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Programming, speculative fiction, science, technology
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Creating a virtualenv with Python 3 on Windows 10

(* if you have both Python 2 and Python 3 on your machine. If you only have Python 3, you probably don't need this article.)

I wanted to install Python 3 on Windows 10, and use it in a virtualenv. Eventually I wanted to get my Flask web application to run on Python 3.

The steps for that are not too difficult, but there are a few gotchas along the way. And you know what that means, Gentle Reader. It means that when I have to do it again -- let's say, months from now -- I will have to hunt down the solutions to all the gotchas again. So I decided to take lessons from the past and write it all down. And share it with those of you who don't want waste time hunting down the answers. So, this is what I did.

Running a Python Flask app under Apache: simplest possible configuration

Let's say you are an ordinary developer, not a wizard at administrating the Apache server. You are looking for a place to host your side project, a Flask application (Flask is a Python web framework). To have the most control at only a small price, you provision a cloud server at your friendly cloud hosting company (Dreamhost, in my case). Perhaps you were not satisfied with free hosting sites, because they give you so little computing power that you quickly max out your available database connections. And so you decide to run it on your own server.

Just to be clear, this article does not deal with production-caliber Flask applications. It describes a minimal, very basic deployment options for simple applications such as your side projects or hobby projects. It does not address, for example, Python virtualenv. Maybe in the future.

Customizing Angular tooltips with your own directive

Tooltips are a useful thing. Just last year, as a volunteer web developer, I built an event website for a nonprofit. The website had a page with the event program grid. The event had several parallel tracks, each of them jam-packed of back-to-back panels, and each panel had several panelists. Understandably, the web page real estate was at a premium, and the page for the panel grid listed the participants by only their last name. No other info.

Getting all the notes in a notebook with Evernote API and Python

My impression of Evernote API documentation is that it is not very friendly to Python beginners, and rather short on examples. So I wrote this document on how to write a simple script that will get notes from a notebook.

Virtual machines, Vagrant, rails-dev-box, and how they make developer's life easier

These are slides from a lightning talk I gave at Women Who Code (a meetup for women software developers) Austin chapter on January 5, 2015.

Larval Mode: a Linucon 2005 panel

The name Larval Mode comes from the Hacker's Dictionary where it means the state of being a novice programmer or techie. The panelists were Eric Raymond and "one of the unsung heroes of the internet" John Quarterman. They did this panel specifically for a group of high school students who travelled to Linucon.

Here are some topics they talked about.

I can't guarantee that I quoted Eric Raymond or John Quarterman correctly, but I tried to capture the essence of what they said.

Ruby uniq method with ActiveRecord

Recently I was surprised to see that Ruby uniq method didn't seem to work on ActiveRecord. Suppose I have a bunch of ActiveRecords and I want to select just the ones that are unique by some field.

Stubs in unit tests using Mocha, a Ruby mock/stub framework

These are slides from a lightning talk which I gave at All Girl Hack Night, an Austin meetup for women software developers.

RailsBridge: when WiFi decides whether you stay or leave

It only took a little bit of WiFi to make a difference between a productive workshop experience, and a waste of time. The workshop was RailsBridge, a free Ruby on Rails workshop for beginners. I have been dabbling in Rails for a while now, but there is only so much you can do in those minutes before sleep, when you are finally done with the day's work, and finally think you can sneak a smidge of time for your pet project -- only to find yourself faceplanting in the keyboard. So I went to a RailsBridge to learn "proper" Ruby on Rails development, complete with things like unit tests, that I tend to skip if I have just 15 minutes in the evening to learn a new framework.

RailsBridge was part of Lone Star Ruby Conf 2013 in Austin, TX, and it was lead by the main instructor, Sarah Mei (founder of RailsBridge workshops), and many coaches. The students were divided into groups of approximately 4-6 people. The process of dividing ourselves was interesting, and worth a paragraph, but since it was nonessential to the workshop, I put it at the bottom.