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A blog and website by Peter Bengtsson

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Generating random avatar images in Django/Python

28 October 2020 0 comments   Web development, Django, Python


tl;dr; <img src="/avatar.random.png" alt="Random avataaar"> generates this image:

Random avataaar
(try reloading to get a random new one. funny aren't they?)

When you use Gravatar you can convert people's email addresses to their mugshot.
It works like this:

<img src="https://www.gravatar.com/avatar/$(md5(user.email))">

But most people don't have their mugshot on Gravatar.com unfortunately. But you still want to display an avatar that is distinct per user. Your best option is to generate one and just use the user's name or email as a seed (so it's always random but always deterministic for the same user). And you can also supply a fallback image to Gravatar that they use if the email doesn't match any email they have. That's where this blog post comes in.

I needed that so I shopped around and found avataaars generator which is available as a React component. But I need it to be server-side and in Python. And thankfully there's a great port called: py-avataaars.

It depends on CairoSVG to convert an SVG to a PNG but it's easy to install. Anyway, here's my hack to generate random "avataaars" from Django:

import io
import random

import py_avataaars
from django import http
from django.utils.cache import add_never_cache_headers, patch_cache_control


def avatar_image(request, seed=None):
    if not seed:
        seed = request.GET.get("seed") or "random"

    if seed != "random":
        random.seed(seed)

    bytes = io.BytesIO()

    def r(enum_):
        return random.choice(list(enum_))

    avatar = py_avataaars.PyAvataaar(
        style=py_avataaars.AvatarStyle.CIRCLE,
        # style=py_avataaars.AvatarStyle.TRANSPARENT,
        skin_color=r(py_avataaars.SkinColor),
        hair_color=r(py_avataaars.HairColor),
        facial_hair_type=r(py_avataaars.FacialHairType),
        facial_hair_color=r(py_avataaars.FacialHairColor),
        top_type=r(py_avataaars.TopType),
        hat_color=r(py_avataaars.ClotheColor),
        mouth_type=r(py_avataaars.MouthType),
        eye_type=r(py_avataaars.EyesType),
        eyebrow_type=r(py_avataaars.EyebrowType),
        nose_type=r(py_avataaars.NoseType),
        accessories_type=r(py_avataaars.AccessoriesType),
        clothe_type=r(py_avataaars.ClotheType),
        clothe_color=r(py_avataaars.ClotheColor),
        clothe_graphic_type=r(py_avataaars.ClotheGraphicType),
    )
    avatar.render_png_file(bytes)

    response = http.HttpResponse(bytes.getvalue())
    response["content-type"] = "image/png"
    if seed == "random":
        add_never_cache_headers(response)
    else:
        patch_cache_control(response, max_age=60, public=True)

    return response

It's not perfect but it works. The URL to this endpoint is /avatar.<seed>.png and if you make the seed parameter random the response is always different.

To make the image not random, you replace the <seed> with any string. For example (use your imagination):

{% for comment in comments %}
  <img src="/avatar.{{ comment.user.id }}.png" alt="{{ comment.user.name }}">
  <blockquote>{{ comment.text }}</blockquote>
  <i>{{ comment.date }}</i>
{% endfor %}

I've put together this test page if you want to see more funny avatar combinations instead of doing work :)

hashin 0.15.0 now copes nicely with under_scores

15 June 2020 0 comments   Python

https://github.com/peterbe/hashin/pull/119


tl;dr hashin 0.15.0 makes package comparison agnostic to underscore or hyphens

See issue #116 for a fuller story. Basically, now it doesn't matter if you write...

hashin python_memcached

...or...

hashin python-memcached

And the same can be said about the contents of your requirements.txt file. Suppose it already had something like this:

python_memcached==1.59 \
    --hash=sha256:4dac64916871bd35502 \
    --hash=sha256:a2e28637be13ee0bf1a8

and you type hashin python-memcached it will do the version comparison on these independent of the underscore or hyphen.

Thank @caphrim007 who implemented this for the benefit of Renovate.

./bin/huey-isnt-running.sh - A bash script to prevent lurking ghosts

10 June 2020 0 comments   Python, Linux, Bash


tl;dr; Here's a useful bash script to avoid starting something when its already running as a ghost process.

Huey is a great little Python library for doing background tasks. It's like Celery but much lighter, faster, and easier to understand.

What cost me almost an hour of hair-tearing debugging today was that I didn't realize that a huey daemon process had gotten stuck in the background with code that wasn't updating as I made changes to the tasks.py file in my project. I just couldn't understand what was going on.

The way I start my project is with honcho which is a Python Foreman clone. The Procfile looks something like this:

elasticsearch: cd /Users/peterbe/dev/PETERBECOM/elasticsearch-7.7.0 && ./bin/elasticsearch -q
web: ./bin/run.sh web
minimalcss: cd minimalcss && PORT=5000 yarn run start
huey: ./manage.py run_huey --flush-locks --huey-verbose
adminui: cd adminui && yarn start
pulse: cd pulse && yarn run dev

And you start that with simply typing:

honcho start

When you Ctrl-C, it kills all those processes but somehow somewhere it doesn't always kill everything. Restarting the computer isn't a fun alternative.

So, to prevent my sanity from draining I wrote this script:

#!/usr/bin/env bash
set -eo pipefail

# This is used to make sure that before you start huey, 
# there isn't already one running the background.
# It has happened that huey gets lingering stuck as a 
# ghost and it's hard to notice it sitting there 
# lurking and being weird.

bad() {
    echo "Huey is already running!"
    exit 1
}

good() {
    echo "Huey is NOT already running"
    exit 0
}

ps aux | rg huey | rg -v 'rg huey' | rg -v 'huey-isnt-running.sh' && bad || good

(If you're wondering what rg is; it's short for ripgrep)

And I change my Procfile accordingly:

-huey: ./manage.py run_huey --flush-locks --huey-verbose
+huey: ./bin/huey-isnt-running.sh && ./manage.py run_huey --flush-locks --huey-verbose

There really isn't much rocket science or brain surgery about this blog post but I hope it inspires someone who's been in similar trenches that a simple bash script can make all the difference.

Check your email addresses in Python, as a whole

22 May 2020 0 comments   Python, MDN


So recently, in MDN, we changed the setting WELCOME_EMAIL_FROM. Seems harmless right? Wrong, it failed horribly in runtime and we didn't notice until it was in production. Here's the traceback:

SMTPSenderRefused: (552, b"5.1.7 The sender's address was syntactically invalid.\n5.1.7 see : http://support.socketlabs.com/kb/84 for more information.", '=?utf-8?q?Janet?=')
(8 additional frame(s) were not displayed)
...
  File "newrelic/api/function_trace.py", line 151, in literal_wrapper
    return wrapped(*args, **kwargs)
  File "django/core/mail/message.py", line 291, in send
    return self.get_connection(fail_silently).send_messages([self])
  File "django/core/mail/backends/smtp.py", line 110, in send_messages
    sent = self._send(message)
  File "django/core/mail/backends/smtp.py", line 126, in _send
    self.connection.sendmail(from_email, recipients, message.as_bytes(linesep='\r\n'))
  File "python3.8/smtplib.py", line 871, in sendmail
    raise SMTPSenderRefused(code, resp, from_addr)

SMTPSenderRefused: (552, b"5.1.7 The sender's address was syntactically invalid.\n5.1.7 see : http://support.socketlabs.com/kb/84 for more information.", '=?utf-8?q?Janet?=')

Yikes!

So, to prevent this from happening every again we're putting this check in:

from email.utils import parseaddr

WELCOME_EMAIL_FROM = config("WELCOME_EMAIL_FROM", ...)

# If this fails, SMTP will probably also fail.
assert parseaddr(WELCOME_EMAIL_FROM)[1].count('@') == 1, parseaddr(WELCOME_EMAIL_FROM)

You could go to town even more on this. Perhaps use the email validator within django but for now I'd call that overkill. This is just a decent check before anything gets a chance to go wrong.

Build pyenv Python versions on macOS Catalina 10.15

19 February 2020 4 comments   Python, MacOSX

https://github.com/pyenv/pyenv/issues/1348#issuecomment-588001367


I'm still working on getting pyenv in my bloodstream. It seems like totally the right tool for having different versions of Python available on macOS that don't suddenly break when you run brew upgrade periodically. But every thing I tried failed with an error similar to this:

python-build: use openssl from homebrew
python-build: use readline from homebrew
Installing Python-3.7.0...
python-build: use readline from homebrew

BUILD FAILED (OS X 10.15.x using python-build 20XXXXXX)

Inspect or clean up the working tree at /var/folders/mw/0ddksqyn4x18lbwftnc5dg0w0000gn/T/python-build.20190528163135.60751
Results logged to /var/folders/mw/0ddksqyn4x18lbwftnc5dg0w0000gn/T/python-build.20190528163135.60751.log

Last 10 log lines:
./Modules/posixmodule.c:5924:9: warning: this function declaration is not a prototype [-Wstrict-prototypes]
    if (openpty(&master_fd, &slave_fd, NULL, NULL, NULL) != 0)
        ^
./Modules/posixmodule.c:6018:11: error: implicit declaration of function 'forkpty' is invalid in C99 [-Werror,-Wimplicit-function-declaration]
    pid = forkpty(&master_fd, NULL, NULL, NULL);
          ^
./Modules/posixmodule.c:6018:11: warning: this function declaration is not a prototype [-Wstrict-prototypes]
2 warnings and 2 errors generated.
make: *** [Modules/posixmodule.o] Error 1
make: *** Waiting for unfinished jobs....

I read through the Troubleshooting FAQ and the "Common build problems" documentation. xcode was up to date and I had all the related brew packages upgraded. Nothing seemed to work.

Until I saw this comment on an open pyenv issue: "Unable to install any Python version on MacOS"

All I had to do was replace the 10.14 for 10.15 and now it finally worked here on Catalina 10.15. So, the magical line was this:

SDKROOT=/Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/Platforms/MacOSX.platform/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.15.sdk \
MACOSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET=10.15 \
PYTHON_CONFIGURE_OPTS="--enable-framework" \
pyenv install -v 3.7.6

Hopefully, by blogging about it you'll find this from Googling and I'll remember the next time I need it because it did eat 2 hours of precious evening coding time.

redirect-chain - Getting a comfortable insight input URL redirects history

14 February 2020 0 comments   Python

https://pypi.org/project/redirect-chain/


You can accomplish the same with curl -L but I've had this as a little personal hack script in my ~/bin folder on my computer. Thought I'd make it a public tool. Also, from here, a lot more can be done to this script if you wanna help out with ideas.

▶ redirect-chain http://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/xpcshell
0  http://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/xpcshell 301
1 > https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/xpcshell 301
2 >> https://developer.mozilla.org/docs/en/XPConnect/xpcshell 302
3 >>> https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/en/XPConnect/xpcshell 301
4 >>>> https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/XPConnect/xpcshell 301
5 >>>>> https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/XPConnect/xpcshell 301
6 >>>>>> https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Mozilla/Tech/XPCOM/Language_bindings/XPConnect/xpcshell 200

It basically gives you a pretty summary of redirects from a starting URL.

To install it on your system run:

pipx install redirect-chain

Happy Friday!