Rabid Ramblings ][ 14.3.2003


Look out for mongoose!

Phil also reported on a package his company plans to release next week, called "mongoose".

The role of Mongoose is to provide a framework for to cleanly catch and report otherwise uncaught exceptions in distributed python applications.

Mongoose will provide a much less intimidating error message than a stack trace (or, under wxPython, an app that suddenly vanishes). Bundled reporting styles include summary and detailed log files, email, and wxPython alerts. They looked very clean in the demo.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the package is that Mongoose creates an ID for each exception, similar to the Talkback ID from Mozilla builds. This ID is a short (5 digit?) hash of the method signatures in the stack trace. This means the ID should be unique to the call stack at time of exception. (By not using file or line numbers in the hash, the IDs should remain constant across product versions.)

The short ID can be easily communicated over the phone to tech support, or be used as a lookup key for user self support. (After the problem is found and a work around created the first time...)

While, in an ideal world, there would be no uncaught exceptions, Mongoose promises to ease support issues for early releases and products which rely on 3rd party libraries.

posted at 10:24:00    #    comment []

PyChecker usage

Phil Lindsay gave a good talk about PyChecker at this month's Bay Piggies meeting.

From his work on a large project, he offered some tips on usage:

  • keep PyChecker rules in a separate file, also under source control. Don't clutter the source with PyChecker directives.
  • To keep track of "temporary" messages that are okay, don't create an exception for it. Rather, check in the output of PyChecker alongside the source, and diff against the prior PyChecker output. That way, any changes to the temporary issues will show up.

Phil reports that most Python projects now use PyChecker. It has become more difficult for the PyChecker team to find "un checked" code to use for testing. That's a good thing...

posted at 10:13:20    #    comment []
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© 2003, Hal Wine