Eclipse/App Engine/Bloog Part 4, The hard part

Well I had a long and frustrating week/week-end, all sort of run together. I discovered that my new site would not take even moderately long articles. This is apparently a “known problem” and it relates to exploding indexes, as somewhat explained here.

I finally got to corresponding with one of the Bloog Maintainers who had it turned out created a modified site search capability using Google Site Search. According to him  it still does not provide for longer article without some code mods that I have not yet started. But is a prerequisite. I got a copy from Git-hub, where Bloog is hosted. This required that I get and install GIT version control system. I chose to start with Windows based  Git Extensions. It still required that you install the basic GIT. It is only available in Tar format you will need 7zip to unpack although after a posting the developer has now provided a “full” option for Git extensions.

I then tried to apply the new code to my existing Bloog version as I had modified it. That required a differential editor,which I did not have Kdiff3 turned out to be a great choice. It compares entire directory structures and than lets you click through the files and selectively choose to apply a, b to your revised file. Very cool.

I then tried to fire things up, FAIL. I then went back to the Version I had just obtained and I could not get it to fire up either. I then started to look for “real” debug information. Not much available.

Eventually I downloaded PYdev for Eclipse, and that was a major improvement  my entire development environment. In fact I would go so far to say Do not attempt development for APP-Engine without Pydev!! It provides a much better editor, code outlining and a runtime environment. There are several tutorials on setting up Eclipse for app-engine. Use them!!! Supposedly it also provides breakpoints, but I have not been able to get that working yet, but the other improvements are a major joy. The Debug environment did give me better log messages. Through which I was eventually able to make some headway. I found out that the two versions had changed the DB schema slightly so I had to delete a few older records You can see and modify the local datastore using http://localhost:8080/_ah/admin/datastore and bang it all started to work. It actually took a long time to go through each step, and I still have to go back and learn each of the new tools much better.

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Blooging on App Engine-Part 2

Well as the previous post says the Blog is up sort of. I solved two fairly tricky issues for me at least which I’ll document here.

As mentioned I’m Using the Bloog example, found here.

I wanted to replace the right most column with my own stuff, replacing the Silicon valley meet up badge and the Avatar in the upper right was pretty simple, just photo shop two images the same size and replace the old ones. Got some hints here on the developer site.

Look in the code (on Ads.html located in C:\Users\DadLaptop\Documents\tombrander\views\default\bloog) and replace the go to links….

I also wanted to put an rss display of my “shared items from Google reader that are tagged as Forensics” That was a bit harder to figure out, I wanted to use Django modules see my plea in the Bloog discussions, but I could not figure how to do that so I eventually found some code in Cpedialog that was doing something similar to what I wanted and found he was using a Google tool “Google Dynamic Feed Control”. I tried to lift his code but it was too integrated with his control panel so I just commented out the “Amazon” section of the ads.htm page and added my own code directly on the page. like so:  I also had to slightly alter the amazon section of the main CSS file to remove one margin so the layout was proper.

<div id=”amazon”>
This is where I plan to put Rss reader and Bookmarks!
<script src=”http://www.google.com/jsapi/&#8221;
type=”text/javascript”></script>
<script src=”http://www.google.com/uds/solutions/dynamicfeed/gfdynamicfeedcontrol.js&#8221;
type=”text/javascript”></script>

<style type=”text/css”>
@import url(“http://www.google.com/uds/solutions/dynamicfeed/gfdynamicfeedcontrol.css&#8221;);

#feedControl {
margin-top : 20px;
margin-left: 0;
margin-right: auto;
width : 220px;
font-size: 12px;
color: #9CADD0;
}
</style>

<script type=”text/javascript”>
function load() {
var feed =”http://feeds2.feedburner.com/SharedForensics&#8221;;
var options = {
numResults : 8}

new GFdynamicFeedControl(feed, “feedControl”, options );
}
google.load(“feeds”, “1”);
google.setOnLoadCallback(load);
</script>

</head>

<body>
<div id=”body”>

Then I was sort of ready to go, but don’t you know I could not figure out how to upload the darn thing.!! I’ll go through that next.

New Blog On App Engine

I Finally got my new “forensics” Blog up on App engine a free service from Google I have very slightly customized the Bloog Blog that is available from the links located elsewhere on this site. I also added my “Forensics Shared items feed” from Google reader over on the right>>>>>

I have a bunch more work to do but now at least the platform is working and I have some idea .of what I’m doing and what to do next!

I’ll document some of my pitfalls on the way once I have rested up a bit! For those who may want to give it a go.

Free Blogging at Google App Engine Using Bloog-part 1

This project is to help me get something of some substance up on app-engine to serve as a vehicle to learn Python and app-engine at the same time. If I was only interested in putting up a blog I’d keep on trucking with WordPress.com, I love it as a great Blogging platform. I evaluated the several frameworks available and for me it came down to Bloog and cpedialog. They both have advantages but for me I just sort of liked the basic layout and description of the Bloog approach better.

Step 1: See my prior article on getting Hello World going on App_engine.

After doing the initial tutorials outlined in my earlier piece on app engine. Then download Bloog here. I was not quite ready to load up client software to get the file out of GIT “properly” so I chose to just click the download button which gives you the file only in Tar format (no zip file) so you may need an unpacker, my native windows Vista 64 extract did not work so I downloaded a (freeware) unpack program called 7 zip from here. I unzipped the folders to my Documents directory.

I decided to run it directly, so without editing anything I made up a Bat file that started app engine on my local machine. The file:”startappengine.bat” contains:”dev_appserver.py C:\Users\DadLaptop\Documents\Bloog”

I got a screen of errors when I opened my browser at http://localhost:8080/

They appeared to be the same as discribed here.

I went to Http://github.com/darwin/firepython/ and clicked on download and selected the zip file, which I then unziped to bloog/utils/external and erased the old (empty) firepython folder and renamed the resulting folder to firepython.

I re-ran the autoexec file and reloaded the local host page and bang I had a operating site, Now I’ll work on some customizations before uploading to the real app engine!!!

Found most customizations in Config.py including customizing the links on the right side. But am still looking to replace the ad space on the right with a rss feed or two. My questions to the Bloog support group are here.

10 Things You Won’t See After the Recession – Business Center – PC World

A friend passed this on I think it has a fair ring of truth to it. Click on the line below for a full read

10 Things You Won’t See After the Recession – Business Center – PC World.

The government says we’ve been in a recession for the past year. Experts say it’ll be at least another year before it’s over. And everybody says it’s the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Nice sound bite. What does that mean?

Who knows? We can be sure that this downturn will differ totally from the Depression, and also different from the many recessions we’ve suffered every decade or every other decade since the 30s. I’m not an economist or a historian, but it seems to me that this recession will be something unprecedented.

One reason is that that there was no Internet or mobile technology in the 1930s. That means individual people and companies have very low cost, high efficiency alternatives for doing a wide ranging of activities. That will accelerate the demise of those things fated to be replaced anyway.

Here are 10 things that I believe won’t survive the recession.

1. Free Tech Support

The practice still employed by some companies of paying humans to answer phones and solve technical problems with hardware or software purchased for consumers will become a thing of the past. PCs, laptops and hardware peripherals, as well as application software — these categories will be purchased like airline tickets, with price becoming the sole criteria for many buyers. In order to compete on price, companies who now offer real tech support will replace it with message boards (users helping users), wikis, wizards, software-based troubleshooting tools and other unsatisfying alternatives.

2. Wi-Fi You Have to Pay For

Everyone is going to share the cost of public Wi-Fi because the penny-pinching public will gravitate to places that offer “free” Wi-Fi. Companies that charge extra for Wi-Fi will see their iPhone, BlackBerry and netbook-toting customers — i.e., everybody — taking business elsewhere. The only place you’ll pay for Wi-Fi will be on an airplane.

3. Landline Phones

Digital phone bundles for homes (where TV, home networking and landline phone service are offered in a total package) will keep the landline idea alive for a while, but as millions of households drop their cable TV services and as consumers look to cut all needless costs, the trend toward dropping landline service in favor of cell phone service only will accelerate until it’s totally mainstream, and only grandma still has a landline phone.

4. Movie Rental Stores

The idea of retail stores where you drive there, pick a movie, stand in line and drive home with it will become a quaint relic of the new fin de siecle (look it up!). The new old way to get movies will be discs by mail, and the new, new way will be downloading.

Free Wiki/blogging hosts: an overview

I plan to update this but thought I’d go ahead and put this very brief version out for the time being.

Ok, I’ve signed up and set up beginning pages on 5 free Wiki sites in addition to my sites at several blog sites as well as WordPress: What you can see from the links below are the “mother site” (where the software/service comes from) and my very primitive initial set up or modification of the base start up pages.

Please note that I have done minimal work on each of these host platforms as of 6/6/2008 and plan to update and play around with them more as time permits. The first link takes you to the parent site for the provider and the My site link is just that, a barebones site I just created.

Pbwiki My site is here

Metadot My site is here

Deki Wiki/Mindtouch My site is here

Blogger My site is here

Joomla My site is here (this host restricted for “testing purposes only” no way to “upgrade” account, but a very rich environment.

Microsoft Live My site here, I’ve put the most effort in here and it is my Production site. Needs work, and not really a Wiki but totally free hosting.

Each of these tools and hosts has its own strengths and weaknesses which I hope to document as I get the time. Initially I can state that the richness of each environment amazes me. I also Hope to fiddle around a bit with Google app engine but that environment is more “programmer centric” as contrasted with the services above which can generally be handled by end-users…