Friday, September 11, 2009

Moving Planters indoors for Winter: Python Redux

Okay, so I'm a still a little bitter. Last year I posted a quick script for dealing with USDA data. To my absolute surprise, I have received far more traffic from this post than I ever dreamed. Many people were able to use it immediately, while some encountered speed bumps. The amount of emails that I've received concerning it is far greater than the amount of comments posted on the article itself.

And then one day, some lazy reader named Tony posted the comment:
Would be nice to have the ruby version of that perl code. It's a nightmare for someone with no perl experience :-(
I was a little ticked, and it probably showed in the curtness of my reply comment suggesting that he was welcome to write his own. My bitterness was again reflected in my most recent piece of code that does an automated weather check.

The highly skilled and talented James Lance took up the challenge and rewrote my script in Python. Granted, the fact that James is also an excellent Perl coder might have given him an edge, but he probably also knew the procedure was simple in any language: download some XML, check one of the values, and send an email if it matched a particular condition. You could write this in Bash if you needed to. James just took the initiative.

Kudos to James for not being lazy, and providing the Python version. I'm not so bitter anymore.

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