Could not focus much on programming today.
So decided on doing things with Python programs.

Nikola Upgrade

I use Nikola to generate both my websites.
It is an extremely easy to use, no fuss static site generator, which is easy on my server’s resources.
Version 8.1.2 was released a few hours ago and I hopped on and installed it.
I follow a slightly unconventional upgrade path, because I was terrified of breaking my server in the early days, when I was still learning about how to go about installing things on servers.

  • I have Miniconda installed.
  • I use that to generate a conda environment, which I then installed Nikola into.
  • When a new release drops, I create a new conda environment, install the new release in there and run them against my source folders (after backing them up).
  • This lets me revert very quickly to the old data and the older version of Nikola, in case I do something boneheaded and screw things up.
  • If all works fine for a month, I delete the older conda environment along with the old Nikola release.
  • I have been doing this for quite a while now, and while it may be overkill, it gives me peace of mind.
  • As usual, Nikola upgraded with no issues at all.

Pleroma Bot

I always wanted to understand what bots do.
Now I realise they are athromorphic programs that (with the right permissions and the right credentials) look like actual users of a service, doing sets of activities they are programmed to do.
Like your banking app has set of solutions to common queries that it shows you, before it hands off to an actual human, if those solutions don’t fit your needs.
They feel like supercharged scripts to me.
So I decided to see if I could install one.
Since I am learning Python, I love reading the low volume Daily Python Tip Twitter account.
It has surprising, handy, funny, interesting tips and tricks about the Python language and the massive ecosystem around it.
But, I have weaned myself off Twitter for my own sanity.
I only use it sparingly once a day.
And going back to that noise and tumult no longer interests me.
I saw a bot that mirrored tech news accounts to Mastodon and wondered if a bot could get Daily Python Tip to me on my Pleroma timeline.
A quick search led me to Pleroma Bot.
A couple of struggling hours later, (creating a twitter developer account, creating a pleroma account for the bot, figuring out how to get bearer tokens for said accounts) and tada, I got the bot to come alive!
It checks the Twitter account once a day, and mirrors the tweets to the bot account.
You’re most welcome to follow it for a Python tip, daily.
The next thing to do, is to see if I can get a bot to post a tagged pleroma status to my twitter account.
But that is something for another day …
Update, 2020/11/17: figured out how to use the bot to mirror multiple accounts. It now mirrors, Daily Python Tip, RegexTip, and CompSciFact.

P.S. Subscribe to my mailing list!
Forward these posts and letters to your friends and get them to subscribe!
P.P.S. Feed my insatiable reading habit.