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Name: Andy Dustman
Member since: 2000-04-06 04:42:45
Last Login: 2008-11-13 14:31:09

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Homepage: http://farcepest.blogspot.com/


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7 Mar 2005 (updated 7 Mar 2005 at 23:28 UTC) »

I'm going to PyCon 2005, and I'll be at the Zope3AppSprint.

One of the things need for my MySQL Users Conference talk is a sample application. Originally this talk was submitted as a tutorial, which I doubted would fly at MySQLUC anyway. For a tutorial, I think I'd spend an hour or more on the application. In this case, I have 45 minutes total, so I think I have about 5-10 minutes for a brief application tour with some code snippets.

Last time I did a tutorial (for OSCON 2002), I tried wrote a small application that would index your MP3 collection using ID3 tags. This time, I'm going for another timely subject: A RSS aggregator. This will actually be pretty easy, since I intend to use Universal Feed Parser to handle all the RSS and/or Atom feeds.

Part of my motivation is I still haven't found an RSS reader that I'm completely happy with. Currently the one I like best is rawdog. rawdog uses the Universal Feed Parser, and creates static web pages. Articles appear in reverse chronological order; there are also plugins to change the ordering. To actually update the feed database and write the pages, you use cron. You can set the refresh time separately for each feed, which is kind to the feed operators. The shortest feed time I use is an hour, and I have some at 2-8 hours, and a couple at one day or more. One big benefit is it's just a web page, so you can read it from anywhere.

Mozilla Thunderbird has RSS reader support, and it basically treats each feed as it would a newsgroup; it does everything you'd expect a USENET news reader to do, except post.

Mozilla Firefox can detect RSS and Atom feeds via the <link rel="alternate" ...> element, and then you can add the feed as a Live Bookmark. This looks like a regular folder of bookmarks, but it is refreshed periodically. This does not take the place of an RSS reader, since you only get a list of links, and no other content, and no tracking of read items, but it is useful. It's particularly easy to add new feeds.

Sage is an RSS and Atom feed aggregator and reader with feed discovery, in addition to Firefox's built-in feed discovery. You can import and export feeds in OPML format. It can render the feeds as HTML and tracks what you have read. I think I like it somewhat better than Thunderbird for this application.

Blam is a RSS (no Atom) written in C#. It works with Mono, and can read and write OPML. It doesn't update feed titles, though, like some of the others, and it may be a little too happy to reload feeds. If you don't already have Mono (or .NET), it's a lot to install.

What I want out of an RSS reader: I think I want is a more dynamic version of rawdog, with a dash of Gmail and del.icio.us. I am less concerned about where the articles are coming from, and more concerned with their classification (news, security, humor, blog, etc.)

So much for hanging out more on Advogato.

I'll be speaking at the 2005 MySQL Users Conference on (what else) Python and MySQL. I haven't yet figured out how long I'm staying at the conference, though.

MySQLdb is now six years old and on version 1.2. There were some times when development was a little... slow. 1.2 was a nice milestone because I got to throw a lot of old Python stuff away, and I get to do it some more in 1.3.x.

A lot of the stuff on my home page has really started to rust and/or smell bad. In theory, I am a web developer of sorts lately, and my own site is unmaintained crap. Maybe, someday...

I did put out a minor update of adns-python. Just a few minor bug fixes, plus support for TXT records. Someone gave me the patch for TXT records years ago; I just never made another release. It could still be updated to use some of the newer Python memory API stuff, and I almost worked on it, but I decided not to break it for now. adns has only had two releases in five years, so I don't feel so bad. No new releases means it works, right?

HyperText is another bit-rotting project. I think a few people actually use this, though: Webware mentions it as a "Future" item, but development on Webware seems to have slowed down a lot, although maybe there is a little more going on lately. XIST credits HyperText for some basic concepts; I may have to give it a try for a project I have in mind.

I should push ZMySQLDA-2.0.9 out the door with minimal changes; it's only been a beta for 2+ years.

SQLORB is another bit-rot example. Last release in 2002, worked on it a little more, never released it. There are a couple of other competing (I use the word loosely) projects:

There are some things SQLObject does right, and some things it does wrong (IMHO). Maybe I'll elaborate later...
Another similar project I haven't tried.

I am golden brown and del.icio.us. I was skeptical about del.icio.us at first, but it's kinda growing on me. I also think at some point, there's going to be a big meltdown, so please don't use it, or it'll go the way of orkut (slow and crashy).

If you love or hate spam, visit my Random Spam Generator. Now with hideous CSS styling and RSS feeds! Are you making more money that ever? Offensive content guaranteed! I then decided to look out for someone whom I could introduce to the investor as someone who will administer the usage of the funds. some companies willingly give up their secrets and disclosed our money confidently lodged there or many outright blackmail. Later uses were in industrial applications such as petrochemicals, poultry & farming, printed -circuit board manufacturing and food processing applications. Machine is FREE!

I think that's enough for now. See you in three years!


That VOICE! Coming from the MECHANICAL BEAST! It's HAUNTINGLY FAMILIAR! I'd recognize it ANYWHERE -- even after all these DECADES! And those words: "I LIVE -- AGAIN!" Who can FORGET such words? Not ME! I've heard them TOO OFTEN!" -- Megaton Man #2

Two years between diary entries is quite a while...

Well. Around September 2000, the company I was working for (comstar.net) got bought by Globix, which shortly thereafter began it's rapid swirling motion around the bowl. Globix filed a pre-packaged bankruptcy in March 2002. In April they closed my office in Athens, GA, and by the end of May, it dawned on them that gee, maybe they should stop paying me. (They are still paying me anyway.) Globix went from over 900 employees worldwide (perhaps briefly as many as 1200) to less than 300 (closer to 200) today. Atlanta went from 50+ to about 1/10th that. My own prediction is that they will be a memory by 2004.

Oh well, at least I got to go to (and speak at) OSCon 2002.

Anyway. Maybe I'll start hanging out more on Advogato.

Moved my Python pages due to the recent disk crash of starship.python.net. Just about everything is over there now. It's the home page link.

I'm still recovering from Saturday's paintball excursion.

7:30 a.m.: Get out of bed. Not used to getting up that early on any day of the week, let alone Saturday. Drive 90 mi to the paintball place. Yawn.

11 a.m.: We finally get organized for the first game. You could actually rent camo at this place, but I brought some old black&white urban/winter camo, with a dark blue shirt that's kinda like long underwear in texture. I'm not sure how badly that affected my visibility, as we were in a forest. Then again, the paintballs were also blue, but this turned out not to matter.

First game: Capture the flag, take it to the enemy base. I'm part of the group going after the flag. Thwock! Hit in the back of the head. I get a little cover, start feeling around, and... no paint == no kill. But we wiped 'em out.

Second game: Same as first. Took a hit on the gun. That does count. I think we lost that one.

Third game: The ridge. Same basic rules, the terrain is much, much more hilly. I am way too out of shape to be doing a lot of running around, so I stayed back to defend the base. Got hit on the wrist, no paint again. Last player alive on our team. They called it when they thought we were all dead, but it would have been five against one...

Fourth game: Same. Stayed to defend. Saw basically nothing. But by moving around I might have lured some enemies out to shoot at me, whereupon they got taken out. We won that one.

To this point, I have not gotten any paint on my body.

Lunch: Huge subs from Publix. One of the other players who only wore a T-shirt had a nice crater in his arm, courtesy of Centove. Those paintballs travel 300 feet per second. From what I could tell, it took a couple layers of skin. Ouch.

Fifth game: POW rescue. Defenders (us) entrenched. Rescuers have to grab the flag from us, take it back to their base, within 10 minutes. Finally I get to do a lot of shooting. Snipe, snipe, snipe. After getting a little bored, and with about a minute left, I moved up to the next barricade. Got nailed in the head. The headgear they give you covers your eyes, face, and sides of your head, which is good because this one hit right on the ear. Headgear did it's job, though some paint came through the vents.

Sixth game: Same, except some people on the other team had to leave, so I was on defense again. My old team came in running suicidally. Blew away Centove, maybe my boss, too. When you've got a whole bunch of 'em running straight towards you, you pretty much just have to get the range right. I almost pegged one of the refs; he sure did dance around a lot, but he was standing right between two legitimate targets... I got enough paint on the ankle to count as a hit, but we won immediately thereafter.

Seventh game: Another huge hill. Run as far as I could, then get some cover. Sited enemy trying to outflank us and splattered him. Turned out to be Centove yet again. Couldn't really see anyone else. Got nailed, hard, trying to move up.

Eight game: Same. Best cover I had was three pine logs. Had to stay pretty low. I think I got two. Then I got into a real short-range firefight with someone behind a big piece of plywood. We exchanged a lot of rounds, but I eventually took a gun hit.

Throughout all the games, I maybe took eight to ten hits on my upper body, and none of them broke paint. Lucky? More like, my body was absorbing the blow enough that the ball didn't break. I have a nice silver dollar size bruise on my shoulder from one, and some smaller bruises elsewhere.

Back hurt some later that evening. Right leg hurt a lot more the next day, and today. Whatever muscle it is on top of your thigh that you need for climbing stairs.

It was fun though, and we were lucky: T-storms were forecast, and it never rained, but it was really humid towards the end.

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