I'm a developer, not a writer

File Iteration With python-mock

by justin on Feb. 27, 2014, 2:06 a.m. UTC

I came across a unit test situation recently where I did not want to litter my project with test files for reading. I did some looking and python-mock has a way to mock open, but there are a couple of things to watch out for. What is documented there doesn't quite work right off the bat. The documentation shows this:

with patch('', mock_open(read_data='bibble'), create=True) as m:
    with open('foo') as h:
        result =

Simple enough. Except right away, that actually needs to be, at least on Python 2.7 ...

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A New Project and More KnockoutJS

by justin on Jan. 12, 2014, 8:42 p.m. UTC

I've begun a new side project. This one might actually get finished and permanently hosted, even. The main purpose of the project is for me to play with Django Rest Framework and more KnockoutJS. So far I'm really liking both. Django Rest Framework is proving to be much easier to work with than Tastypie once I need to break away from the standard. I find splitting the serializers out from the views/endpoints and being able to route by request method to be far more flexible.

KnockoutJS also continues to be flexible and provider cleaner, more maintainable UI ...

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Playing With KnockoutJS

by justin on Dec. 18, 2013, 2:39 a.m. UTC

I've been trying to build up my front end dev skills a bit lately and get to know some of the front end JavaScript frameworks out there better, or in some cases, at all. The most interesting thing I've been working with lately is KnockoutJS. The short description of what it does is that rather than hand writing all of the event bindings using jQuery or whatever you like, you add a bit of extra markup in the HTML and a few simple, mostly single line variable declarations/assignments in your JavaScript. Knockout then handles the event binding ...

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Things I've learned

by justin on Nov. 22, 2013, 1:26 a.m. UTC

So I've learned some things since my last post on here.

For one, people actually come to my little website. I did not know this. I haven't run any usage tracking stuff for a long time and just kind of figured it's a tiny blog thing which I don't advertise and I'm not famous, so it must get like 2 hits per year. I got bored and set up Google Analytics a few days ago and it turns out more people visit each day than I thought did in a year. Not tons. Not even ...

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Django Project Structure Test

by justin on July 14, 2013, 11:08 p.m. UTC

I've started a second small to mid sized project to go along with Djukebox. I'm using this to test something out with Django projects to see what I prefer. With Djukebox I just made it a proper installable app that you can install with pip (if I put it on pypi). I like this because then you can easily start a project called whatever you want, which does anything you want, and add Djukebox to it. It also makes it easy to distribute without tying myself or anyone else to a specific project structure, you set up your ...

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Track data editing finally added to Djukebox

by justin on May 28, 2013, 2 a.m. UTC

I finally got done adding track editing data to Djukebox. I can't remember when I started on this, but I believe it was well over 6 months ago. I had a lot of delays and not much free time in getting it done. I took two calculus classes, had my employer shut down all in house software development and lay off the entire team and so had to find a new job, and had a baby. It's been a long time coming, but the functionality is finally added.

I learned some things while adding the new features. I ...

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CoffeeScript FIrst Impression

by justin on April 26, 2013, 1:48 a.m. UTC

Today I tried to use CoffeeScript for the first time. Some of the other guys at my new job like it and it's not often that you are encouraged to use more cutting edge, less supported, less proven technology so I figured I'd give it a try on my current work project.

So far I'm not impressed. Maybe it's because I don't really dislike JavaScript in the first place, but I don't feel like what I've gained outweighs what I've lost. The syntax is a bit more terse and I've gained ...

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Two Scoops of Django

by justin on March 25, 2013, 7:16 p.m. UTC

I recently bought the beta of Two Scoops Of Django based on all of the good reviews and recommendations it's getting fro people who know way more about Django than me. I haven't read it all in depth, but I've read most of it and at least glossed over the rest and so far it was well worth the $15.

The explanations of how and when to use the Class Based Views were excellent. The official documentation hasn't been very clear on them, so I've avoided them. In my personal case I still think they ...

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Python Tic-Tac-Toe AI

by justin on Jan. 4, 2013, 8:44 p.m. UTC

Not too long ago I began talking to a company which will remain unnamed for now about a Django dev job. Part of their hiring process is to write single player a tic-tac-toe game where the computer always wins in Python. The hiring is on hold over the holidays, but I figured I'd get a head start and document it here for fun.

I start with a couple of basic classes, Board, Player, and AIPlayer.

class Board(object):
    """A tic tac toe board"""

    wins = ((0,1,2), # rows
            (0,3,6), # columns
            (1 ...
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Python Unicode Gotcha

by justin on Dec. 4, 2012, 2:11 p.m. UTC

I was peer reviewing a bug fix for some code at work the other day and learned something about Python and encoded Unicode. It makes sense now, but when I first saw the fix my initial thought was that there's no way that's what is going wrong. It turns out that once you've encoded a Unicode string, perhaps to utf8, you can chop off just part of the bytes of a single Unicode character using string slices.

>>> u = u'A string with some random unicode \u0200 \u0202. There it is.'
>>> u
u'A string with ...
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Djukebox Gets Handlebars and a REST API

by justin on Oct. 26, 2012, 7:48 p.m. UTC

I recently reworked the Djukebox UI. It's still ugly, but it uses way cooler things behind the scenes. The original incarnation had a main page which housed the player, a hidden iframe for uploading new tracks while letting the user continue browsing and listening, and another iframe for the current page content so that the player could keep playing while the user clicks around through lists of tracks and albums.

It worked pretty smoothly, but it's not cool and new. This is an old, hacky way of doing things. The point of Djukebox is to be a playground ...

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Control Panel Development Is Underway

by justin on Aug. 1, 2012, 2:18 a.m. UTC

I have begun work on a new control panel app for the CMS used for I got to learn a little about how django.contrib.admin works since I dug into its code to see how the dynamic urlconf creation happens and how model registration is handled. For bscontrolpanel entire views are registered rather than single models. This can be a bit more work, but it allows for streamlined, user friendly control panel views to be built, housed with the app they belong to, but appear dynamically in the control panel and all live under a common base ...

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A New Look and Reworked Back End

by justin on June 26, 2012, 1:22 a.m. UTC

The site has a new look. I completely scrapped the old html and css and started from scratch. I'm terrible with picking colors so I used a bootstrap them from BootSwatch and then went to work on the layout. I made changes to the back end to hopefully let me expand this more as time goes on. The blog section is now one app while the projects are their own app rather than being hacked into the blog stuff. I'm hoping to find time to take the projects section and tie into github and bitbucket APIs, add file ...

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Programming Pearls: Phone Directory

by justin on May 6, 2012, 1:55 p.m. UTC

I recently started reading the book Programming Pearls. It walks through several situations in software development which had interesting solutions. The solutions generally required a bit more thought about a problem than a person might initially give it, but were far simpler to write and/or more efficient than the first solution most people would think of as well.

This also includes exercises after each section which reinforce some of the concepts and ways of thinking used to solve the initial problem. I intend to do some of these and occasionally post my answers. The book used C++ and I ...

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Django / Nginx / uWSGI / Supervisor On Debian

by justin on April 28, 2012, 10:29 p.m. UTC

So I've moved my stuff over to Rackspace and have pulled Apache out of the mix. I'm now running Django behind Nginx and uWSGI in a virtualenv with Supervisor. It was more work than I expected and most of the instructions out there I didn't find to be very helpful because they expect you to be setting things up exactly how the author of those instructions does it, so here's my own little bit of info on how to do this. I run Debian, so the specifics I provide here will be for Debian (and Ubuntu ...

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