I've just discovered that Pyblosxom's default (i.e. builtin) RSS template
does not include dates nor IDs. I'm disappointed. This kind of breaks
the whole "usable out of the box" feeling.
Google to the rescue: after a brief look at Blosxom
and RSS and Daniel's
pyblosxom RSS templates I've borrowed Daniel's story.rss
with a different timezone substituted. Doesn't pyblosxom have a variable
that would expand into the server's time zone? What about daylight savings
time -- do I have to edit story.rss twice a year, or what?
Every now and the I see a web page that tries to use footnotes and
fails. Usually it is a longish article, and all the footnotes are
unhelpfully placed at the very end. Effectively they are more like endnotes
The difference between a footnote and an endnote in paper books is that you
can easily find the footnote on the same page that you're looking at, while you
have to work hard (turn pages, use bookmarks) to find the endnote. Footnotes
are convenient, endnotes are not. I have to admit that I haven't the slightest
idea why people ever use endnotes. I suppose it's because they're easier to
Footnotes are called this way because they are placed at the bottom
(foot) of the page. When people write articles or books on
the web they naturally tend to put the footnotes at the foot of the
webpage. But there is one very important difference between
paper pages and web pages: you can see the entire page of a book at once,
but you can only see one screenful of a long web page without scrolling.
Footnotes are convenient because moving your eyes to a different part of the
text in front of you is easy.
Scrolling on the web is like turning pages of a book. If you cannot see both the footnote and the text
that the footnote refers to, then you cannot easily jump between the two with
just your eyes. You have to use the mouse (or the keyboard), you lose
concentration, it becomes harder to find the place where you stopped reading
before you started looking for the footnote.
People generally try to correct this problem by making the footnote
marker into a hyperlink that points to the text of the footnote. This
solution is inadequate because footnote markers are small and therefore
hard to hit (Fitt's
Law). It usually takes me more time to move the mouse around and
click on the footnote marker that it takes me to hit End, then maybe PageUp or
two and find the relevant footnote visually.
A much better solution is to put the footnotes immediately after the
paragraph that mentions them. This keeps the footnote and its marker close
together (but not too close as to interrupt the reader's flow), and hopefully
on the same screenful of text. Indent the footnotes and render them in a
smaller font, so that readers may easily skip them.
I did not invent this footnote presentation style - I found it on the
web somewhere, a while ago. I wish I remembered where and could give credit
where credit is due. Obvious things are sometimes hard to invent.
The SchoolTool test runner has a couple of features that the Zope 3 test
runner does not have.
- When an error occurs while rendering a Zope Page Template, the SchoolTool
test runner can show you the location in the template as well as the
relevant TALES expression in the traceback.
- You can instruct the SchoolTool test runner to limit recursive
directory tree walks to a subdirectory in your source three -- this
shaves off whooping 6 seconds when you want to test a single Zope 3
package. (This is very important when running a small subset of unit
tests that take e.g. 2 to 6 seconds to run, when you want to have a
quick change - run tests - fix cycle.)
- The SchoolTool test runner can warn you if you have test classes that
are not included in the test suite.
Here's how you can use it for a Zope 3 package called "ivija" (which happens
to be a Zope 3 based application that I'm currently working on):
- Download test.py and save it as
st-test.py. Place or symlink it
into your Zope 3 root directory (~/Zope3 in my case).
- Create a shell script called
test and put it wherever you
want it (I keep it in ~/Zope3/src/ivija):
python2.3 $TEST -wpv --search-in src/ivija "$@"
- When you want to run the tests, just run them as
Here's how long the Zope 3 test runner takes to walk through all
subdirectories and find out which test modules need to be imported:
mg: ~/ivija$ time ./test.py nosuchtest
Configuration file found.
Running UNIT tests from /home/mg/Zope3
not a package src/ivija/reportgen/zLOG/tests
not a package src/ivija/reportgen/StructuredText/tests
No unit tests to be run.
Running FUNCTIONAL tests from /home/mg/Zope3
No functional tests to be run.
Here's how long the SchoolTool test runner takes to walk through just the
ivija package subdirectories:
mg: ~/ivija$ time ./test nosuchtest
/home/mg/Zope3/src/ivija/reportgen/zLOG/tests is not a package
/home/mg/Zope3/src/ivija/reportgen/StructuredText/tests is not a package
Ran 0 tests in 0.000s
Not bad, huh?
Update: The SchoolTool test runner is no longer maintained.
In the meantime the Zope 3 test runner gained a lot of features not present in
the SchoolTool test runner.
I finally decided to start a blog of my own. Pyblosxom is nice. I
like simple text files on the filesystem. I would like to find something like
Pyblosxom for publishing photos.