Speno's Pythonic Avocado


The Blog has moved

This blog is now located at http://speno.blogspot.com. That is all.
This post references topics: python
posted at 10:24:00    #    comment []    trackback []

Hello, I must be going

I'm closing up this here blog...for now. The pythonic avocado shall return someday, but I don't know when or how. When it does, I'll post it here.

I will be at Pycon, and this is what I look like. So, if you see me there, please introduce yourself. I'd love to meet you.

posted at 11:23:28    #    comment []    trackback []

USDA to allow Mexican Avocado imports to the U.S.

This one is for DeanG. Smiley.

And I, for one, welcome our new Mexican Avocado Overlords. Seriously, anything to get the price of these fuits down is good. Let the free market for guacamole bloom!

posted at 06:54:40    #    comment []    trackback []

Domain Transfer: A cautionary tale

My family's domain name was up for renewal, and I wanted to consolidate all the domains I run under one DNS provider for ease of maintenace. I was cautious because I didn't want there to be any time when my domain was unavailable. I wanted to know if I would be able to edit my domain's zonefile before the transfer was complete. In this way, when the root .com servers were updated with new nameserver (NS) records for my domain, those nameservers would have the proper A and MX records to give out.

I called the support folks at the new provider and they didn't seem to be able to answer this simple question. I figured they couldn't possibly screw this simple thing up, so I went ahead and did the transfer. Only then did I find out the answer to my question was 'Nope!'. The transfer was in now progress and my domain in the new provider's nameservers had some default records which pointed to servers run by the registration company (free advertising for them).

The control panel for this domain said something like 'we'll enable access to your zonefile within 24 hours after the transfer is completed'. In essense, this could mean that my existing domain would start directing people to the wrong servers sometime after the registrar transfer happened. Of course, that was unacceptable, not to mention rediculous.

I called the next morning and they offered to 'unlock' my domain's control panel. This let me set up my zonefile the way I wanted it, with all the proper address and mail exchanger records. Therefore, when the domain is transfered, everything should work seamlessly. I'm happy.

Each day that goes by has me checking my domain's nameserver records with the root servers and MXes in the new provider's servers so I'll know when the transfer takes place. After a few days, I see that the WHOIS records for my domain have changed. The NS records haven't changed yet, but the MXes at the new provider are still what I set them too. I assume things have worked and I'm very happy that it has all gone smoothly. I log into the control panel just to make sure that my personal information is mostly private and that my domain is in 'REGISTRAR-LOCK'. It is and I'm done. I don't bother to look at my zonefile because I know it's already set up properly...

Early the following morning I notice that something is wrong. I see that my domain is now pointing to the registrar's servers again. I quickly log into the control panel and yes, the records are all back to the default values (argh!!). I fix them. I don't know how long it's been like that, and I don't know how much mail got bounced. I'm not happy.

I can imagine this is what happened. Once the domain transfer completed, their automatic processes unlocked my domain's control panel, which reset my domain's zonefile data to the defaults. It didn't seem to matter that it was already unlocked and had custom data. Yeah, that's a really stupid policy and I've contacted support to discuss it.

If they admit their mistakes, fix their bad policies, and make it up to me, you'll hear about it. If they brush me off, you'll hear about that too, and I'll also tell you the name of my new least favorite domain name registrar. Smiley So look here for updates if you care.

P.S. You'd think they would have sent me mail when the transfer was complete, but I didn't get one. Maybe they did send it, but it was after they reverted my zonefile. In that case, their mail server would have bounced it. The lesson here is you sould probably use an address that's not in the domain you are transfering.

Update 1: I received a mail from the new provider telling me about my transfer completing. It's probably 24 hours after the fact. I still haven't heard from them on why they hijacked my domain from me yet. Yes, hijacked.

Update 2: No reply to my mail after a week, so I use their web form to submit the case again. I get a bounced mail message back from them! *sigh*. I call them, tell them about the bouncing mail, and give them my details. The helper is sorry about what happend to me and promises to get right on it. That's good enough for me for now. Later, I realize I don't have a case number or anything yet. I'll call them again this week and try to make them assign me one. In the meantime, I'm looking at switching to yet another DNS host. I have a test domain I can transfer to see if they can do it right or not. Fun!

Update 3: DomainDirect sux. The folks at DyDNS.com know their stuff, but they are pricey.

posted at 09:36:48    #    comment []    trackback []

A con, a job, and a con job

A con

Yay me! I'll be going to PyCon 2005 though I'll be taking the train to and from home each day, so I won't be hanging around to socialize, nor will attend any of the keynotes.

...a job

I keep up with Python jobs in my area using an RSS feed from Indeed.com not because I'm looking for work, but because I am nosy. So I was curious when I found this job posting. At first, I didn't know what to make of it and it took me a few minutes to figure out that the job was with my group. D'uh. At least they got the programming language right this time...

...and a con job

I spent way too much time and effort getting the lastest perl installed recently (so I could upgrade to a new spam assassin). It didn't find things properly, and I had to keep fixing its stupid config.sh file. All I'm saying is that when I installed Python 2.4 on the same system, it worked the first time.

This post references topics: python
posted at 08:54:08    #    comment []    trackback []

Guido speaks at Amazon DevCon

Since I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, here are links to notes of Guido van Rossum's presentation at Amazon DevCon.

Take care.

P.s New baby? Try photo birth announcements by Purple Stork

This post references topics: python
posted at 07:24:32    #    comment []    trackback []

Rails, Subways and Pypes

I've been following news of Ruby on Rails ever since it was a blip in the Python world. Ruby makes my eyes bleed too (my poor eyes!), so I'm happy to see at least one person is working on something similar in Python. I'm not sure we need "Yet Another Web Application Thing In Python". There are already so many that I'm paralyzed with indecision on which to learn. For now, I'm sticking to good old CGI. Nothing beats that.

Anyway, the python rails-like thing is called Subway, but I think it should be called Pypes. I like their parody of the rails logo however.

This post references topics: python
posted at 22:20:32    #    comment []    trackback []

Purple Stork - A Python Success Story

I'm delighted to introduce Purple Stork, makers of beautiful custom photo birth announcements. The proprietor is my best friend in the whole world. She "hired" me to implement their online payment processing and I was more than happy to help.

I considered several shopping cart solutions including open source ones like ZenCart and osCommerce and also a few commercial options. I rejected them as being way more than we needed. Besides, PHP makes my eyes bleed (How can you people live without namespaces?).

PayPal was attractive, but there were pieces missing from their out of the box offerings, and that's where Python came in. I wrote a CGI program in Python that handles the stuff that PayPal won't, e.g. issuing order numbers, doing form validation, and setting quantity based discounts. Thanks to Python, and its great standard library modules (cgi, subprocess, re and email to name a few), I was able to create just what was needed very easily and everyone is happy with the results. Of course, it can always be better, so the next version is already underway...

And if anyone wants to help Purple Stork rise in the google ranking, I'd appreciate it if you'd link to http://www.purplestork.com using the words 'custom photo birth announcements'. Thanks!

P.S. That was the "sekret" project I previously mentioned.

This post references topics: python
posted at 22:48:16    #    comment []    trackback []

BitPim Rocks!

I recently got a new LG VX 4600 phone. It's shiny, but I was resigned to another two years without being able to use iSync. Then I read about an application written in Python and using wxWindows called BitPim. One RadioShack cable and one day later, I've got my phone hooked up, imported my contact list from AddressBook, and put a wallpaper of my kids on the screen.

Even though the VX 4600 isn't officially supported yet unless you are a Telus subscriber, I was able to get it working by telling BitPim I'm using a VX 4500. I also joined the developer's list so maybe I can help get the 4600 on the list for Verizon subscribers.

In a few more days, I hope to announce the "sekret" project that I've been working on too.

This post references topics: python
posted at 12:44:32    #    comment []    trackback []

PSF Grants announced

The PSF announced the three projects which were awarded grants this year. Ilya Etingof has received a grant to add SNMPv3 support to his PySNMP package. Woohoo!
This post references topics: python
posted at 07:16:00    #    comment []    trackback []

PSF Grant status?

So when will the PSF get around to announcing the results of this year's grants? I heard word of one project I'm interested in getting approved (yay!), but I'd really like to know about the rest.
This post references topics: python
posted at 07:16:00    #    comment []    trackback []

Higher Order Perl

I work with some person who calls himself Mark Dominus and he's written a book that should be out this month. It's good stuff.

Take care

posted at 07:45:52    #    comment []    trackback []

Python lacks SNMPv3

I really need a Python SNMP module that supports SNMPv3. I've needed that for the past year or so, and I regret not doing something about it myself.

Instead, I spent too much time trying to work around the problem using net-snmp command-line tools invoked using subprocess (the module formerly known as popen5). Add in threads and non-blocking IO, and you've got a mess of trouble. In the end, I've got something that I now realize probably isn't even correct. Phooey.

Two Python projects are close though. PySNMP, which I'm already using for SNMPv2, seems very close, and yapsnmp promises to seem very close. I won't mention that perl and Java both have SNMPv3 implementations. Double phooey.

posted at 07:37:20    #    comment []    trackback []

Let's inventory Python blog software

I searched for a list of python web log software, but didn't find anything. Please help by adding to the newly created PythonBlogSoftware wiki page. Thanks!

Take care.

Update:Since the Python wiki requires you to create an account, you can add your contribution to the comments of this post instead. I'll make sure the wiki gets updated.

This post references topics: python
posted at 20:53:20    #    comment []    trackback []

Making subversion more like Python

I switched to using subversion for version control at work. So far, so good. However, as a python programmer, there was one obvious missing feature. The --reversion (or -r) argument already takes two revision numbers seperated by a colon to indicate a start and end revision to apply the command to (e.g. svn log -r 5:14), but it doesn't let you leave either the start or end field empty (e.g. svn log -r :10). Maybe it's just me, but I keep wanting to do that. To be fair, you can do it using the symbolic names of BASE or HEAD in the right place.

I filed subversion: Issue 2100 on it. It's a trivial fix, I'm sure, and I even took a look at doing it myself. My brain rebuffed me. Thanks, brain!

Take care.

posted at 11:15:12    #    comment []    trackback []
July 2005
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One python programmer's search for understanding and avocados. This isn't personal, only pythonic.

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© 2005, John P. Speno