new online pinkdex!

The new online Pinkdex[0] software that I alluded to in my very first blog post after my hiatus is finally up and public, after Inventory, a memory upgrade for the server, and a lot of swearing at Git last night. Poke it, prod it, tell me if it breaks or doesn't do what you expect. (Known bug, fix postponed for version 2.0: authors need to be entered as lastname, firstname.)

It's built using a lightweight Python web framework kcr developed, based on webob and the Tempita templating language. It's kind of an instance of the webob do-it-yourself web framework, and it's pretty nice to work with.

It's been a while since I last did web programming, but it was still pretty straightforward to write — I got it to 90% functionality (which is to say all the functionality of the old grep-based version) in a couple days over finals week, and then the intervening two months was all the fiddly little details, mostly refactoring the display code out of the logic and tuning the database queries. My favorite feature is the series view (see eg. Discworld), which lists the books we have (which is most of them) in the order we think the series is in.

I'm trying a deploy strategy based on Git that I developed last night, where I have a production branch and a testing branch and move code between them, but Git doesn't handle tracking and propagating changes to files which have been renamed over top of another file, which is so far essential to my strategy, so I'm not sure how successful it is right now. It seems like it should be a clever idea, so I'll keep poking at it. I'd be curious to hear if other people have tried similar things. (A friend informs me that this failure is a bug in Git, so hopefully it will be fixed eventually, and then maybe my strategy will work better.)

[0] Generally, 'the Pindex' is the name of the catalog of books in the MITSFS Library, and specifically it's the name of the printed catalog indexed by author name (the others being the Titledex, Seriesdex, and Gooddex). It's named after Marilyn "Fuzzy Pink" Niven née Wisowaty, the first person to maintain it, who was known for her fuzzy pink sweaters.