Better blogger backups

I have enhanced the blog backup script I wrote a while back to automatically find and include comments feeds, so comments are now archived along with the original feed data. The means for recognizing “comments” feeds may make the script work only with blogger.com, though, since it depends on having “comments” in the URL. This does what I need now, though.

Adium 1.0

My ChatMonitor script does not work with Adium 1.0. It looks like the “chat” object no longer contains “content” objects. I haven’t yet figured out how to get the content from a chat window. Oh, well. I guess it’s time to order those OS X programming books!

Adium ChatMonitor

We recently set up our own Jabber server at work. For a short time we had been using an IRC server, but decided for a variety of non-technical reasons to switch to Jabber. The benefit is now I only have to run one chat client (Adium). The downside, is I miss the feature of Colloquy which had a special notification event for when I was mentioned by name. I searched for a while, but didn’t find any way to add such a notification to Adium.

CastSampler.com monitoring feeds

On the plane back from Phoenix this week, I implemented some changes to the way CastSampler.com republishes feeds for the sites a user subscribes to. The user page used to link directly to the original feed so it would be easy to copy it to a regular RSS reader to keep up to date on new shows. That link has been replaced with a “monitor” feed which uses the original description and title for each item, but replaces the link with a new URL that causes the show to be added to your CastSampler queue.

testing regular expressions

I discovered Christof Hoeke’s retest program today. This is a very slick use of Python’s standard library HTTP server module to package an AJAX app for interactively testing out regular expressions. I used to have a Tkinter app that did something similar, but Christof’s is much lighter weight. Now I need to figure out how to package it to run as an app when I double click on it in the Finder, instead of opening the .

Nothing new under the Sun

Or should I say IBM? It turns out IBM Alphaworks already has a data visualization project called Many Eyes that can render network diagrams as I described in my earlier post. The demos look impressive. Their UI for adding data requires you to upload from a separate source, which makes the social aspect of my idea more difficult to implement. Perhaps Many Eyes can be used as the visualization front-end for a site that collects the data.

Object-Relational Mappers

My friend Steve and I have spent some time discussing object-relational mapping recently, partially initiated by his comments on the ORM features in django. For some reason I’ve never quite understood, there seems to be an inherent fear of SQL in the web development community, and over the years there have been many efforts to hide the SQL completely (or in the case of Zope, encourage the use of a custom object database instead of a relational database).

PyUGraph

I am continuing to migrate my old project repositories from CVS to svn. In the process, today, I found some old code I wrote in 2001 (or earlier) to generate input files for daVinci, an old di-graph visualization package. It turns out that daVinci has been renamed to uGraph, so when I released the code I updated the module name. There are now other, possibly better, graph visualization tools available. NetworkX looks very promising.

Spam Irony

In my spam research today, I came across this link to a blog post discussing POPFile, a POP3 spam filtering tool. I’ve seen the tool before, and I’m not even sure why I bothered to read the post, but I’m glad I did. This bit from the end caught my eye: Steve Shaw is the developer of PopUpMaster Pro, which allows you to add unblockable popups to your web site quickly and easily, specifically designed to sign up subscribers to your list, and fast.

Visualizing People and Relationships

While I’m thinking about digraphs and visualization, I want to describe another idea for a website I have been mulling over. It would offer a way to see the relationships between people using a digraph rendering engine. There would be a central organizing theme for a given rendering. It might be the current political scandal, an emergency response plan, a corporate organizational chart, or any other theme by which people are related to each other.