Ian Ward

Boxkite Inc.
CKAN contributor/tech lead
PyRF primary contributor
Urwid author
Speedometer author

Contributing to Open Source
IASA E-Summit, 2014-05-16
Urwid Applications
Urwid Intro
Unfortunate Python
Django 1.1

Moving to Python 3
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Ian Ward's email:
first name at this domain

wardi on OFTC, freenode and github

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Posted on 2008-05-19.

This is a maintenance release that fixes a number of bugs that have been found in

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Tags: Urwid Python

wmii logo
Posted on 2008-03-09.

Mousing around on my laptop is quite tiring, so I've been running the wmii tiling window manager on with the wmiirc-lua replacement event loop instead of Gnome for a few weeks now. I used powertop to measure the wmii's effect on my power usage, and wicd to replace the Gnome-centric NetworkManager application.

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Tags: Software

Posted on 2008-01-01, last modified 2008-05-14.

I recently purchased a new Lenovo X61 laptop to run Linux for work. This article covers my experiences with three different distributions.

Executive Summary:

Lenovo customer support is excellent. Fedora 8 and Ubuntu 7.10 work very well, Centos 5.1 (and presumably RHEL 5.1) are not recommended.

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Tags: Hardware Linux

XTerm 256-Colour Chart (Cows)
Posted on 2007-10-20, last modified 2011-12-08.

UPDATE: Code for this project is now on github and patches are being accepted!

Announcing XTerm Colour Chart 2.0 “Old and busted: Colour Cubes. New hotness: Colour Cows” release.

The script has been completely rewritten. It now requires python 2.3 or later for the optparse command-line parsing module.

Many new features have been added to this version:

xterm_colour_chart.py: browse source / download

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Tags: Urwid Software Python

Fixed Layout Example
Posted on 2007-10-02, last modified 2007-10-03.

I recently put together a page with some wedding photos and I wanted to create something a little different than the standard web photo galleries you can find everywhere. I decided to lay out the thumbnails overlapping and clustered on the page, based on their subjects.

My first thought was to mock-up the page using Inkscape then copy and paste coordinates and sizes from its interface. Fortunately Inkscape's file format is dead-simple and all I had to do was write a little script and I could generate HTML and thumbnails straight from my Inkscape layout.

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Tags: Templayer Python

RUBI Diagram
Dynamic Database Privacy Filter link
Posted on 2007-10-01.

My beautiful and talented wife's latest research topic has to do with protecting private information in a database from the developers that work on it. Her paper and source code are now available at:

Her paper was accepted to the Montreal IEEE conference this year, but unfortunately due to other obligations she will not able to present her research.

Champagne and Shrimp Chips link
Posted on 2007-09-25.

It has been an wonderful and eventful summer and I must thank my friends and family for helping me through it. I am, however looking forward to settling back into my routine and getting back into some of the projects that have been languishing. This beautiful weather makes it hard to stare at a computer for hours on end... Maybe I should move to Finland (or at least rent Night on Earth again.)

Tags: Ottawa

Posted on 2007-08-07, last modified 2008-05-14.

The recommended way of installing Django sites is to use mod_python. mod_python allows Apache to serve content much more quickly than CGI, but using it can create problems that are difficult to debug.

mod_python embeds the python interpreter in Apache and can share python interpreters between virtual hosts. This means that a misbehaving Python program can do much more damage than it could if it was running as a CGI script.

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Tags: Django

Posted on 2007-07-29, last modified 2008-05-14.

This past week I had the pleasure of working with Shauna Deamond and Jaber Maycid from Langu-edge Solutions Inc. on the “My Food Guide” feature on the Canada's Food Guide web site.

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Tags: PHP

Posted on 2007-07-15, last modified 2008-05-14.

Mailman had me scratching my head for some time this weekend while I was trying to figure out how to change the URLs generated it its administration site. It turns out that Mailman copies configuration information into its list data at list creation time and then ignores changes to its main configuration file.

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Tags: OCLUG Mailman

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