Django and wxWidgets: A match made in heaven

During the design phase for a color accuracy management system, mycompany decided to go with a client-server model rather than individual workstations that are more or less independent. The central server would be responsible for recording readings from the clients and doing various calculations on the data. We wanted most of the calculation to happen server-side in order to keep the clients very simple, and ease of communication from client to server was a point of emphasis.

Rather than develop a server product from scratch, we chose Django due to familiarity and being cross-platform/database-independent. On the client side, the GUI toolkit of choice was wxWidgets, as it runs well on a number of platforms and has unrestrictive licensing. It also helps that I had developed a few other applications using it.

With the underlying technologies for the client and server chosen, we needed a means for communication between the two. A number of XML and other serialized formats were looked at, but eventually JSON won out. Django includes simplejson, a Python JSON encoder/decoder. On the client side, the excellent wxJSON library fit into the mix very well.

A few weeks later, the decisions made thus far have more than paid off. I’ve developed a standard JSON message class that is implemented on both the client and server, mirroring one another. This “protocol” is used to quickly send data back and forth, and makes the source code on both sides very readable and compact.

Using Django to power the server product means that the whole system is easily managed from just about any browser, and the JSON message protocol I’ve developed may be used by customers to interact with the server from their own applications.

A lot of this is obvious stuff, but I figured I’d throw it out there for those that might be interested in a really great combination of technologies.