Tagged: planetdev

Planet WordPress Plugin Released

I love the Planet feed aggregator, but I hate managing it via a text configuration file. I created a WordPress plugin that automatically creates a Planet configuration file from the links that are stored in a WordPress database. Every time a link is updated, deleted, or created, a new planet configuration is generated.

For more information on how to install and configure the plugin, visit the plugin’s homepage. The source code for the plugin is hosted at wordpress.org.

DataIO

A few weeks ago my employer helped the NY State Senate parse the MTA budget information into a machine searchable format. (The MTA originally published the budget as a PDF.) To parse the PDF I used a utility called pdftohtml to first convert the PDL into an XML document. I then used the python library lxml to convert the document into a set of csv files. The results of this labor can be seen on TOPP’s data site.

Soon after I published this data, however, I was told by a number of people that the data would be more useful if presented in another format. At first I just started creating a bunch of command line python scripts that would suck in these csv files, and spit them out in different formats. I quickly realized that I could accumulate these scripts and create a quick and dirty web application.

Over a few train rides I created an application called DataIO, and today, I finally got a chance to upload it to Google App Engine. The application is pretty simple to interact with; instructions are located on its front page.

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New Years Resolutions

Inspired by a friend I am going to create list of new years resolutions:

  • Learn a functional programming language. Any suggestions on which one to try out first?
  • Make fewer mockups and write more code. Web frameworks these days allow for such quick development that I think I would be more productive if I just skipped the Omnigraffle/Photoshop step.
  • Learn how to engage in effective Test Driven Development. I have heard of the benefits, but I have never seen a good tutorial on how to do this effectively. Maybe I just need to look a bit harder.
  • Don’t think about work while I am playing and don’t think about playing when I am working. Focus is always good. I am sure at least one person will be happy with this resolution.
  • Make a daily to do list with no more than three items. This was suggested by some lifehacker post and it seems like a great idea.
  • Recycle more at home. I recycle consistently at work because we have containers for different type of containers, but since I do not at home, I get lazy more often.
  • Contribute more back to the open source community. I have written a bunch of code recently that I haven’t yet checked in to a public repository. I have to make contributing back a higher priority.