[sf-lug] BALE is updated and useful

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Fri May 2 23:44:33 PDT 2008

Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting jim (jim at well.com):
>> BALE (Bay Area Linux Events) is back. 
>> http://linuxmafia.com/bale/ 
> There are actually three groups that still need to be added, to make the 
> calendar as comprehensive as I currently intend:
> CSUEB LUG (Hayward)
> Bay Area OpenSolaris UG
> SoCoSA (Sonoma County Sysadmins)
> Also, the three months currently shown are, so far, strictly generic 
> entries from event templates, without (yet) being customised for the
> month-specific data like name of speaker, subject of presentation, and
> so on.  
> To explain, after maintaining BALE for years 100% manually as raw HTML
> using vi, I got smart and converted it to a modest PHP-generated page
> that draws data from a MySQL database.  The database has three tables
> groups:  Decriptive data about each group.  Includes city.
> eventtemplate:  Template for each recurring event that any of the 
>                 groups operates.
> events:  Generated events.  See below.
> Once per month on the 1st of the month, a system cronjob runs a modest
> little Python script (/usr/local/bin/newmonth.py) that runs MySQL
> lookups to find each event template and generate, for each month inside
> the current 3-month horizon, dated events which then get written to the 
> "events" table.[1]
> newmonth.py spent quite a long time, until two days ago, being
> mysteriously broken.  Turned out, the script was fine when written (for
> MySQL 3.x.)  Incrementally upgrading my server over the years eventually
> made the MySQL package go from 3.x to 4.x -- and I was unaware that SQL 
> INSERT statements that worked just great in 3.x would silently fail in
> 4.x unless followed by a COMMIT statement.  Grrr.
> Anyway, newmonth.py having run, now I have three months of events to 
> customise -- making them non-generic.  To be done Real Soon Now, along
> with adding the three missing groups and double-checking everything.
> (In some cases, I also will probably delete a number of generated events 
> manually.  An example would be the Silicon Valley BSD User Group, which
> hasn't been having meetings because Jesse Monroy who runs it says
> they'll occur only if some other member calls one -- but nobody has Web
> site access but him.  I haven't deleted the listing because I need to
> discuss the matter with Jesse first, but I'd want in such cases to
> either delete the listed event or heavily annotate it to warn that 
> you might be the only guy there.)
> [1] Also, I add special non-recurring events manually, as I find out
> about them.  (Before someone asks, the criterion for inclusion is
> utterly and unapologetically subjective:  It's basically a "calendar of
> technical-interest events Rick finds interesting and worth listing.")
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Any plans of providing an XML feed for calendering?


Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Information Systems
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132 USA

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