Python

Some months back, I wrote a software that creates the tag cloud [Edit: Nov. ’09; I don’t find the separate page to be of much use. The wordpress tag cloud widget is sufficient for most needs] for this blog. It was written in C# 2.0, and I had plans of releasing the source code and binaries under an open source license. But things started sliding (feature creep, gold plating) and finally I realized that since the code depended completely on how certain functions in the wordpress.org codebase worked (slug generation, primarily), there would never be a public release of the software.

I continued using the software on this blog till a few days back, when a particular tag broke the code. Pulling the source code from my subversion repository, making the necessary changes, recompiling it and then trying it out was not something I wanted to do then. I let things lie for a while, and then decided to write the most essential part of the software using python. I downloaded the necessary software a couple of days back, and began working on the same. To my surprise, I had a working version running inside 24 hours. While its not yet ready for a public release, I hope to release the script soon. That I am restricting myself to the English alphabets and dropping things like cryptography and multiple blog support surely helped.

Python is a very interesting language, gives the write-compile-run cycle the go by and is available on multiple operating systems. In spite of having a general idea about it for some years now, I never really did try it – till now that is. Well, better late than never.

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