({'authors': AUTHORS})


class suggest:
    def GET(self, author, words):
        if author in AUTHORS:
            suggestions = find_suggestions(author, words)
            return json.dumps(suggestions)
        else:
            return 'Error: author not found.'

if __name__ == "__main__":
    # Start the server
    app.run()

Call using AngularJS

The JavaScript code to make the request to the /authors URL. It updates the $scope.authors variable with the data received.

var AUTHOR_URL = 'http://localhost:8080/authors';

$http.get(AUTHOR_URL).success(function(data, status, headers, config) {
    console.log('success');
    $scope.authors = data.authors;
    console.log(arguments);
}).error(function(data, status, headers, config) {
    console.log('error');
    console.log(arguments);
});

This is the HTML code with the AngularJS directives to populate the data received to a SELECT component.

<select ng-model="author" ng-options="a for a in authors">
</select>

Conclusion

This solution is adequate if you need a REST server for learning or evaluating a new technology as it is easy and fast. It is also good for mocking REST responses for unit testing purposes. On next articles, I will show some samples of the AngularJS application.


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