# 1. Foreword¶

Read this before you get started with Flask. This hopefully answers some questions about the purpose and goals of the project, and when you should or should not be using it.

## 1.1. What does “micro” mean?¶

“Micro” does not mean that your whole web application has to fit into a single Python file (although it certainly can), nor does it mean that Flask is lacking in functionality. The “micro” in microframework means Flask aims to keep the core simple but extensible. Flask won’t make many decisions for you, such as what database to use. Those decisions that it does make, such as what templating engine to use, are easy to change. Everything else is up to you, so that Flask can be everything you need and nothing you don’t.

By default, Flask does not include a database abstraction layer, form validation or anything else where different libraries already exist that can handle that. Instead, Flask supports extensions to add such functionality to your application as if it was implemented in Flask itself. Numerous extensions provide database integration, form validation, upload handling, various open authentication technologies, and more. Flask may be “micro”, but it’s ready for production use on a variety of needs.

## 1.2. Configuration and Conventions¶

Flask has many configuration values, with sensible defaults, and a few conventions when getting started. By convention, templates and static files are stored in subdirectories within the application’s Python source tree, with the names templates and static respectively. While this can be changed, you usually don’t have to, especially when getting started.