Psycopg migrated to Bazaar

Last week we moved psycopg from Subversion to Bazaar.  I did the migration using Gustavo Niemeyer‘s svn2bzr tool with a few tweaks to map the old Subversion committer IDs to the email address form conventionally used by Bazaar.

The tool does a good job of following tree copies and create related Bazaar branches.  It doesn’t have any special handling for stuff in the tags/ directory (it produces new branches, as it does for other tree copies).  To get real Bazaar tags, I wrote a simple post-processing script to calculate the heads of all the branches in a tags/ directory and set them as tags in another branch (provided those revisions occur in its ancestry).  This worked pretty well except for a few revisions synthesised by a previous cvs2svn migration.  As these tags were from pretty old psycopg 1 releases I don’t know how much it matters.

As there is no code browsing set up on yet, I set up mirrors of the 2.0.x and 1.x branches on Launchpad to do this:

It is pretty cool having access to the entire revision history locally, and should make it easier to maintain full credit for contributions from non-core developers.

Psycopg2 2.0.7 Released

Yesterday Federico released version 2.0.7 of psycopg2 (a Python database adapter for PostgreSQL).  I made a fair number of the changes in this release to make it more usable for some of Canonical‘s applications.  The new release should work with the development version of Storm, and shouldn’t be too difficult to get everything working with other frameworks.

Some of the improvements include:

  • Better selection of exceptions based on the SQLSTATE result field.  This causes a number of errors that were reported as ProgrammingError to use a more appropriate exception (e.g. DataError, OperationalError, InternalError).  This was the change that broke Storm’s test suite as it was checking for ProgrammingError on some queries that were clearly not programming errors.
  • Proper error reporting for commit() and rollback(). These methods now use the same error reporting code paths as execute(), so an integrity error on commit() will now raise IntegrityError rather than OperationalError.
  • The compile-time switch that controls whether the display_size member of Cursor.description is calculated is now turned off by default.  The code was quite expensive and the field is of limited use (and not provided by a number of other database adapters).
  • New QueryCanceledError and TransactionRollbackError exceptions.  The first is useful for handling queries that are canceled by statement_timeout.  The second provides a convenient way to catch serialisation failures and deadlocks: errors that indicate the transaction should be retried.
  • Fixes for a few memory leaks and GIL misuses. One of the leaks was in the notice processing code that could be particularly problematic for long-running daemon processes.
  • Better test coverage and a driver script to run the entire test suite in one go.  The tests should all pass too, provided your database cluster uses unicode (there was a report just before the release of one test failing for a LATIN1 cluster).

If you’re using previous versions of psycopg2, I’d highly recommend upgrading to this release.

Future work will probably involve support for the DB-API two phase commit extension, but I don’t know when I’ll have time to get to that.

Honey Bock Results

Since bottling the honey bock last month, I’ve tried a bottle last week and this week. While it is a very nice beer, the honey flavour is not very noticeable. That said, the second bottle I tried had a slightly stronger honey flavour than the first so it might just need to mature for another month or so.

If I was to do this beer again, it would make sense to use a stronger flavoured honey or just use more honey. Then again, perhaps it isn’t worth trying honey flavoured dark beers.

One beer I’d like to make again is Chilli Beer.  I haven’t seen any commercial equivalent to it, and it was great on a hot summer afternoon.  Since there were chilli pieces in the bottles of the last batch, it got hotter as it matured.  It is an interesting experience where taking a sip of the beer cools your moth down, but it starts heating up again once you swallow.

Using email addresses as OpenID identities (almost)

On the OpenID specs mailing list, there was another discussion about using email addresses as OpenID identifiers. So far it has mostly covered existing ground, but there was one comment that interested me: a report that you can log in to many OpenID RPs by entering a Yahoo email address.

Now there certainly isn’t any Yahoo-specific code in the standard OpenID libraries, so you might wonder what is going on here. We can get some idea by using the python-openid library:

>>> from import discover
>>> claimed_id, services = discover('')
>>> claimed_id
>>> services[0].type_uris
>>> services[0].server_url
>>> services[0].isOPIdentifier()

So we can see that running the discovery algorithm on the email address has resulted in Yahoo’s standard identifier select endpoint. What we’ve actually seen here is the effect of Section 7.2 at work:

3. Otherwise, the input SHOULD be treated as an http URL; if it does not include a “http” or “https” scheme, the Identifier MUST be prefixed with the string “http://”.

So the email address is normalised to the URL (which is treated the same as, which is then used for discovery. As shown above, this results in an identifier select request so works for all Yahoo users.

I wonder if the Yahoo developers realised that this would happen and set things up accordingly? If not, then this is a happy accident. It isn’t quite the same as having support for email addresses in OpenID since the user may end up having to enter their email address a second time in the OP if they don’t already have a session cookie.

It is certainly better than the RP presenting an error if the user accidentally enters an email address into the identity field. It seems like something that any OP offering email addresses to its users should implement.

Looms Rock

While doing a bit of work on Storm, I decided to try out the loom plugin for Bazaar. The loom plugin is designed to help maintain a stack of changes to a base branch (similar to quilt). Some use cases where this sort of tool are useful include:

  1. Maintaining a long-running diff to a base branch. Distribution packaging is one such example.
  2. While developing a new feature, the underlying code may require some refactoring. A loom could be used to keep the refactoring separate from the feature work so that it can be merged ahead of the feature.
  3. For complex features, code reviewers often prefer to changes to be broken down into a sequence of simpler changes. A loom can help maintain the stack of changes in a coherent fashion.

A loom branch helps to manage these different threads in a coherent manner. Each thread in the loom contains all the changes from the threads below it, so the revision graph ends up looking something like this:

Sample Loom Timeline

Once the plugin has been installed, a normal branch can be converted to a loom with the “bzr loomify” command. The “bzr create-thread” command can be used to create a new thread above the current one.

The “bzr down-thread” and “bzr up-thread” commands can be used to switch between threads. When going up a thread, a merge will be performed if there are new changes from the lower thread. The “bzr show-loom” command shows the current state of the loom, and which thread is currently selected.

The “bzr export-loom” command can be used to explode the loom, creating a standard branch for each thread. The included HOWTO document gives a more detailed tutorial.

There are a few warts in the UI that I’ve encountered though:

  1. The “bzr combine-thread” command sounds like it should actually merge two threads. Instead it is an advisory command that can be used to remove a thread once its contents have been merged.
  2. After pulling new changes in from upstream on the bottom thread, it gets a bit tedious bubbling the changes up with “bzr up-thread” and “bzr commit“.
  3. As well as committing revisions to individual threads, the “bzr record” command can be used to commit the state of the loom as a whole. I haven’t really worked out when I should be using the command.
  4. No indication is given if there are changes in the loom that haven’t been recorded with “bzr record“. I’d expect some indication from “bzr status” to this effect.
  5. When using looms to break a larger feature down into smaller chunks, it’d be nice to have a command that generated a sequence of merge requests that built on top of each other. This would be the form needed to submit them for review on a mailing list.

Despite the quirks in the interface, it does make the relevant work flows easier.  It will be interesting to see how the plugin develops.