Hey guys. This was my call, so I guess I should explain. I'm typing from my iPhone, but here goes:
Our site is over 5 years old, and if you've followed Justin.tv at all, you know it's been pivot city. All of those pivots have left their mark on the aging code base. It also turns out that many of our assumptions about how to build and scale a high traffic web app are no longer relevant. Servers are 10x faster, bandwidth is dirt cheap, and SSD's have entirely changed the database world.
There is nothing wrong with Rails, but everything else at Justin.tv is written in Python, so I wanted to use that. Switching languages has the benefit of forcing us to remove stuff we don't need anymore and implement the minimum set of features needed; cut and paste doesn't work across programming languages the last time I checked, and that's a good thing in this case.
Django has come a long way as a framework, to the point where it no longer "gets in the way". But the main reason I like it is that it's simple and it's python. All of our backed systems and video libraries are in python, so it will be nice to be able to share more code and leverage the brainpower of the non-ruby programmers at Justin.tv. There are many.
One thing I'd like to make clear- this isn't one of those massive, paralyzing rewrite projects. Justin.tv's website alone is not terribly complex. The scope of this is limited to porting only the templates still in use, porting over the minimum set of features, and removing as much cruft as possible. Our API, chat, video, data stores, and 99% of the infrastructure are untouched.
If you want to help build what will quickly be one of the top 5 django sites in the world, I'm hiring. Team is just two developers right now (everyone else works on TwitchTV) and we're looking for a lead developer.
5 years ago it was four dudes in a two bedroom apartment trying to run a reality tv show. Web frameworks were the least of our problems, especially since none of us knew any Ruby or Python to begin with.