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I've had a bunch of weirdness deploying a Flask app to the service.

Defining requirements in a yml is nice for auto-install, but the scripts tend to break for me worse than "hand installing" via pip.

The reason I'm moving the app to a micro EC2 instance is that dotCloud actively masks the debug interface, so I can't exactly tell why my app is breaking on their servers, but not my local machine. Plus the fact that dotCloud/Heroku is largely overkill for small, team-focused apps. I can't really justify dropping 99/mo for something only 50 people will be using.

Otherwise, it was an incredibly smooth experience.

EDIT: requirements.txt, not YML

Sorry to hear things that you're having trouble with dotCloud. A couple quick questions:

First, which requirements are you putting in your dotcloud.yml? In general, pip-installable requirements should just go in a standard requirements.txt file, and dotcloud.yml should be used to describe the higher-level structure of your application (ie which service types you need).

Also, I'm not sure what you mean about "masking the debug interface", but all your Flask/WSGI and nginx logs are available with the "dotcloud logs" command, and you can also log into your service instance directly to debug using "dotcloud ssh" (in which case logs can be found in the /var/log directory). You can also certainly use Flask in debug mode, by setting "application.debug = True" in your wsgi.py

It is true that you may have trouble using the interactive, browser-based debugger with the default setup on dotCloud, then but this is a Flask limitation, not a dotCloud one. From http://flask.pocoo.org/docs/quickstart/#debug-mode: "the interactive debugger does not work in forking environments (which makes it nearly impossible to use on production servers)"

Hope that helps, and if you have any other questions, drop us a line: support@dotcloud.com

Thanks for the response! I had to facepalm at the WSGI config, I had been setting it within the app itself: it returned a 500 otherwise, which makes sense now.

Consider my one issue moot! Next time I'll read the docs better before complaining...


Any docs changes we could make to avoid others hitting the same problem?

Nope. The relevant info is literally the first warning callout on the Python guide: http://docs.dotcloud.com/services/python/

Thanks again for taking the time to set me straight on this.

Thanks for the feedback! A few improvements that might make your life easier since you last tried: dotCloud fully supports plain old requirements.txt (consumed by plain old pip). You can access all application logs (the less masking the better as far as we're considered).

Pricing is still the same and admittedly not perfect for small-ish projects on a budget. Our delibarate strategy is to charge businesses for a high-value service (and in our experience they gladly pay for it!), then find ways to subsidize hackers, students and bootstrapped startups with something free or cheap that doesn't cause us to bleed money. That is, in my view, the only way to truly help hackers in the long run - what good is our free service if it gets snatched up and digested by another unrelated business within the year?

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