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Showing posts from May, 2005

Installing the Firebird database on a 64-bit RHEL Linux server

I just finished the painful exercise of installing Firebird on an Intel E64MT server running RHEL 3. I first tried installing the RPM versions of Firebird from here -- tried both the 1.0 version and the 1.5 version of the database, in both Classic and SuperServer incarnations. In all cases, the RPMs installed without error, but when I tried to install the KInterbasDB Python module (and also the DBD::Interbase Perl module), the loader complained about the Firebird shared libraries, which were obviously not 64-bit. So I ended up installing Firebird from source. Here's what I did:

1. Downloaded and bunzip-ed firebird-1.5.2.4731.tar.bz2.
2. Ran ./configure, then make and make install in the firebird-1.5.2.4731 directory.

By default, this installs the Classic version of Firebird in /usr/local/firebird (the Classic version allows processes to connect directly to database files; the SuperServer version requires processes to open a socket to a server process, which then accesses the database…

Third SoCal Piggies meeting

The SoCal Piggies had their third meeting at USC on May 17th. A record number of 7 Piggies attended (Daniel, Howard, Mark, Grig, Brian, Titus, Diane), joined by a guest from Caltech. It was nice to meet Howard, Brian and Mark and to talk about Python while munching on a fairly decent Pizza Hut nourishment.

Titus Brown presented part 2 of his Quixote 2.0 tutorial. He showed a few introductory examples, then delved into more advanced stuff, showing how to manage sessions with Quixote. One thing I took away from it is that it takes remarkably little code. Generally speaking, Quixote seems very crisp and clean, and Titus' tutorials are very good in smoothing the learning curve, which can otherwise be steep.

Titus then spent some time talking about his Web app. testing tool twill. We couldn't get a live demo unfortunately, but it was an interesting discussion nevertheless, covering things such as the cmd module, pyparsing, and especially a great use of metaclasses. Titus ended his pr…

Installing and using cx_Oracle on Unix

Here's a mini-HOWTO on installing the cx_Oracle Python module on Unix systems (tested on Linux and Solaris.) I always forget one of these steps every time I install this module on one of my systems, so I thought I'd write them down. Other people might find this useful, so here goes:

1. Download cx_Oracle-4.1.tar.gz from here.
2. Become root on the target system.
3. Make sure you have the ORACLE_HOME environment variable defined for user root and pointing to the correct Oracle installation directory on your server. This step is necessary because the cx_Oracle installation process looks for headers and libraries under ORACLE_HOME.
4. Install cx_Oracle by running 'python setup.py install'.
5. Become user oracle, since this is the user you'll most likely want to run python scripts as when interacting with Oracle databases. Make sure you have the following line in oracle user's .bash_profile (or similar for other shells):
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:$ORACLE_HO…

New features in Selenium 0.3

A new version of the Selenium Web app test tool has just been released by Jason Huggins and the rest of the team at ThoughtWorks. I'll highlight some of the new and updated features.

New TestRunner look and feel

The most striking feature in version 0.3 is a new and improved look for the TestRunner. Click here for a screenshot.


Simplified directory structure

Another important improvement is a much simplified directory structure for the Selenium package. The main Selenium package contains the 'BrowserBot' JavaScript engine and nothing else. All the other language-specific drivers/bindings are available for download separately.

Here's all you need to do to get started with Selenium 0.3:

1. Download selenium-0.3.0.zip from the download page
2. Unzip the archive. This will create a directory called selenium-0.3.0, with 2 sub-directories: doc and selenium
3. Copy the selenium directory somewhere where it can be served by the Web server hosting your Web app
4. Open http://www.yourwebs…