Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

10 May 2022, 15:00 p.m.

HTTP Can Do That?!

I realized recently I've never blogged about the best tech talk I've ever given and one of my favorite performances: "HTTP Can Do That?!: A collection of bad ideas" from PyCon US 2016 in Portland, Oregon. If you have ever written any code that interacts with the web, you'll understand this, and maybe get a kick out of it.

Learn how to get more performance, testability, and flexibility out of your web apps, using features already built into HTTP. I walk you through case studies exploring good (and bad) ideas, using Python, your browser, netcat, and other common tools.

[Slides, sample code.]

A bespoke header in an HTTP response, reading Glub: Sumanariffic

I discuss:

I've tagged this entry "Comedy" because it's pretty funny (the YouTube comments include people arguing over my "corny" humor!), and if you like that playfulness, lemme point you to the conference !!Con and the Recurse Center, because those are contexts within which I've thoroughly enjoyed and explored playfulness around programming.

Special shout-out to Leonard's book Restful Web APIs and its appendices A and B, the status and header codices. Living with Leonard as he became a mega HTTP and REST expert definitely influenced this talk.

I'd initially presented this talk the previous year at the late Open Source Bridge, but the PyCon recording has (as I recall) a better performance plus more laughter from the audience. And the PyCon captioner and I ended up bantering through the medium of the captions: