Tetra: A Full Stack Web Framework That Doesn't Make You Write Everything Twice


July 3rd, 2022

53 mins 6 secs

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About this Episode


Building a fully functional web application has been growing in complexity along with the growing popularity of javascript UI frameworks such as React, Vue, Angular, etc. Users have grown to expect interactive experiences with dynamic page updates, which leads to duplicated business logic and complex API contracts between the server-side application and the Javascript front-end. To reduce the friction involved in writing and maintaining a full application Sam Willis created Tetra, a framework built on top of Django that embeds the Javascript logic into the Python context where it is used. In this episode he explains his design goals for the project, how it has helped him build applications more rapidly, and how you can start using it to build your own projects today.


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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Sam Willis about Tetra, a full stack component framework for your Django applications


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you describe what Tetra is and the story behind it?
  • What are the problems that you are aiming to solve with this project?
    • What are some of the other ways that you have addressed those problems?
    • What are the shortcomings that you encountered with those solutions?
  • What was missing in the existing landscape of full-stack application development patterns that prompted you to build a new meta-framework?
  • What are some of the sources of inspiration (positive and negative) that you looked to while deciding on the component selection and implementation strategy?
  • Can you describe how Tetra is implemented?
    • What are the core principles that you are relying on to drive your design of APIs and developer experience?
  • What is the process for building a full component in Tetra?
  • What are some of the application design challenges that are introduced by Combining the javascript and Django logic and attributes? (e.g. reusing JS logic/CSS styles across components)
  • A perennial challenge with combining the syntax across multiple languages in a single file is editor support. How are you thinking about that with Tetra’s implementation?
  • What is your grand vision for Tetra and how are you working to make it sustainable?
  • What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen Tetra used?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on Tetra?
  • When is Tetra the wrong choice?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Tetra?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA