Stephen Figgins: Python on the Side "While browsing KDE Dot News the other day, I saw some Python software listed in the Recent Software section. It led me to four small applications by Doug Bell: ConvertAll, a unit conversion program; FlyWay, a route planner for pilots; rpCalc, a reverse polish calculator; and TreeLine, a simple tree structured information storage program. Written with Python and PyQt, they all looked sharp. The code was clean and easy to understand if not heavily commented. They were my favorite kind of small application to learn from. I called Doug to ask him about the programs. Turns out he isn't even a programmer by trade."
Zope 2.5.0 beta 2 has been released. I've moved my non-Squishdot sites over to it without incident. As Chris points out, they've fixed a big memory leak - that didn't affect me while I was trying 2.5.0 beta 1 as my sites aren't v popular, so Zope didn't have much of a chance to leak. With a GB of RAM and not any load to speak of it's easy to miss a memory leak though.
O'Reilly: A Primer for Accessible Web Pages "On December 21, 2000, the Access Board, a committee created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), published regulations regarding the accessibility of Internet sites. These new regulations require that any web site built or procured by the Federal government must be accessible to the public in the same manner as buildings equipped with curb-cut sidewalks, braille-enhanced elevator buttons, or ramped building entrances. The Access Board's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards put Web design best practices into law for the first time."
O'Reilly: Using Python and XML with Microsoft .NET My Services " What many developers realized after viewing the beta code, presentations, and samples is that Microsoft has indeed been focusing on the nature of these XML-based Web services and their utility, and they've created a series of services with an infrastructure fabric underlying them. In this article, you’ll learn a bit about .NET My Services, specifically the .NET Contacts service, and how you can program for it using Python and XML."
Zope 2.5 Beta 1 Announcement The page lists the most interesting new features. Page Templates are now included by default. It's a useable beta -- I've moved a bunch of my personal sites over to it to see how well it works. No problems so far, but it has been running for only 15 minutes as I write this. :) YMMV. And I'm running it on OpenBSD 3. So any nastiness should make itself apparent in short order.
Ace's Hardware: Building a Better Webserver "You may have noticed a few changes around here recently, namely our new design and quick response time. Powering these improvements is a new server and a new web application built from the ground up to provide our readers with the shortest load times possible without compromising on our site's features or our ability to deliver content to you dynamically. A new server and a new Ace's Hardware means more headroom for more content and, as an example, new features like our SPECmine database." This is the sort of article we need to do to show how well Zope copes with load. If a Zope site, provided it's running on a proper OS (not W2K pro), is Slashdotted, it should stay up nicely.
There are some good links over on ZopeZen. I'm going to steal some of them. Zopera has an interview with Paul Everitt. Paul reminds us that we the Zope community can do a lot to help evangelise Zope. One thing, for example, would be a benchmark repository so we can point people at a fixed address and say: "this is how well Zope performs on certain hardware and platforms." I have a Pystone listing but it's not sufficient.
I'm running ZopeNewbies on an OpenBSD 3.0 box. (OpenBSD 3.0 became available a day or two ago, CDs are shipping.) So far so good. The last previous Zope-friendly OpenBSD was 2.7. 2.8 was a no-go unless you did a certain hack (told Python to use the 2.7 threading library not the 2.8 one). 2.9 was better but I still couldn't keep a site up for more than a few days, and Python 2.1.1 did a lot better than 1.5.2. Also, if I hammered the 2.9 box with Apache's ab, I would knock the server flat. Only powering the box off and back on would get serving again. Hitting 3.0 with ab produced some good numbers (1000 requests, 10 through 30 simultaneous users, uncached ZN page) of about 17 pages served a second. This weekend I'll have a go at Zope 2.4.3 and use the Ram Cache to see what results I'll get. (Ram Cache with 2.3.3 never lets go, and the Ram Cache with 2.4.3 lets go about about 30-60 minutes. YMMV)
ZopeZen: Runyaga asks What are you guys using to monitor your website? But he's after only Win32 tools, or ones that work on Win32 as well as Linux. Surely Win311 is dead, dead, dead now, and we don't need to refer to Win32 rather than simply Windows? Although at work we still have a client for whom we continue to maintain and extend a 16-bit application. :)
David Mertz: Updated Python reading list "Since my last book roundup appeared in February of 2001, a number of interesting books on Python have been published. This installment provides new comparative reviews of recent Python titles (or titles missed in the last roundup)." Here is what he had to say about the inimitable Fredrik Lundh's Python Standard Library: " Many of the other books I have looked at also use extensive source code examples; but in many of those, you have to re-read and ponder for a while to figure out exactly what an example is meant to illustrate, which part of it illustrates the topic at hand, and why it is an illustration. In contrast, the source code examples in Python Standard Library are only as long as necessary, are clear, have adequate inline documentation, and get right to the point being illustrated. Likewise, the prose introductions provide exactly the sort of clear guidance you might ask of the more experienced programmer in the cubicle next to yours (if you are lucky enough to have such a co-worker). The descriptions, however, by intention do not try to teach you basic concepts -- they assume you basically know what you are doing, and just need to refine how you do it."