Having ploughed through much of the documentation, done the tutorial and started writing my own little web app, I have some half-formed thoughts about Google App Engine to throw out to the world.

  • As far as I can tell, any sort of data aggregation functionality (counting, averaging etc.) just won't be possible as the Datastore APIs don't allow for it. I've tried to think of ways to fake it but even my most elaborate machinations come up against the buffers. The only way to manage it at all is to do counting and averaging piecemeal, manually keeping the aggregate values you need up to date with each individual entity modification. Unfortunately, that means that you can't introduce new functionality requiring new aggregate values after you've already got a million users, because you've missed the chance to record those aggregates along the way.
  • Python's OK, but I don't like using indentation as the sole way to define blocks. But I'm sure I can get used to that.
  • I really don't like having to put an empty __init__.py file in any subdirectories of my python code. If I don't do that it seems I can't import foo.bar.Thingy. Breaking up code into multiple files in a sensible directory structure is surely a fairly common thing to do, so I'm amazed that Python makes it strangely difficult. I hope I've simply missed something and it's actually easier than that.
  • In fact all those double underscores look horrid and are a pain to type. Surely a single underscore would have been quite adequate?
  • The overall experience for learning GAE is very sorted. Smooth and well integrated – all you need to supply is your own decent text editor. I'm trying out TextMate, the darling of Mac OS X code editors, but I'm worried to see that it doesn't seem to have been updated for over a year. 

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