verify_installation for pyblosxom

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A couple of weeks ago, I checked in code to help out PyBlosxom installation and configuration. I made changes to pyblosxom.cgi so that you could run it from the prompt:

   ./pyblosxom.cgi

It tells you your Python version, OS name, and then proceeds to verify your config properties (did you specify a valid datadir? does it exist?...) and then initializes all your plugins and executes verify_installation(request) on every plugin you have installed that has the function.

As a plugin developer, you should add a verify_installation function to your plugin module. Something like this (taken from pycategories):

   def verify_installation(request):
       config = request.getConfiguration()

       if not config.has_key("category_flavour"):
           print "missing optional config property 'category_flavour' which allows "
           print "you to specify the flavour for the category link.  refer to "
           print "pycategory plugin documentation for more details."
       return 1

Basically this gives you (the plugin developer) the opportunity to walk the user through configuring your highly complex, quantum-charged, turbo plugin in small baby steps without having to hunt for where their logs might be.

So check the things you need to check, print out error messages (informative ones), and then return a 1 if the plugin is configured correctly or a 0 if it's not configured correctly.

This is not a substitute for reading the installation instructions. But it should be a really easy way to catch a lot of potential problems without involving the web server's error logs and debugging information being sent to a web-browser and things of that nature.

Want to comment? Send an email to willkg at bluesock dot org. Include the url for the blog entry in your comment so I have some context as to what you're talking about.