On converting Bottle to Klein

Posted by Katie McLaughlin on July 20, 2016

In the python world, you can use micro-frameworks like Bottle and Flask to make small website without having to go full Django

But, I’ve found some limitations in Bottle. Issues when the little web app is being hit by multiple things at once, mostly. Bottle does have drop-in replacements, but a lot of them are untested, and don’t include logging by default.

I’ve written about Bottle and threading before, but ended that article off with:

it happily was able to serve 98% of requests, which is good enough for me.

Turns out 98% isn’t good enough for my use case. So I thought, how hard would it be to replace Bottle with something that should handle more traffic. Then I remembered Klein. Klein touts itself as being a replacement for Bottle and Flask, and is a brilliantly named project for that scope.

So, here’s how I took a sufficiently complex Bottle app and migrated it to Klein..

By sufficiently complex Bottle app, I mean:

  • multiple routes with template views
  • static files
  • JSON endpoints

My added requirement is that I change as little as possible. I’d prefer not to rewrite the entire thing, if it can be avoided.

This is a basic structure of what I started with:

import Bottle

app = Bottle.Bottle()

def page():
    # ...
    return Bottle.template("views/page", text=text)

def data():
    # ...
    return data # dict

if __name__ == '__main__':
    Bottle.run(app, host='', port=8080, server='paste')

Importing is the first step How can I change my imports to get the basics in without changing too much.

It’s more than just a s/Bottle/Klein, though; the API interfaces are similar, but not identical.

-import Bottle
+import Klein

-app = Bottle.Bottle()
+app = Klein.Klein()

This is fine, but then you get issues when calling @app.get, since that doesn’t exist.

-def page():
+@app.route('/page', methods=["GET"])
+def page(request):

Note the inclusion of request; the route isn’t a void method in Klein, but you don’t have to do anything with request, so it’s just ‘syntaxic sugar` in a conversion.

The invocation of the server is just a small change, as well.

 if __name__ == '__main__':
-    Bottle.run(app, host='', port=8080, server='paste')
+    app.run('', 8080)

But then comes the replacement for the Bottle templates. Turns out that helpers are abound in Bottle, and I was using something that I picked up based on a sample app, not understanding the complexity of the templating underneath.

It look a bit of googling of the template syntax I was using to work out I was using Jinja under the hood. Now, the docs say that you can use Twisted.Web templates, but I have perfectly good templates that I want to use.

Turns out, I just need to explicitly import Jinja, and get that engine to process my templates, then pass that back into Klein.

-    return Bottle.templates("views/page", text=text)
+    with open("views/page.tpl") as f:
+        t = Template(f.read())
+    return t.render(text=text)

This seemed very verbose to me, so what I did was make my own templater helper as a replacement for Bottle.template:

def templater(filename, **kwargs):
    tpl = "%s.tpl" % filename
    with open(tpl) as f:
        t = Template(f.read())
    return t.render(**kwargs)

So my actual change reduces down to:

-    return Bottle.templates("views/page", text=text)
+    return templater("views/page", text=text)

That solves the templates. Next, static files. I had all my assets in /assets on my filesystem, so it was a case of just serving this folder directly.

+@app.route('/assets/', branch=True)
+def static(request):
+    return File("./assets")

Finally, JSON data. By default, Bottle was transparently doing Content-Type conversions for me, so I never had to worry. Klein got very upset when I tried to return a dict from a route, so I had to explicitly set some values.

-    return data
+    request.setHeader('Content-Type', 'application/json')
+    return json.dumps(data)

Final summation: I ended up with:

import Klein

app = Klein.Klein()

def templater(filename, **kwargs):
    tpl = "%s.tpl" % filename
    with open(tpl) as f:
        t = Template(f.read())
    return t.render(**kwargs)

@app.rouet('/page', methods=["GET"])
def page(request):
    # ...
    return templater("views/page", text=text)

def data():
    # ...
    request.setHeader('Content-Type', 'application/json')
    return json.dumps(data)

if __name__ == '__main__':
    app.run('', 8080)

Your milage my vary, but this is all I had to do to get Bottle 0.12.9 into Klein 15.3.1.