Is AppEngine Python's Rails?

I was thinking about AppEngine some more today and it occurred to me that not only could AppEngine be responsible for a lot of people learning/using Python, but it very well might be Python’s answer to Rails. Its so-called “killer app”, if you will.

Up until this point, Python has been plagued with multiple, competing Web frameworks all taking some mindshare and there really hasn’t been a strong rallying point in the Python Web community like Rails. It appears that Django has been winning out in the blogosphere lately, but its nothing like Rails’ devout following in Ruby-land.

However, with AppEngine, Google does Rails one better: instead of just making it easy to code your app, they make it just as easy as Rails to code and dirt simple to deploy and reduce the operation maintenance to near zero. The need for things like ActiveRecord and migrations is pretty reduced in the AppEngine environment, as is all but a tiny knowledge of SQL (called GQL in that realm). That’s really, really attractive if you’re a Web consultancy shop that’s looking to turn over clients as fast as possible or a side project with a mandate for speed, quality and low cost. To me, that seems like it would be worth learning a little Python for.

AppEngine is pretty clearly aimed at Facebook’s F8 platform but it could end up hitting Python with a major boost in popularity as an aside. I bet Guido is smiling all the way to the bank on this one…