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.

APP Engine Using Bloog Part 3 Upload the app

Well, after I got the framework for my new Blog (based on Bloog), going using my local debug server it was time to upload the app and get it live. The instructions simply said to run apcfg.py with a few parameters… Two issues, where to run the command and how to get all the parameters, I got some good help once again in the group. It turns out the command must be run in a Windows Command window, (not exactly intuitive but now that I know it it makes sense!) I placed my cmd window back to root using the cd\ command then ran c:appcfg.py update c:\Users\DadLaptop\Documents\tombrander Note that I did not have any spaces in my directory string, for some reason I could not get the cmd to work within a quoted string as one of the responders suggested, also it does not work in a bat file. Also a subsequent post suggested how I might be able to use cut and past in the Vista cmd window, as follows, (have not tried yet)

You can copy and paste by using the System menu of the window. You can open this menu by using Alt-Space or click on the top left icon in the titlebar (for a cmd window it is a small c:\) In this menu you find a submenu for clipboard operations. If you want to copy text to the clipboard you first have to “Mark” the text and then press “enter”.

Great, now the whole thing was on the internet and working, mostly. I did a few test posts. A bit later I tried the Mail and comment functions,,, FAIL, back to the groups…. I investigated myself and posted the logs,, I was beginning to wonder if the Gmail name in the config.py file was case sensitive… I changed it to all lower case and reran the Update function as discribed above and low and behold both the comments and mail function started to work! Now I have the basics going. Content and refinement to come!

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 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…