Thursday, August 7, 2008

AppEngine and Google Base

My experiments with AppEngine keep expanding. One thing they got right
was the incentive to use other google services through google data
APIs also known as GData.
The first step towards that was forcing us to use Authsub by default
in appEngine. Noticing that, I am thinking about taking advantage of
that to aleviate the usage of the tiny storage quota offered by Google
at AppEngine.
I'll post more about this as my experiments mature.

FLávio Codeço Coelho, PhD

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Editra: a Great New Python Editor

Editra is a relatively new (at least for me) text editor written in Python/GTK.

I have been working extensively with it recently, and although I am not ready to leave behind my currently favorite Python IDE, Eric, Editra doesn't make me miss it too much. One thing that it does that Eric still does not, even though it could, is to provide a code browser for a source file which is not part of a project. I know, many editors do that, but Eric only enables the browser for files in a project, silly thing isn't it?.

Editra has an interesting plugin system, through which it provides most of its goodies, such as the code browser, comment browser, file browser, support for projects, a python shell, themes etc. There is also a plugin for an Ipython Shell that is apparently broken.

Its project support includes source control integration for Git, Bazaar, CVS and Subversion, Unfortunately notmy favorite: Mercurial.

One thing that annoys me is the lack of support for the middle-mouse-button paste, typical of Linux, which I use a lot (on other editors, naturally). I couldn't find the convenient run button as well... too bad.

Overall it is an excellent editor, and I wish it continues to develop well. One last wish: Good code completion, if it can do that it make an excellent alternative to commercial editors such as Komodo. Kudos to its developers!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Google AppEngine

I have spent quite a lot of time lately developing for google appengine. I must admit that it is really a great package, especially considering that is still in beta.

The development cycle is a breeze. One thing I would add though, would be a decent source code management system. This could take the form of an integration with google code. The appEngine dashboard does a good job keeping track of versions of your application, but if by accident you loose the code for your application (like having your laptop stolen for instance) you' re basically screwed.
Another ridiculous aspect of it is the 500MB of storage! why would a company that gives you 6+GB of email space not give you at least the same for your web app? Too bad they don't really have competition. Yes you can write your app in Django and all that, but Django, although more powerful as a development platform than the current version on GAE, does not offer such an efficient development and deployment cycle. Someone should work at creating an open source version of the GAE dashboard to help the deployment of Django apps. It would be a huge success.

My last wish is that I hope they will upgrade their internal version of Django to 1.0 as soon as the real Django 1.0 becomes production ready.