Recent Developments

By | June 21, 2009

I’ve been awfully busy the past few weeks, but finally had three separate evenings to sit down and code on some of my little projects this week. I’m anticipating having more time in a couple weeks, as I gave notice on my job on Thursday. I am, however planning a move and exploring numerous job opportunities in my home province.

I managed to fix a couple bugs on WhoHasMy. As previously reported this project was originally coded in 48 hours for the Django Dash competition. We tied for fifth place and have traded the resulting bitbucket account for a github prize. I’m very happy with the placement given that my brilliant co-developers had nil django experience going into the competition and I hadn’t touched it professionally in months. I added a TOS to the page as requested in a comment on my earlier post, fixed some ordering bugs in the lists, fixed a couple broken links, and made it easier to add information about friends when you loan an item to someone not currently in the system. And here we thought it was 100% bug free when we finished our 48 hour stint and stumbled off to bed.

I have also spent a fair bit of time improving Quodroid, the Android app for controlling quod libet on my laptop from my phone. It now uses fancy icon buttons, allows you to specify the host and port you want to connect to, lists the currently playing song whenever you perform an action, allows volume control, and gives a semi-sane error message when the phone can’t connect. In short, its actually useful and usable by someone other than myself. I’ve been using it regularly the past few days. I still have to arrange it to perform the network stuff in a service instead of the main activity, which occasionally becomes unresponsive if the server is slow to respond. I’m actually becoming more comfortable with Java again as I develop this, its not as evil as I thought, but it certainly cuts into productivity.

Today, I made a few changes to opterator. I wrote my first app (a contrived example code-test for a job I’m pursuing) that actually used opterator a couple weeks back and found it was missing a few features. It now the ability to have multiple copies of a single option. Turns out this actually worked, all you had to do was use the ‘append’ action. I wrote three tests, didn’t change a line of code and poof, I had append support! I then realized that storing the action in the docstring was unnecessary as it could be introspected from the type of the keyword argument. This makes the @param docstrings a lot more readable and informative. As simple as this little module is, I feel its one of my more brilliant innovations.

I’ve also tossed around the idea of having multiple opterated main methods in a single module and allow the decorator to pick which one to call depending on the options. This seemed cool at first, but I think it may violate the ‘one best way’ policy of Python. I also realized that deriving sensible error messages and usage strings would be really painful, from the end user’s perspective, so I’m holding off on this until I’ve decided how best to do it.

5 thoughts on “Recent Developments

  1. Xentac

    There are projects that do the last thing more generally. They define method signatures and then overload based on the caller’s arguements. Turbogears 1.0 depended on a project that did it. I don’t remember the name right now. It may have been related to setuptools…

  2. catwell

    I still can’t find the TOS on WhoHasMy, I guess you haven’t updated the version that’s at I have registered though and it looks like a fine app, better than some of those that were ranked higher than it imo.

  3. ekse

    I found a little bug in WhoHasMy. When you delete a friend it is not removed immediatly from the list. I had to log out before it was removed.

    Also, like catwell said you should add Terms of Service and some way to contact the maintainer.

    Overall it’s a nice little app. The design is really superb, better than a lot of high-profile webapps IMO.


  4. dusty

    Thanks for the bug report Eske, I’ve added it to our internal issue tracker. I’ll try to fix it in my next set of free time unless Jason finds the appropriate combination of time and motivation. I suspect its a caching issue.

    I have added the TOS but I haven’t pushed my changes live yet, I’ll try to make a release in that same mythical block of free time. :-)

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