7 years of Django in 7-ish days

Spring was quite an "interesting time" for my personal project: WaterOnMars.

Indeed I started to work on adding a new feature (a first in a while but maybe the topic of another post) but each time I was pushing or deploying code I was suddenly getting back warnings unrelated to my changes but pointing at core components like, err... Python or Django versions being deprecated.

So kudos for Python and github developers for making a clever use of warnings and, yes, I admit that using Python2.7 (ending its life in 2020) and Django1.4 (published 7 years ago) in 2019 is lame.

So... migrations !

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Migrations: from Wordpress to a static site with Nikola

This is it ! My first post writen with Nikola and, even better, all my website is now made only of static pages.

After serving me well during the past 12 years, Wordpress (thanks to Automattic and its community) will not power anymore my blog, which I expect to consule less resource and to require only marginally less maintenance.

The new software I'm using to replace it is called Nikola (a big thank you to Roberto Alsina, Chris Warrick and other contributors) and it generates my whole website as static HTML pages.

The flexibility of Nikola allowed me to keep most of the organisation of this site untouched with remarkably few change of addresses for the content but still with a little bit of extra efforts that I'll describe below.

For the most important, though, you can find the blog posts and the photos albums at the same places as they were before.

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Long overdue release of Yapsy

TL;DR: Yapsy v1.12 has been released with fixes for Python3.6 and multiprocessing on windows.

So, after 3 years sleeping busy with a fair bit of work and family duties joyful activities, I eventually got some time to actually release Yapsy – the fat-free DIY python plugin management toolkit.

There was a fair bit of contributions (compared to the modest size of the project), that I'm sorry not to have released earlier but which bring some nice polishing to yapsy.

The most prominent news I think is a better compatibility with modern Python (esp. 3.6) and the resolution of a nasty bug that made the instantiation of plugins in their own (sub)processes (with the Multiprocessing Plugin Manager) impossible on Windows (changelog below).

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Review: Peopleware, Productive Projects and Teams

PeoplewareHere we go for a review of Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, 2013 (1st edition in 1987) by Tom DeMarco, Tim Lister. Another long overdue review since I read the book twice again since I first decided to write this review.

This is a book about teams of software developers, what makes them produce exceptional software and how (for the management) to avoid being in their way of such a noble aim. To me, this is also the logical sequel to the Mythical Man Month (reviewed here a few years ago).

The core idea is that developing a software product is an intellectual work (of communication and reflection) in an environment (market and technology) that is changing fast.

I would group the other main ideas in the following categories:

  • software projects are unlike traditional ones
  • teams and motivations
  • creativity and change management

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Wateronmars feature complete, soon ? What has been added can be edited !

wom-logo-128Wateronmars -- my news reader and bookmark saving web app -- has recently got some new features: every items (feed sources and bookmarks) can now be easily edited and removed.

Not too soon, right ? I've actually been using it since a little more than 1 year  to consume my feeds and store some links and the need to edit a bookmark title or to un-subscribe from some feed wasn't a big urge, but eventually became big enough to motivate to add the missing forms and bit of REST API.


This was also the occasion to clean a little more some of the pages, which, in turn, is a just a prelude of the next big feature to come: internationalization (more on that later).

The result has a certain feeling of completeness and can be seen on the demo site on heroku and in the sources on github.

New releases and features for Yapsy

yapsyYapsy - my fat-free DIY python plugin management toolkit -- has recently jumped from 1.10 to 1.11 with a great new contribution: allowing plugins to run in their own processes separated from the plugin manager's (and presumably the application's) own process.

Adding brand new features is not very frequent for Yapsy (last time was 2 years and a half ago !) but it doesn't prevent people from using it and  contributing to it, which I find really nice.

Besides the features there has been also a fair number of bug fixes contributed which, I guess, can be interpreted as a good sign (even though I'd prefer to have it bug-free).

All of this was the occasion to improve a little more the documentation (also on readthedoc) to be more helpful and make sure that people know how and where to contribute (spoiler: github pull requests are perfectly fine if you've lost your sourceforge credentials and don't intend to get them back ;) )

You can read more on the latest release notes:

Minor release for Yapsy 1.10.423

yapsyI've just released a minor version of Yapsy, a small python library for plugin management.

Not a big deal actually, just a few adjustments to take into account the feedback from developers of the Nikola project where yapsy is used as a support for the application's modular structure.

I also took from them the idea of registering yapsy to coveralls.io which motivated me to add some unit-test just to get the green badge reserved for a test coverage higher than 90%.

Bookmarklets: no-brainer integration of WaterOnMars on Android

bookmarkletWaterOnMars provides bookmarklets to do basic actions like subscribing to an RSS feed or to bookmark a web page.

Bookmarklets are very handy and they work pretty well with desktop browsers, but mobile browsers hardly support them. Unfortunately, since a few months I've been browsing the net and reading news on WaterOnMars almost exclusively from my (Android) tablet.

A common solution to get similar functionality as bookmarklets on mobile platform is to develop Android-specific applications.

However I did find an alternative solution, which may not be 100% user friendly, but remains quite handy: the Bookmarklet Free app !

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