python and rrdtool

RRDTool is a neat utility for collecting and graphing statistics such as server loads or network traffic. There are two main modules for interfacing with RRDTool files within python; rrdpython and pyrrd.

rrdpython is the basic bindings of the rrdtool library within python. The API is very familiar for people who program in C or use the command line tools which for me is both so it works well. However if you were expecting a “pythonic” API you will be disappointed. As there is the direct binding, you have to have either a pre-compiled module or compile it yourself with librrd-dev package installed. Depending on your setup this could be trivial or a real pain.

pyrrd initially looks good as it is a object-orientated style and (supposedly) a pure python code, so no trying to compile things… but!

Well, the problem is its not pure python. The hooks are there for it (in backend.py) for it to be implemented in python but it falls back to using the external method, and external method is a bunch of Popen calls. pyrrd also does not
support the full set of rrdtool commands.

My intention is to keep using rrdpython despite the compile hassle and possibly even use a fancier graph setup such as High Charts though there is a problem with their license for me.

What I learnt from LCA 2013

Well I’m back from LCA 2013 and what a great week it was. I learnt plenty of things over the week, including:

  • Cloud computing into the government will be coming but will be hard to do in a significant way
  • It wasn’t just me that found the GTK 2 to 3 API change hard going
  • OpenStack is the next cool kid on the block and there is a lot going on here
  • Try out novaprova for testing C programs
  • SELinux shouldnt slow my computer down and yes ill try it soon
  • git-annex looks very interesting, I’m just trying to find a use-case for it for me
  • The development methods for Free Software have come a long way since a decade ago
  • Test and release processes are important on large software projects
  • Pretty much everyone I knew has changed companies, at least once.
  • For multi-process communication, 0mq looks interesting

It was great to actually meet people who I’ve known for years (over 10 for some) only as emails or irc chats as well. I’ve not been to Mount Stromlo for almost as long and its somewhere I’d like to visit again.

Argh, the wordpress editor is still not fixed 🙁