Weeknotes: Redis, RDF, rdflib and openletters

I’ve been trying to play catch up this week at work.

One of the projects that I’ve been working on is the temporary storage of information. For one reason or another, one of the workers has decided to occasionally throw a fit and not do its job properly (on top of a connection that appears to fail at odd times). What I really needed was a temporary store to save the parsed information so that if something failed, we didn’t loose everything. To that end, I’ve started looking at Redis in more detail and started using the Windows build of version 1.2.1 (available on aspninja.com) with the Rediska library. At some point I’ll sit down and compile it on my laptop under Cygwin to get the latest version.

I ended up using the PEAR version of Rediska and managed to get it up and running fairly quickly. One of the things that I needed to do was to call a new instance of the list that I was creating in each method, having split the set and get methods into two workers. The speed of Redis is fantastic and the server happily runs on the test server caching the data and allowing another worker to load into a copy of the MySQL tables that it will eventually update. I found the Rediska library really easy to use and I’ll be using it for various projects at home to do some processing rather than using MySQL all the time. Simon Willison has a post which links to a tutorial on Redis that I found extremely useful and encouraging in finding more about the server in future.

I’ve been working on the RDF exports for the open letters project which are yet to go live. The main job has been making sure that the exports validate using the RDF validator and pulling in the data. A future task is to finish tidying up the data but I’m trying to get the letter html template figured out. Since Python isn’t the main language that I know use (work is entirely based on PHP), I’ve been taking a look at the Open Shakespeare code and found that RDFa work that I worked on a year ago and completely forgotten about. It would be good to get RDFa into open correspondence but I think that is a later task. Main thing is to complete the initial port. I managed to get the www.purl.org/letter forwarding to the site but need to get a schema page up and the purl correctly referring to the right page.

One of things that I’ve been trying to play with RDFlib on Windows. I built it successfully on my last laptop (Windows XP, Cygwin) but for some reason version 2.4.2 would not build on Vista, even under easy install. I’ve been trying with the version 3 (which has just been released on may 13th according to the news group) and apparently the rdfextras project has a pure Python version of the Sparql parser which was failing to build. I’ll be trying that once the current work on open correspondent as been completed to explore what we can do with the data.

Ben O’Steen talked at the Open Knowledge conference after me and one of the things he talked about was the psutils package. I’ve found it on Cygwin and downloaded it so it would be good to have fun with that one or to find accessible Windows ports for people who don’t necessarily want to download Cygwin.

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