Anaconda Aims to Democratize Python with PyScript

The 1-year-old open source PyScript programming framework is getting a new service that advocates hope will ease Python application development.

Sean Michael Kerner, Contributor

April 3, 2023

4 Min Read
Python code
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The open source Python programming language is getting a lot easier to use to build and deploy applications, thanks to the PyScript project.

PyScript got its start in April 2022 as an open source project led by software service firm Anaconda and is just about to celebrate its one-year anniversary. The PyScript open source software (OSS) project enables users to easily run Python in the browser, access JavaScript features from Python, and build Python-based web applications.

On March 28, the effort took a major step forward with the launch of PyScript.com as a service to help developers take full advantage of PyScript to build applications online.

Pliger pulled quote

Pliger-Anaconda

PyScript.com boasts several notable features, including:

  • The ability to easily develop Python-powered web applications

  • The ability to build and execute from within a web browser

  • Modular development

  • Robust styling and plug-in architecture

  • Educational tools to help users learn Python

  • A vibrant community

"PyScript.com is a service providing a set of cloud-based tools that allows users of PyScript to shortcut many of the tasks we'd have to manually take care of when developing with just PyScript OSS on a local machine," Fabio Pliger, principal software architect at Anaconda, told ITPro Today. "PyScript.com aims to make it extremely easy for non-developers and developers alike to create, deploy, and share Python applications without friction."

Related:Top Programming Language Trends in 2023

How PyScript Democratizes Python Development

While Python is one of the most popular programming languages, it has its fair share of limitations.

For one, Python has been historically bad at supporting both mobile devices and in-browser applications, according to Pliger.

"Now, with PyScript, users can develop and easily deploy applications that work on both," he said. "As the world's most popular programming language, it's exciting to bring Python to the most popular hardware and software platforms on Earth."

PyScript interface

PyScript

Another benefit, Pliger said, is that once a PyScript application is deployed to the internet, users need only the address to access it. PyScript.com makes it even easier by providing a secure address where the application is deployed and updated in real time while users are developing it. Typically with Python, creators have to package their application, find ways to distribute it, think about the installation experience for their users, and deal with issues arising from different underlying operating systems, he said.

With PyScript, it is now also possible for Python users to create visual applications using HTML and the browser directly, he added.

Pliger said that since PyScript was first announced in 2022, the core open source project has benefited from a series of improvements, including:

  • Stability: The application flow is now stable, cleaner, and more predictable.

  • Extensibility: A new plug-in system allows users to extend the platform in order to add new features not available in the core project.

  • Performance: The platform is now faster and more efficient thanks to a number of improvements both in PyScript and upstream in Pyodide, the default Python interpreter that PyScript uses.

  • Parallel execution: The project iscurrently working to support execution of PyScript inside web workers.

  • Better JavaScript integration capabilities: This is something the project is currently working on but is not quite ready. While Pyodide provides an FFI (Foreign Function Interface) on its own, allowing users to use JavaScript libraries from within Python and vice versa, the broader Python on the browser ecosystem doesn't have this capability yet.

Growing the PyScript Community with PyScript.com

PyScript.com is a key part of the evolution of PyScript, according to Pliger.

Developers who are just using the PyScript open source project software must go through a series of steps to get an application up and running, he said. For instance, users would have to open an editor, create the files of the project, and then open a browser to see the preview. Once developers want to publish on the internet and share with others, they would have to find a service to host their files online, and figure out domains and all the related things that one has to do when publishing something on the internet. All those hurdles go away with PyScript.com, Pliger said.

"We feel PyScript.com is an excellent way to start learning and building applications with PyScript," he said. "It allows anyone to start building immediately without limitations, and it supports both beginners and advanced users alike."

Pliger said PyScript.com will add features over time to enable rapid application development, rich data access, and fine-grained user access for editing and viewing. Anaconda's vision is for the service to become a hub for PyScript application development, application components, plug-ins, and data services.

"A big part of the PyScript vision from the beginning revolves around democratizing programming and data science, or as we've put it, programming for the 99%," Pliger said. "PyScript.com was the next logical step in that direction, making it even easier and faster to create Python applications with PyScript."

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author(s)

Sean Michael Kerner

Contributor

Sean Michael Kerner is an IT consultant, technology enthusiast and tinkerer. He consults to industry and media organizations on technology issues.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanmkerner/

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