Andrew Channels Dexter Pinion

Wherein I write some stuff that you may like to read. Or not, its up to you really.

January 28, 2005

Bloglines Meme

It's all Simon's fault.

Go to Bloglines. Find your own blog. (If it's not there you can sign up and add it. If you don't have a blog this one's not for you.) Click related feeds. Post the top 5 (or more) on your blog.

Here are mine (for this blog):

  1. Ian Bicking: A Blog
  2. Sam Ruby
  3. Speno's Pythonic Advocado
  4. PyPI Recent Updates
  5. Aaron Swartz: The Weblog
  6. Slashdot
  7. Dean Goodmanson: Slices of Py
  8. Trivial Thoughts
  9. Python Desktop Server Weblog
  10. Matt Croydon::Postneo 2.0
  11. 0xDECAFBAD Blog
  12. Google Weblog
  13. Aahz's Weblog
  14. Tao of the Machine
  15. Zope Dispatches
  16. Mitch Kapor's Weblog
  17. VirtualVitriol

I draw two things from this list - I've got a rather Python centric blog, and I'm not subscribed to more than half of this list, so I should really check them out.

Posted by Andy Todd at 09:03 PM | Comments (2)

January 23, 2005

Using IDEs with Python

"This is the primary reason why there is little serious demand for Python IDEs. Many people coming to Python can't believe no one uses IDEs. The automatic assumption is that Python is for old grey beards who are comfortable with vi and Emacs and refuse to accept breakthroughs in programming productivity like IDEs. Then they write a little Python code and realize that an IDE would just get in their way."

Ryan Tomayko, from an excellent piece on one of the differences between Python and Java. I've long maintained that IDEs are a crutch, albeit a necessary one in certain circumstances. I'm glad to see someone else explain why in a readable and reasonably argued fashion.

Posted by Andy Todd at 08:07 AM | Comments (3)

January 20, 2005

Unit Testing Pitfalls

Tim Bray makes a very good point about unit testing. In essence, don't forget that you haven't implemented some methods yet when you're running your test suite. His solution, in Java, is to raise a generic RuntimeException.

Luckily, Guido's time machine has been at work here. Python has boasted a NotImplementedError exception since version 1.5.2.

Posted by Andy Todd at 09:54 PM | Comments (1)

January 18, 2005


The Sydney Python Meetup was a lot of fun, I'll leave the write up to Alan on his blog. All I will say is that I expected to do a five minute talk to a small group of people around a table in a pub, I didn't expect to be standing in front of a large group with a proper OHP. Consequently I didn't take the monitor cable for my iBook. I think the demonstration of PythonCard lost a little without decent visuals but hopefully my evangelising prompted a few of the people there to download it and have a play.

In unrelated news, the effbot has ported our favourite XML toolkit to c and released it as cElementTree. Blindingly fast by all accounts, I'll be downloading a copy today.

Posted by Andy Todd at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2005

Sydney Python Meetup Tonight

Don't forget folks, tonight is the night. If you are around old Sydney town and in the slightest bit interested in Python come along to the Sydney Python Meetup.

For extra bonus points it's at the James Squire brewhouse so at the very least you are guaranteed a very nice glass (or two) of beer.

Posted by Andy Todd at 02:09 PM | Comments (3)

January 11, 2005

Order Is Important

When installing Oracle software. Yesterday I was reminded of this when I violated Andrew's first rule of Oracle software - install the oldest stuff first.

I've got all sorts of things on my machine at work, OWB 9.2, OWB 10g, an Oracle 9i database and even the great crutch TOAD. Then I tried to install Applications Desktop Integrator (no home page for that product) and the whole pile came crashing down.

This is because ADI uses the Oracle 8 technology stack. It precedes such new fangled ideas as having more than one Oracle product installed on your machine at once.

So it installed itself in my OWB 9.2 Oracle home and completely ruined the networking component. I won't go into the messy details, but essentially ADI relies on the Net8 OCI layer and OWB 9.2 uses the Oracle 9i Net component. It is, of course, backwardly compatible but the ADI installer doesn't know that so it just blindly installs Net8 into my nice (working) OWB 9.2 home. Misery ensues.

If I had the patience of a saint I could get this stack of software working. I would have to cleanse my machine of every trace of Oracle (which includes hacking the registry because the Oracle un-installers are terrible) and then install, in order;

Estimated elapsed time - about a day. But that wouldn't be a smart or valuable use of my time, so we've scared up a fresh machine and after it's been re-imaged I'm going to install ADI on that. Then it can exist in a kind of de-militarised zone and not infect any of the working software on my desktop.

One of these days this arcane knowledge will be useless. Until then welcome to Oracle's very own version of DLL hell.

Posted by Andy Todd at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)