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February 22, 2006

table to table

Filed under: Python,XML,XSLT — see @ 9:45 pm

While trying out Selenium and it’s just refreshed Selenium IDE I thought writing the tests in HTML or even the IDE is not the easiest when having large lists of tests.
So I was looking for the easiest way to write a simple HTML table and assumed it would be someting like Excel (or in my case OpenOfficeCalc) which have autofilter etc. and even people with no programming abilities should be able to fill these…
Problem is how to convert a spreadsheet table to a HTML table? HTML export from OpenOffice is horrible so I thought CSV. Problem is then that Python’s CSV module is not unicode enabled and therefore pretty useless… So I guess whether I write an XSLT to convert OpenOffice XML (quite verbose and in this case I am interested in about 5% of the XML…) to HTML or write a custom HTML filter in Python to extract the stuff I need from OpenOffice HTML export.

Both seem not too complicated but not the simplest to do so I rather wait till I really need it. Writing HTML tables is tedious but ok for short ones. I just thought there should even be easier ways to convert this stuff with my chosen tools Python or XSLT (which I am using for most stuff nowadays).
I noticed conversion of formats (not just these here) became almost my main area of work (at work but also at home)…

February 21, 2006


Filed under: Death — see @ 11:24 pm

captain was a real dictator
but was just bored and quit
so first mate became the captain
but as strange it may be
sank the ship just altogether

thinking is not everyone’s thing
thing is it’s sometimes just too hard
do not think but do it just like so
maybe you will succeed but -
failure greets you most the times

February 12, 2006

comment disabled (again…)

Filed under: Uncategorized — see @ 9:04 pm

WordPress does only seem to disable comments for new posts… Really unsatisfactory as I wanted disable comments for all posts which I had to do manually in the database…

This is a very low traffic blog anyway so no loss I guess but nevertheless, tracebacks should work so not a lonely writing.

I am still looking for a better solution for fighting spam than rudely disabling all comment s but could not find a working one. WP-gatekeeper sound promising but is still in beta and also seems to be for WP 1.5 only. A shame ;)

I guess it should not be too difficult to do a working version myself but honestly I am too lazy and have better things to do than wasting even more time on the spam. But you never know, if I have some spare time, my PHP book arrives to learn a bit more about this language I do not like but am almost forced to use at least for web development. Still not enough providers with Python support, a shame again!

February 8, 2006

Shopping in Düsseldorf (e.g. Prxdx)

Filed under: Life — see @ 7:14 pm

A friend of mine recently has a really estranging experience. She went shopping on the “Kö” (the main shopping street in Düsseldorf) and saw an interesting pant in a shopwindow of the (I guess now infamous) international brand outlet “Prxdx” (names changed ;) . So she went inside to try it on.
The shop assistant oversaw her at first but this is actually something she and also me myself prefer in most shops, nothing (except this story!) worse than being “molested” by shop assistants but that is another story….

Anyway, after a while the shop assistant came, did not say a word but gave her a preprinted (!) card saying roughly “you are not a customer we serve, so leave the shop“!!!

Staggered after a moment my friend walked over to the now (behaving) busy shop assistant to ask what this is all about. The assistant was surprised and was not able to answer so my friend wanted to talk to the manager who – of course – was not there…

Well, my friend left but phoned the shop later to talk to the manager. He told her this would be a precautiory method to prevent shop lifting and suggested my friend should come again. Of course she rejected and probably will never shop at “Prxdx” again.
By the way after talking to some friends about this unpleasant and almost fashistoid behaviour by an outlet of an international brand they knew about other people having a similar experience in other shops on the “Kö”.

This is not just an elitist, snobbish strangeness happening here but a perversion of the experience of shopping and even more a real fashistoid view of customers. It seems the shops on this mall (but maybe elsewhere too) do not really want to sell but instead want to pick a certain type of customer they think (and obviously value on a quick view of the people) is able to afford their stuff or whatever there reason is.

Theroretically, maybe (just maybe) it could be that shops only want to sell to specific customers (I would not know why as money is money but it might be for e.g. that an elitist shop does not want to sell stuff to little kids who come in or shops who act like snobbish english clubs for the upper class). But:

  • preprinted cards to get rid of unwanted customers is just rude
  • selecting the customer you want and the one you don’t seems rather difficult today where millionaires and have-nots may look and dress just the same
  • putting people in groups (even apart from there outside look) is just fascist behaviour

One thing I and I guess all people my friend is telling this story will not ever buy again anything from Prxdx (luckily I only have some shoes) or from any shop at the “Kö” again.

It seems there are nowadays quite a few ways to get rid of customers and therefore to commit commercial suicide. This story is one of them, the way Sonx (names changed) punished their CD buying customers with a malicious rootkit dressed as a copy protection or like a german DVD company with another malicious DVD copy protection which also does seem to render at least some computers of these buying customers unusable…

comments disabled

Filed under: Uncategorized — see @ 1:22 pm

I disabled comments for now as I had 179 spam posts today and need to find a solution for that. I even installed WordPress 2.x but no help. Aargh!

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