Showing posts from June, 2006

OpenWengo Code Camp

Found this via the buildbot-devel mailing list: OpenWengo Code Camp. It seems similar in philosophy and goals to the Google Summer of Code. Excerpt from the home page:
"OpenWengo Code Camp is a friendly, challenging and mind-stimulating contest aimed at pushing open source software projects forward.
Students apply for proposed software development subjects for which they have a particular interest in. These subject proposals describe ways to bring enhancements to existing or new FOSS projects, generally by writing source code. If their application is accepted, they get the chance to be mentored by open source software contributors to work during 2 months on the subject for which they applied. At the end of summer, mentors give their appreciation: if goals were successfully reached, students get 3500 euros of cash.Mentors get 500 euros of cash if they played their role which consist mainly in helping students to complete their work successfully and evaluating their work at intermed…


The 3rd milestone for the Cheesecake/SoC project has been completed -- code name devon. This iteration had 3 stories:

1. Create functional tests that actually execute cheesecake_index script. Check that Cheesecake is: properly cleaning up leaving log file when package is broken and is removing it otherwise computing score properly handling its command line options properly
2. Write script that will automatically download and score all packages from PyPI.Each package should have its score and complete Cheesecake output logged. Gather time statistics for each package. Make a summary after scoring all packages: number of packages for which Cheesecake raised an exception manually check first/last 10 packages and think about improving scoring techniques 3. Add support for egg packagesRefactor supported packages interface Add support for installing eggs via setuptools easy_install As far as story #2 is concerned, Michał and I discussed some modifications and tweaks we need to do to the scori…


The second week of the Cheesecake/SoC project has ended, and all the stories have been completed. We chose the name camembert for this iteration. It included some very tasty (or should I say tasteful) refactoring from Michał, who sprinkled some magic pixie dust in the form of metaclasses and __getitem__ wizardry. It also included some development environment-related tasks, all of them executed via buildbot: automatically generating epydoc documentation and publishing it, running coverage numbers and publishing them, and converting the reST-based README file into Trac Wiki format. This last task had as a side-effect the creation of a little tool that Michał called rest2trac, which will be made available in the near future. Currently it does the conversions that we need for the markup we use in the README file.

All in all, another productive week, and lots of good work from Michał. Check out his Mousebender blog for more information.

Xen installation and configuration

Courtesy of my co-worker Henry Wong, here's a guide on installing and configuring Xen on an RHEL4 machine.
IntroductionXen is a set of kernel extensions that allow for paravirtualization of operating systems that support these kernel extensions, allowing for near-native performance for the guest operating systems. These paravirtualized systems require a compatible kernel to be installed for it to be aware of the underlying Xen host. The Xen host itself needs to be modified in order to be able to host these systems. More information can be found at the Xen website. Sometime in the future, XenSource will release a stable version that supports the installation of unmodified guest machine on top of the Xen host. This itself requires that the host machine hardware have some sort of virtualization technology integrated into the processor. Both Intel and AMD have their own versions of virtualization technology, VT for short, to meet this new reqirement. To distinguish between the two comp…

Python at UC Riverside

I interviewed a candidate for a QA position a couple of days ago; he had a bachelor's degree in Comp. Science from UC Riverside. I was happy to find out that Python is the main language taught there, along with C++. They participated in an XP-style project based on Python and Pygame. What's not to like?

One thing though that I don't really get is that they didn't seem to put emphasis at all on unit testing. They had short iterations, customer feedback, pair programming, but no unit tests. How can you teach XP without stressing the importance of unit tests? To me "XP with no unit tests" is an oxymoron, up there with "making soup in a sieve", or even -- dare I say -- "work on the Cheesecake project to keep the cuddly teddy-bear of an effbot happy" (extra Cheesecake points to anyone who can spot the multiple oxymorons in the last phrase.)

Update 06/11/06

Peter Fröhlich contacted me via email, and told me that, in all probability, the XP class I …

Got brie?

Cheesecake/Summer of Code project: 1 down, 11 to go. The numbers represent weeks that are allocated for Google SoC projects this year, up to the August 21st deadline.

We decided to have 1-week iterations, which we entered as milestones in Trac. Each iteration consists of several stories which are entered as tickets of type 'enhancement' in Trac. Stories are estimated in points, with roughly 2 points per day. So a 4-point story is estimated at roughly 2 days of work. We'll keep the maximum number of points per iteration to 8, a bit less than the maximum velocity, but more realistic, because there's always something that comes up and needs to be taken care of. Plus, a story is not done if it's not well tested.

Each story is split into tasks that take roughly a few hours each, and the tasks are entered as tickets of type 'task' in Trac (here are all the tickets we've entered so far, by milestone.)

To keep things fun, each iteration has a code name inspired by…

Cheesecake mailing lists

If you are interested in the Cheesecake project, you can now subscribe to two mailing lists: cheesecake-dev and cheesecake-users (thanks, Titus!)

In the near future, most of the discussions will take place on cheesecake-dev, since the Cheesecake/SoC project is in full swing.

Michał and I already posted a couple of threads with feedback that we got from the CommentsPage on the Trac Wiki. We'd love to get more feedback, so please don't spare us! You can also add ideas to the SummerOfCode06 Wiki page.

Sparklines and sparkplot

Via Darren Rowse: how infosthetics is using sparklines to display its relative daily Google AdSense earnings. Looks like they're using the PHP sparkline library, but hey, you can always give my sparkplot module a try too! Maybe you want to restore romance to the sports page? Then sparkplot might just be the ticket :-)

Several people expressed interest recently in sparkplot, so I guess it's time for me to dust it off a bit and release it in the wild. Stay tuned.

Treasure trove: AYE conference articles

If you're interested in Amplifying Your Effectiveness, then you'll enjoy these articles from the AYE conference, written by AYE hosts and guests who explore both the technical and the human sides of software and IT development. Also check out the links to various blogs on the AYE conference page. To summarize in 3 short words: Jerry Weinberg rulez :-)