Evil Robot Conference (no robots allowed)

On Saturday, I attended the Evil Robot Conference held at Red Hat HQ.

I got there a bit late, but I caught the tail end of Clinton Ebadi’s talk on “UnCommon Web: A Common Lisp Tale of Continuations, Multimethods,
Metaclasses, and Web Applications”. While Lisp can be hard to understand, what you can do with it from a web programming perspective made Java webapps look quite lame considering the amount of code you have to write to make them do anything.

Had lunch at El Cerro with Kevin Smith, from Hypothetical Labs, and a few other folks attending the conference. A good time was had by all, and the salsa was quite spicy but oh so good today:)

After lunch, I sat through Dan DeMaggio’s “Anti-databases (NoSQL): Where they came from and where they’re going”. I learned a lot of alternatives to the old school single database setup. There’s a lot of cool stuff out there for this such as redis, Cassandra, couchdb, BigTable.

Dan’s talk was followed by Kevin’s “Intro to Erlang” which was most excellent as well. Kevin seemed very comfortable talking and definitely knows his stuff. Great job!

Last but not least, I got to hear what BRTFS was from Josef Bacik. Very cool stuff, most of the time I forget how much cool stuff goes into OS development compared to the webapps I do for a living.

All in all, it was a great day long conference. I hope we can make it at least a yearly event.

PS. Sorry I missed your talk Max:) and thanks for the donuts.

sm-photo-tool 1.16 released!

Hey there Smugmuggers!

I’m releasing version 1.16 of sm-photo-tool tonight. For those that don’t know, sm-photo-tool is a command line program that aids in managing your photos on smugmug.com. Given a directory of photos, you can create a new album on smugmug.com, then upload all of the pictures in the directory into that newly created album.

[jmrodri@firebird ~]$ cd myphotos
[jmrodri@firebird  myphotos]$ sm-photo-tool create 'my photos album'
[my photos album] created with id [9164554]
[jmrodri@firebird myphotos]$ sm-photo-tool update
./spaceshuttlehuge.jpg...[OK] 939321 bytes 24 seconds 38KB/sec ETA 0
24 939321 bytes 38KB/sec

This release is mainly a maintenance release but I also refactored the code from a single python file to a series of modules, and cleaned up the available commands.


Version 1.15 of sm-photo-tool contained a single python script, while this is easy to use, it is a bear to maintain. All of the commands were moved into smcommands.py as new classes.  I then replaced all of the horrible option parsing from the previous script in the individual command classes. Thanks to yum and tito project for the inspiration in moving the commands to a separate module.


In the process of refactoring I deemed a few of the commands as redundant and merged them into other commands.

[jmrodri@firebird ~]$ sm-photo-tool 

Usage: sm-photo-tool [options] MODULENAME --help

Supported modules:

	create         creates a new gallery and uploads the given files.
	list           Lists the files in an album, or lists available galleries
	upload         Upload the given files to the given gallery_id.
	full_update    Mirror an entire directory tree.
	update         Updates gallery with any new or modified images.
  • create_upload no longer exists, it was replaced by create –upload
  • galleries merged with list
  • list gained two new options album and galleries
[jmrodri@firebird ~]$ sm-photo-tool list --help
Usage: sm-photo-tool list 

Lists the files in an album, or lists available galleries

  -h, --help           show this help message and exit
  --login=LOGIN        smugmug.com username
  --password=PASSWORD  smugmug.com password
  --quiet              Don't tell us what you are doing


If you download the tarball, do the following:

  • cd /opt/
  • sudo tar -zxf ~/Download/sm-photo-tool-1.16.tar.gz
  • cd sm-photo-tool-1.16/src/
  • copy the smugmugrc to $HOME/.smugmugrc
  • add your login and password to .smugmugrc
  • ./sm-photo-tool –help

Fedora users have an easier time:) <pre>rpm -Uvh http://cloud.github.com/downloads/jmrodri/sm-photo-tool/sm-photo-tool-1.16-2.fc11.noarch.rpm</pre&gt;

Happy uploading! If you run into any problems, leave me a comment or write up an issue here: http://github.com/jmrodri/sm-photo-tool/issues

Busy weekend

It was a busy weekend, Liz went away for the weekend while I watched the 3 kids. They were actually very well behaved and gave me little to no trouble. I was expecting quite a bit😀 We went to their Friday playgroup, afterwards had the kid’s favorite: McDonald’s for dinner. On Saturday, we went to Border’s to get the kid’s some books, I went with the intention to buy Doctor Who Season 2, but didn’t want to pay the $68 for it. I ended up getting a Doctor Who book instead, yeah I’m as surprised as you that I ended up with a book.

In the evenings I spent the time catching up on my sci-fi shows: finished watching Doctor Who Season 4, saw all of Season 1 (I started with Season 2), and I started watching Firefly (thanks robin). I also managed to get 2 patches submitted and accepted to redstone-xmlrpc, and I submitted the package to jpackage for review. Another library I use all the time is jdbcLogDriver written by a former colleague of mine, I got commit access to it this weekend as well. Today I started to shake the dust off zmugfs. I still haven’t been able to add write access to the file system, and the read mode is extremely slow at startup. I need a better algorithm for downloading the photos and caching them.

Python the next Java

While doing my daily blog reading, this post by Kushal Das made me laugh:

How to write better Java code ?
/Me and kart_ was discussing on this and the answer came out:
Don’t write Java, write Python:)


I released a new version of sm-photo-tool. It’s a simple script that that was originally written by John Ruttenberg wrote. I took it and packaged it in rpm form and have been maintaining it under source control (versus a forum).

sm-photo-tool help
Usage: sm-photo-tool create gallery_name [options] [file...]
       sm-photo-tool create_upload gallery_name [options] [file...]
       sm-photo-tool update [options]
       sm-photo-tool full_update [options]
       sm-photo-tool upload gallery_id [options] file...

       sm-photo-tool --help for complete documentaton

It’s create to upload an entire directory of photos to smugmug from the command line.

zmugfs roadmap

I released zmugfs 0.1 on October 31st, 2007, but I haven’t done anything else with it since then. I’m overdue for finishing it.

Next up is to add the write mode capability to the file system which will actually allow you to upload your photos to smugmug.com. Here’s a quick list:

  • ability to create:
    • albums
    • categories
    • subcategories
  • upload photos
  • edit attributes of photos (not quite sure how this will work)

Stay tuned for more.

    Why they do Python…

    Found this nugget while reading blogs this morning: Python Experts – Why They Do Python

    In the article they ask “What do you think is the most important feature of the Python language?” I’m surprised that the fact that white space is part of the language leading to more readable code was one of the strengths. When I first learned Python I hated the white space being part of the syntax. Coming from Java it seemed unnatural. But after a while it’s a wonderful thing. It makes the code easier to read, I’ve become very fond of it.

    My favorite response to the question was by Tim:

    It’s pragmatic nature.. It doesn’t try to be the coolest or most flexible or most ‘enterprisey’. It gives the programmer a very predictable framework in which to ply their skills. In short it doesn’t dictate or get in the way but does gently suggest that you could do better…

    If you haven’t played with Python, I urge you to give it a try. It’s best to pick a project and try to do it in Python. You’ll have to do more than one because at first the frustration will annoy you, especially if you’re coming from Java. But after a bit of coding you’ll wonder why you never moved to Python a long time ago.:)