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Poll: Your Favorite Scripting Language?

Like most sys admin, I'm lazy. I try to automate almost all things in order to save time. Inexperienced sys admin and help desk staff working under me finds all these tools useful. It saves their time and avoids security issues. Automation allows help desk staff to do things that they don't have enough direct system knowledge to do themselves. However, selecting correct tool and applying correct methodology is very important.
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trillr1: Build a Twitter-like Microblogging Website

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service, that allows its users to send and read other users' updates (also known as tweets). Now, you can build your own Twitter like service using trillr1.
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Download of the day: Python 3.0

Python 3.0 final officially released! From the announcement:

On behalf of the Python development team and the Python community, I am happy to announce the release of Python 3.0 final.

Python 3.0 (a.k.a. "Python 3000" or "Py3k") represents a major milestone in Python's history, and was nearly three years in the making. This is a new version of the language that is incompatible
with the 2.x line of releases, while remaining true to BDFL Guido van Rossum's vision. Some things you will notice include:

* Fixes to many old language warts
* Removal of long deprecated features and redundant syntax
* Improvements in, and a reorganization of, the standard library
* Changes to the details of how built-in objects like strings and
dicts work
* ...and many more new features

=> Download Python 3.0

Linux and OSS Success Story: Designing Coin With Free Software

Awesome coin design done with free software such as Ubuntu and Python. This blog post describes how the design of a new limited edition 5 euro coin was created. The post provides detailed graphics of how author made a prize winning design for a Dutch Ministry of Finance.

From the post:

The Dutch Ministry of Finance organized an architecture competition for which a selected group of architectural offices (unstudio, nox, ...) and artists were invited, including myself. The goal of the competition was not to design a building, but the new 5 euro commemorative coin with the theme 'Netherlands and Architecture'. The winner will be rewarded with a nice price, but most of all with the honor: his design will be realized and will be a legal coin within the Netherlands.

Fig.01: The real coin back side

Fig.01: The real coin back side

=> How to make money with free software...

Guido van Rossum (creator of Python) Blog

A few weeks ago Linus Torvalds started his blog. Now, Guido van Rossum started to write a diary (blog). He is best known as the author of the Python programming language. In the Python community, Van Rossum is known as a 'Benevolent Dictator for Life' (BDFL), meaning that he continues to oversee the Python development process, making decisions where necessary. He is currently employed by Google, where he spends half his time working on Python development. You can read his blog here online including some hot tips about Python 3.0 :)

Apache Web Server: Log Analysis and Server Status Monitoring Tool

wtop is really cool application for web server log analysis and to see server stats at a glance. It also has powerful log grepping capability. It is just like 'top' for your webserver.

It can find out number of searches or signups per seconds. It can also create histogram of response time. There is also another tool called logrep a powerful command-line program for ad-hoc analysis and filtering for log files. You can dig up lots of information using wtop tools.

You need Python version 2.5 to run wtop.

Download wtop

Type the following command:
$ cd /tmp
$ wget http://wtop.googlecode.com/files/wtop-0.5.6.tar.gz
$ tar -zxvf wtop-0.5.6.tar.gz
$ cd wtop-0.5.6
# python setup.py install

Configuring wtop

Once installed you can start using the tool immediately. You need to edit /etc/wtop.cfg file to setup parameters, Apache log files and other directives
# vi /etc/wtop.cfg
Sample configuration file:

# This must match your webserver log format. You MUST have at least %h, %r and %D
LOG_FORMAT=%h %l %u %t "%r" %>s %B "%{Referer}i" "%{User-Agent}i" %D
# max time before a request is logged in the "slow" column
# minimum requests/second before a URL class appears in top mode
# you can extend these to make any classes you wish
# the generic pattern is applied if a line does not match any
# of the named classes. By default it uses the top-level directory.
# incomplete list of known web robots
robots = r'(?:nutch|MSRBOT|translate.google.com|Feedster|Nutch|Gaisbot|Snapbot|VisBot|libwww|CazoodleBot|polybot|VadixBot|Sogou|SBider|BecomeBot|Yandex|Pagebull|chudo|Pockey|nicebot|entireweb|FeedwhipBOT|ConveraCrawler|NG/2.0|WebImages|Factbot|information-online|gsa-crawler|Jyxobot|SentinelCrawler|BlogPulseLive|YahooFeedSeeker|GurujiBot|wwwster|Y\!J-SRD|Findexa|SurveyBot|yetibot|discoveryengine|fastsearch|noxtrum|Googlebot|Snapbot|OGSearchSpider|heritrix|nutch-agent|Slurp|msnbot|cuill|Mediapartners|YahooSeeker|GrabPERF|keywen|ia_archiver|crawler.archive.org|Baiduspider|larbin|shopwiki)'

Now simply type wtop at a shell prompt:
$ wtop$
See all human traffic, enter:
$ logrep -m top -h access.log
See response times for all MSNBot homepage hits:
$ logrep -m grep -g MSNBot -i home -o status,msec,url access.log
Display the current log for traffic to pages about wordpress or themes sent from google.com
$ logrep -m tail --f 'url~wordpress|themes,ref~google.com' access.log

Further readings:

Find Out What Is Happening With Open Source Software Project

Nice idea.

Michael Ogawa has created some stunning visualizations for open source software projects such as Apache, Python, Eclipse IDE, and Postgres. From the project home page:

This visualization, called code_swarm, shows the history of commits in a software project. A commit happens when a developer makes changes to the code or documents and transfers them into the central project repository. Both developers and files are represented as moving elements. When a developer commits a file, it lights up and flies towards that developer. Files are colored according to their purpose, such as whether they are source code or a document. If files or developers have not been active for a while, they will fade away. A histogram at the bottom keeps a reminder of what has come before.

  • Code Swarm - An experiment in organic software visualization. (via Digg)