I have recently created a series of video tutorials in which I explain how to create an analog of fortune and cowsay for Windows.
The software is written in Python (so it is actually cross platform), the tutorials are entry level. If you have some basic ideas about programming, you should not have problems figuring out what is going on.
My primary objective is to use it as an aid in teaching. It would be wonderful if more of my students used Python, so I hope I can point them to the videos and expose them to the beauty of the language.
There are a few analogs of fortune for Windows, but they are graphical applications that display the text in a separate window; whereas I want the messages to be shown in the console automatically.
There is also a cowsay equivalent, but I figured that since it is rather easy to make a simplified alternative of my own - I'd just use it as an excuse to create a few more screencasts.
The covered subjects:
- how to use Python's interactive mode for experiments
- analyze the HTML structure of a site and find the desired data
- how to write XPath queries to extract content
- Python lxml - how to use XPath in Python
- retrieve HTML pages with urllib
- SQLite - how to devise a simple database schema
- how to use SQLite in Python
- ASCII art, how to find images of characters and render them in Python
- find a way to integrate the the software in the Windows command line interpreter (cmd.exe)
- putting it all together and watching the system in action
Yes, if you look well enough, you can find existing versions of these programs that run on Windows. But a screencast about running two programs is not as cool as one about creating your own, right? :-)
Have fun watching and feel free to ask questions. Here's the intro (don't forget to switch to HD quality):
Find a site with quotes we can harvest
XPath experiments and query examples
Python and LXML, examples of XPath queries with Python
Automate page retrieving via HTTP and HTML parsing with lxml
Python and SQLite
Joining the building blocks, finally we can harvest all the quotes
ASCII art experiments, listing directories and reading files with Python
Fixing the graphical artifacts in the ASCII art
Integrating the program into Windows' command line interpreter, cmd.exe
Prettifying the text with Python's textwrap module
If you speak Russian, you may find this set of tutorials interesting - Python - как автоматичеси собирать информацию с сайтов.
Cool! Do you know about ipython? It is an alternative Python shell with tons of nifty features. Here is a good starting point: http://ipython.org/ipython-doc/stable/interactive/tutorial.html I looked for a video showing off the best features, but I didn’t find one. Maybe I’ll make one :P
Comment from: gr8dude [Member]
I do. I use bPython on Linux, but on Windows I usually rely on PyScripter - which is an awesome IDE (free, open source, lightweight).
I remember setting it up once but there was something that didn’t go well, but I can’t recall what it was.
If you make that video - I’m definitely checking it out :-)
Form is loading...