Python Programming, news on the Voidspace Python Projects and all things techie.

I Want to Share

emoticon:dollars I've always believed in sharing. Wink

I'm searching for a fellow geek - preferably a Python aficionado - to share a virtual server account with me. More specifically... to share the cost. Surprised

I have a nice virtual server account with unixshell.com. It runs on Xen and gives me root login on my own server. The 96 account (costing me a whopping $20 a month [1]) has :

  • 96meg RAM
  • 192meg Swap
  • 96units CPU
  • 9gig Disk Space
  • 96gig monthly Transfer

I'm very pleased with the account. Over two months I've had absolutely no problems - no discernible downtime or bandwidth problems.

I'd like to switch up to the 128meg account - and share the cost with someone [2]. I'm currently serving 4 domains from it (only 1 of which has moderate traffic - the other three do virtually nothing), using lighttpd.

I'm also considering switching to Direct Admin or cPanel - to make it easier to administer separate hosting accounts. They're both 'non-free' - but they're likely to 'just work'. I can't find an effective open-source alternative. This would unfortunately mean switching to Apache. I've enjoyed playing with lighttpd - but using Apache [3] might make it easier to experiment with a web app. framework like django.

Anyway - if you're interested then email me on fuzzyman@voidspace.org.uk

[1]Said with tongue in cheek. It's a real bargain. Smile
[2]I'd like to find someone who's up for a 50-50 split. We'd share root login.
[3]And the implication is that cPanel/DirectAdmin handle configuring Apache.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-09-30 12:38:32 | |

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Mirror Mask Competition

emoticon:newspaper Ok - so it's not Techie, but being discerning readers, I'm sure you'll still be very interested. Wink

I'm very pleased to announce the Voidspace Mirror Mask Competition. Very Happy

MirrorMask is the fantastic new film by Neil Gaiman. Neil's writing is fantastic. He captures the essence of the dream world in a way I've not seen anyone else do. So this new film should be a real treat.

American viewers can catch it in 'select cinemas' from September 30th....

In association with Noise Marketing, and to celebrate the awesome new Mirror Mask Film - we are offering lots of prizes. We have large movie posters, action figures, busts, postcards, etc to give away.

In order to win you need to send an email to fuzzyman@voidspace.org.uk with answers to the following three questions :

  1. What is the name of the character dream in the Sandman Graphic novels ?
  2. Name one of the children's books that Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean have collaborated on ?
  3. What is the name of the main character in MirrorMask ?

Don't forget to include your full name and postal address in the email.

The competition closes on 14th October and we'll be notifying winners on the 17th October.

For the full detail, see the competition page.

For more info about the film check out :

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-09-29 13:12:29 | |

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Nanagram Homepage

emoticon:waffle Just a brief entry to let you know that I've updated the Nanagram Homepage. I haven't managed to include the updated page in the distribution yet... but as it's linked to from my main index page I thought I needed to smarten it up a bit. Very Happy

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-09-28 09:32:50 | |

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Having a reST

emoticon:html I've had a productive weekend - although I wrote very little code.

I've managed to convert over several of my website index pages to using rest2web.

Unlike articles - which are mainly text and images, with a few footnotes etc thrown in - index pages aren't obviously suitable for storing in reST format. I was still looking for some way of making them easier to maintain.

I've mastered a few more details of reST now - including creating macros for generating index tables etc [1].

If you look at a page like python modules - it's not obviously come from a reST document [2] ... but it has. Basically all the text is now stored as plain text - with docutils doing the HTML generation.

It is now much easier for me to convert the remaining portions of my website over to using rest2web. Very Happy

[1]I'm having to use the .. raw:: html directive to put multiple elements into a div block with a specific class.
[2]Other than a few tell tale clues... like the footnotes style.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-09-26 13:13:10 | |

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The Price of Eggs

emoticon:noise Setuptools is developing nicely. It promises to deliver a CPAN like system that will allow us to painlessly install Python extension modules with all their dependencies. It's cross platform and cross 'version'.

It's not yet part of the standard distribution, but the website advertises :

By including just a single bootstrap module (a 7K .py file), your package will automatically download and install setuptools if the user is building your package from source and doesn't have a suitable version already installed.

Sounds great hey Smile .

Now, a development like this is inevitable - and long overdue. It will greatly reduce the bar to distributing applications - dependent modules can be installed seamlessly during the setup process.

I have a fear though - at the moment it is important that an application developer specifies all the dependent modules in the documentation. This is because you have to fetch and install them yourself.

If a developer uses eggs to distribute the code - all he needs to do is say 'install the egg and let setup tools do the rest'.... so long as the target machine has an unrestricted internet connection.

If the target machine isn't connected to the internet (or has a censored connection) - the user still has to manually install all dependencies.

I fear that developers (who hate writing documentation at the best of times) will feel able to stop documenting the manual install procedures. Sad

This is already true in the Perl community (in my limited experience) - and already possibly inevitable in the Python community sigh.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2005-09-26 12:29:15 | |

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