OK, I’m not a morning person. The first call I received this morning, just as I was starting to sip coffee, was from one of our customers saying his site, catelectric.biz was blocked by Google. I checked it out in Firefox, and I saw this:
Reported Attack Site!
This web site at www.catelectric.biz has been reported as an attack site and has been blocked based on your security preferences.
Here is my saved copy of this page.
In IE and Opera, the site gave a 403 error – Forbidden.
Here I will share my experience trying to track down this problem.
I’ve been working with turbogears for over a year now. Over all, working with turbogears has been good, and I like it a lot more than the custom php I was doing before. However, with the custom stuff I knew *exactly* what was going on, and it was often able to find ways to do tricky things.
With turbogears – I’ve been able to do more off the bat because more tools were available to me, but I’ve had trouble doing tricky things. I don’t think I knew enough about what was going on under the hood.
Recently, I’ve been trying to port my app to TG2 – which is based on pylons. As I started, I read a lot of online docs about TG2, and tried to decided to begin porting my application from TG1 -> TG2. Ye gods! I know I did some tricky things – but this porting was far more effort than I imagined!
Lots of names changed – that was OK. Not fun, but OK. But some of it has been very difficult, particularly some of the cases where I extended tg library classes, like Form and RepeatingFormField to add my own custom templates and functionality. I’m still working on the port – and have yet to decide what to use instead of RepeatingFormField – since this no longer exists in toscawidgets – the successor to turbogears widgets.
Part of my problem? The documentation. I commend the turbogears developers for the documentation they had created, but I kept going round and round in the online docs, never quite finding the answer I was looking for. I wasn’t looking for some magic answer – I was just looking for a deeper understanding of how things worked. The wonder of hyper-linked documentation – it seems I kept reading the same thing over and over.
Realising that turbogears 2 was based on pylons, I decided to start reading more of their docs – and although the pylons site seemed to offer pretty good documentation, it still posed the same problem: round and round through the hyperlinks. Tutorials inevitably didn’t get very in depth, and the recipes always seemed to be for something I didn’t find very appetizing right now.
Then I discovered the pylons book! I’m only on chapter 6 right now, but I feel I have many more options in my toolbox, and am gaining a deeper understanding all the time. Perhaps it is too long or daunting to get started with – but I think this is a treasure trove of information for turbogears 2 and pylons developers, and should be pointed to more quickly. If you want a deeper understanding than a simple tutorial provides, I highly recommend it. It is well written, and being online is great for working through the examples. Most importantly, it gives you a deeper insight of how the parts are connected. RTFM – Read The Fine Manual.
Transparency. Everyone talks about it – and it seems like a good idea, but it’s tougher than you think. It’s just kind of embarrassing to expose the fact that you don’t know the answer.
I found this great quote in a book yesterday:
Let us speak, though we show all our faults and weaknesses, – for it is a sign of strength to be weak, to know it, and out with it – not in a set way and ostentatiously, though, but incidentally and without premeditation.
OK – he starts using some big words at the end, but the idea is great.
Admit you don’t know.
You don’t learn by simply regurgitating lines. You have to restate things in your own words to fit into your internal dialog. I hope I can shed some light on that internal dialog as I let you know what I’m working on, and what questions come up.
If you know an answer, or simply have a clue for me to follow – speak up!