2010-01-21

Twython Presentation Uploaded.


My presentation on Twython (a Python Twitter API provider) and integrating Twitter services into OpenGroupware Coils has been uploaded to the GRPUG forum..  This covers the basics of using Twython such as authentication, tweeting, retrieving time lines, searching, etc...  
Because Twitter rate limits connections [as well they should] if you are going to provide Twitter access to a large numbers of users, potentially NAT'd behind a single IP, it is recommended that you create some type of middle-ware to proxy and cache your Twitter access - the Twitter support in OpenGroupware Coils is one example of how to do that.

Python Curses In Action, even on AIX.


So, what if you have an old COBOL application that you want to integrate with some web services or a website? You'd need a "green-screen" application that can take that COBOL applications temporary output file, send it up to the web service, wait for a response, replace the temporary file, and then return control to the COBOL application (or whatever "green screen" application comes next). It sounds simpler than it is in practice: what if the web service takes awhile to complete [or has human involvement on the other end?!] or the web service isn't available right at the moment you try to send your request? For a real production environment your "green screen" application would need to deal with all of those things.
And you need that "green screen" application to work on both LINUX and AIX!


Fortunately pware provides Python 2.6 for AIX, including curses! The curses library and respective Python module provide a surprisingly easy way to create professional looking TUI (Text User Interface) applications like the solution required in our example. This particular application takes them temporary file and submits it via a WebDAV PUT operation to the workflow engine provided by OpenGroupware Coils. The route in the workflow engine reformats the dreadful output of the COBOL application into the required format (using the format support in route Read and Write operations). The client detects the route is complete by watching the URL specified in the header of the initial PUT, and then downloads the required data. If anything goes wrong along the way the client can retry, or provide the user the option to abort. All along the way the client provides detailed feedback to the user and a familiar dialog-box and prompt interface when feedback is required.