Archive for category The Net

aa_webpage.py — awesome and easy web pages with Python

I do a lot of generating web pages using Python. Python because I think Python 2.7 is awesome, and web pages because I do lots of work with various web sites that require dynamic results. Python is a very useful tool for me to get those dynamic results. It’s server-side (at least, the way I use it, it is, because I really try not to embed client-side resource usurping things), it is fast and efficient, and it is what I am comfortable with.

The thing is, web pages — generally speaking — aren’t all that simple if you really do them right. You can’t just throw a few tags together, test them on one browser, and hope you’re golden. Because you won’t be, I can pretty much promise you.
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Colored reports for text and HTML in Python

One of the things that I face regularly is report generation. Often they’re free form, by which I mean not tables full of tabulated data.

Output from my htmlAnsii() class

Output from my .htmlAnsii() class

Just “is this ok, is that ok, 27 of the other happened”, that sort of thing. I like to use color — green if everything is ok, red if it isn’t and so on.

I’m often out where I want the report in a web browser. But then again, I’m often at my desk, signed in to a console and I want it there. The environments couldn’t be much more different; HTML tags on the one hand, within the wrapper of a page, and ANSII escape sequences on the other. And they’re both kind of annoying and error-prone to write out explicitly, especially when you’re doing it a lot.

What to do?
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New Version of SdrDx (Mac / OS X version of CuteSDR)

Please see this post for the latest details on v1.07.

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Python, TkInter, OSX (OS X) and making it all behave

I use Python a lot. Python 2.5.1 to be specific. And inside Python is TkInter, which, with a little work, will give you a handy way to put a GUI together. But there are problems. To say that TkInter is poorly supported and poorly documented under OSX is to understate the case rather dramatically. So you’re left to Google for answers, and mostly, they aren’t to be found — or if they are, they aren’t obvious or easily found. So I’m going to provide some answers here that have taken me quite some time to collect, and hopefully keyword and title them so that a Google search will actually get you to the solution you need sooner rather than as much later as it did me!
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Starting Out – priorities and pratfalls

It occurred to me in a moment of introspection that I, probably like many others, had my priorities set entirely wrong when I populated my very first apartment with… well, with stuff. And later on, my first home. If I knew then, what I know now. Sigh. Well, can’t fix that, but I can sure issue some good advice that others can benefit from if they so choose.
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Roku XDS – A Review

If you’ve been following my blog at all, you’ll know that we bought an Apple TV v2. That experience was really, really bad. The details are here if you want them, but suffice it to say that I was impelled back into shopping for a similar device, because the Apple TV simply wasn’t going to cut it.

Enter the Roku XDS. Same price, same general type of device, a fair amount of buzz. Enough to catch my attention, consume a few reviews and comments… at $99, these things don’t exactly break the bank, so, in for a penny, in for a pound, we bought one. This is the story of how that went, often contrasted to the Apple TV v2, as that was what it was replacing. You might want to grab some popcorn.
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Google. Delivering mediocre results by design.

In my view, Google’s problem is that “the algorithm” equates popularity with goodness. The more links Google finds on the net to any page in particular, the better (higher in the search results) Google ranks that page.

However, we know that in fact, the more popular something is, the more likely it is to be middle of the road, not special, not best of class. It may, however, be shocking, LOLcat, or prankish. In this way, in my opinion at least, Google is an enormous force pushing towards mediocrity and worse.

I know that in my area of expertise, Google’s search results are really not impressive. Instead of knowledge about the subject, Google returns innumerable blog posts written by people who know little to nothing about the subject matter — a good deal of which is outright wrong.

I don’t have a solution outside of an expert-moderated search (and that’s very hard); I’m simply observing that Google’s intent to “do no evil” is compromised right out the door by the very nature of the algorithm they’re using.

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