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What IS Flask

Short introduction to Flask

Flask is a lightweight WSGI web application framework. It is designed to make getting started quick and easy, with the ability to scale up to complex applications. Classified as a microframework, Flask is written in Python and it does not require particular tools or libraries. It has no database abstraction layer, form validation, or any other components where pre-existing third-party libraries provide common functions.

Compared to his older brother Django, Flask provides a lightweight codebase and more freedom to the developer. This might be a good thing because you have more freedom in terms of app design and structure but at the same time, this freedom might inject problems when your application becomes complex.

What is Flask - Tutorial provided by AppSeed.

βœ… Set up PC for Flask​

Being a Python framework, Flask requires Python to run and expose his magic. Flask is compatible with Python2, Python3 (the recommended version).

Install Python

To get started working with Python3, you’ll need to have access to the Python interpreter (the console, and related tools and libraries). We can accomplish this in several ways:

  • Download the installer from the official download page.
  • Use a package manager like yum, apt on Linux systems
  • Homebrew for MacOS users.
  • Build Python from sources, a method used by super-geeks.

βœ… Install Python on Windows​

To install Python on our windows workstation, a few simple steps should be followed:

  • Navigate to the official download page, using a web browser
  • Select the installer that matches the OS (32b or 64b)
  • Execute the installer (using the default options, should be enough in most of the cases)
  • Test the installation by typing python --version in a terminal

βœ… Install Python on Linux​

There is a very good chance your Linux distribution has Python installed already, but it probably won’t be the latest version, and it may be Python 2 instead of Python3. To check the installed versions, just type:

$ python --version
$ python3 --version

βœ… Install on CentOS​

To install, you should first update your system with the yum package manager:

$ sudo yum install python36u
$ sudo yum install python36u-pip

If you still have issues set up your workstation for Python, feel free to join the Discord server and ask for support.

Other useful links

βœ… Install Flask​

To install Flask, we can use PIP, the official Python package manager:

$ pip install Flask

During Flask installation, other modules will be installed under-the-hood:

  • Werkzeug implements WSGI, the standard Python interface between applications and servers.
  • Jinja is a template language that renders the pages your application serves.
  • MarkupSafe comes with Jinja. It escapes untrusted input when rendering templates to avoid injection attacks.
  • ItsDangerous securely signs data to ensure its integrity. This is used to protect Flask’s session cookie.
  • Click is a framework for writing command-line applications. It provides the flask command and allows adding custom management commands.

βœ… Flask - A minimal Application​

To code a super simple app with Flask we need to create a new file and write a few lines of code:

from flask import Flask
app = Flask(__name__)

def hello_world():
return 'Hello, from Flask!'

Above lines, saved in means:

  • Flask is imported and become ready to be used
  • app is an object constructed by Flask library
  • app object inherit all Flask magic
  • @app.route is a decorator that define a default route for our app
  • When the browser access our app, the message Hello, from Flask! will be displayed.

How to start the app

To run the application you can either use the flask command or python’s -m switch with Flask. Before starting the app, we should export the FLASK_APP environment variable:

$ # Set the FLASK_APP environment variable
$ export # Unix/Mac)
$ set # Windows
$ $env:FLASK_APP = ".\" # Powershell

To effectively start the app, please type:

$ flask run # this will execute file

By default, Flask will start the app on port 5000 - http://localhost:5000. By accessing this local address, we should see the message Hello, from Flask!

With this minimal example in mind, we can extend this app with more features. A possible list might be:

  • add more routes
  • add a database to save relevant information
  • add static assets to use a Bootstrap style, for instance
  • implement an authentication system

βœ… Flask Dashboard Sample​

Flask Dashboard - Black is a simple, open-source Flask starter coded with basic modules, database and deployment scripts for Docker, HEROKU and Gunicorn.

Flask Dashboard - Black Design, dashboard screen.

βœ… Resources​