What Are Flask and Bottle in Web Design?

flaskIf you want to write Web apps with other developers online, you may want to know more about Flask and Bottle in Web design. These terms refer to two popular application programming frameworks that depend on the Python programming language for implementation and external libraries. Both frameworks are similar in the respect that they’re very small, simplistic collections of code that give developers complete flexibility to make any project they like. There are no assumptions made about the nature or implementation of a project, and neither framework includes all the Python modules needed to launch a website.

When to Use a Micro-Framework

Most projects using Flask or Bottle are application programming interface, or API, projects, which aren’t intended to be complete websites. An API is a library of source code that exposes the functionality of a device or platform to developers without making the private data public. Even if source code is published under the GNU General Public License, the data created and stored by an app must be accessed through an interface to prevent program instability and rampant hacking.

API projects are often built in Flask or Bottle, because they’re lightweight frameworks that provide only the minimal set of modules needed to define a site index, open ports and assign a host name, according to Six Feet Up. However, many full-featured websites have been built in Flask, including LinkedIn and Pinterest, as it allows developers to easily use a server stack with an Apache alternative, such as Nginx or Tomcat.

Apache is an HTTP server that is used by most of the websites on the Internet, and Django is a very robust and powerful Python framework that includes all of the features needed to launch a major website, including an administrator interface, data forms, user authentication and URL routing. Developers who want to use an alternative Web server or who want a more minimal software stack can’t or don’t want to use Django with Apache.

Choices of Python Frameworks

There are quite a few alternatives to Django, Flask and Bottle, including Diesel, Pyramid, Tornado and Falcon, and new Python frameworks are springing up all the time. Pyramid is a more robust framework that provides a reasonable alternative to Django, and the rest are micro-frameworks like Flask and Bottle.

When it comes to micro-frameworks, the choice of developers is usually Flask, and there are a number of external libraries that provide template programming, form validation and upload functionality, such as Jinja2, Mako, SQLAlchemy and CouchDB. These libraries can also be combined with Bottle, although developers tend to choose this lighter framework when they want a very simple software stack with minimal dependencies.

Micro-frameworks can be used for quickly setting up a website with a basic interface and simple, one-function design, and they can be gradually added to by a community of developers working through a software revision system such as Git or Subversion. While it’s possible to build a minimal website with Django, the starting point of a project is more elaborate and includes a lot of code that may never be used.

Related Resource: Integrated Development Environment

Python is the second most popular object-oriented programming language on the Internet, the first being PHP. It can be used for basic scripting or to build an entire website. If you want to build a minimal Python website, you should know how to use Bottle and Flask in Web design.