Contributed plugins 1.3 released

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I finally released the contributed plugins pack for PyBlosxom 1.3. To be honest, I really wanted to get around to testing everything more, but it's a big project and I never made the time to do it. Rather than sitting on it forever, I decided to release it now. It's vaguely possible that someone out there will download it, discover that the plugins they're interested in are terribly tested, and help fixing the real problem which is that the only testing we do on the PyBlosxom project is anecdotal testing ("well, it works for me...") by setting up some kind of magical testing framework.

More details on the PyBlosxom site.

PyBlosxom status: 05/09/2006

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I applied a few patches that I've received over the last month or so. I'll hopefully release the contributed plugins pack--there have been a lot of updates since I last released it (ages and ages ago).

Next step is to fold some more documentation into the manual and figure out to handle contributed plugins better. Need to figure out how to fix the problem that the ones I don't use on my blog are of unknown quality and different versions of the different plugins work with different version of PyBlosxom. I'd also like to re-organize the plugins into categories that make more sense.

At one point I was planning on building a page on the web-site tracking things that need to be done for PyBlosxom. Now I think I'll just put the list in a TODO.txt file in Subversion along with everything else. It occurs to me we probably had one at one point, but I probably deleted it.


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Mark Edgar's PuTTYcyg patch is awesome. I've always had difficulties with the Cygwin console and using PuTTYcyg makes me a happy man. Definitely worth looking at if the Cygwin console issues (resize issues, fonts, copy/paste issues, ...) make life irritating.

Wedding site: using Pylons

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I'm building a wedding site that contains mostly static material but has some material that's reminsicent of CMS and some material that's database-driven, too.

I surveyed the scene of Python web-frameworks and settled on Pylons for various reasons but mostly because:

  • I liked their website. It was easy to figure out what it does, how it's architected, and I can find what I'm looking for.
  • It's built on Paste. Paste is great infrastructure.
  • It supports WSGI. Makes it easier to interoperate with other applications.
  • The project is very healthy.

I've spent 40 minutes or so fiddling with the site so far with only a few minor issues which required me to go poking through documentation. One of the issues is that I have a series of templates in my templates/ dir and I uncommented out the commented out code in the controller so it's like this:

from weddingwww.lib.base import *

class TemplateController(BaseController):
    def view(self, url):
        from pkg_resources import resource_exists
        if resource_exists('weddingwww', url+'.myt'):
            m.abort(404, "File not found '%s'" % url)

That doesn't seem to work as I'd expect. For example, if I go to http://localhost:5000/meeting, the url parameter ends up as meeting but the resources_exist returns a false even though there's a meeting.myt file in my templates directory.

After fiddling with this and trying to figure out where pkg_resources is defined, I just commented the code out and changed it to this:

from weddingwww.lib.base import *

class TemplateController(BaseController):
    def view(self, url):

which obviously does the wrong thing if the file doesn't exist.

New Google Talk

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There's a new Google Talk version; they added pictures and some other stuff. But in doing that they changed it so that it whacks all indentation. So copy and pasting code snippets to people doesn't work as well becase all the preceeding white space in each line is removed. That makes it infinitely less useful for me and pretty irksome.

Meetings done by chat...

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Meetings that are done in a text-based chat interface (IRC, IM, talk, ...) are only as fast as the slowest typer.

Done with taxes

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I dislike doing my taxes because I'm paranoid that I'm going to do them wrong and the government is going to assume I'm an evil person is going to beat the crap out of me. So the first days of spring are tainted with that foul wind of tax season.

This year I received an immense amount of immensely useful help from my brother who seems to really have a handle on the tax thing. Also I switched from using TurboTax to Tax-Engine. Tax-Engine is easier on my browser, but I'm not sure it really helped me much in the long run.

Regardless, it's done and I can move on.

Moved PyBlosxom to subversion

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SourceForge 1 now has Subversion access to project stuff so I migrated the CVS repository of all PyBlosxom things over to Subversion. Then I tested it out to make sure it works. So far it seems much easier to deal with in the grand scheme of things. I'll probably write more when I find something to kvetch about. :)

[1] For some reason, I keep typing "SourceForget"--not sure why.

Gobby - collaborative editing and group projects

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I have two classes this semester both of which involve group projects. Since the members of my groups are spread out across the MassBay area and we all have very different schedules, it's been hard to come together in one central place to do group work and have meetings and such. No one else in the group has done any open source or decentralized development, so that's adding to the complexities. On top of that, we've got a couple of different operating systems involved.

We started doing meetings and document-editing together using Gobby. It has some minor syntax highlighting that helps, but more importantly, it allows us to talk using an irc-like pane on the bottom while editing a series of documents together in real time.

One of the problems I'm having with it is that I want to add Scheme syntax highlighting (not that there's much in the way of "syntax" in Scheme). I can't figure out where it would go, though. It's either handled by one of the libraries that Gobby uses or it's somewhere in the code and I just haven't found it yet.

The other problem I'm having is that it only allows you to edit text-based documents. I do realize that anything else would be wildly difficult. Still, it'd be nice to be able to "share" other artifacts other than text-based documents even if we couldn't all edit them. Right now we're iterating over other files by checking them into CVS and doing CVS update and also just sending things around by email.

Anyhow, it's definitely been really useful.