Colin's Journal

Colin's Journal: A place for thoughts about politics, software, and daily life.

May 10th, 2003

TALAggregator & MySQL

I’ve released version 0.4 of TALAggregator, my RSS aggregation software. This release fixes a problem where some feeds would not be successfully parsed because of the interaction between MySQL and Python when handling Unicode strings.

The source of the bug is that the MySQL interface in Python can do automatic conversion to and from Unicode for VARCHAR columns. Unfortunately it doesn’t perform this magic for LONGTEXT columns, leading to all sorts of confusion on my part. It’s should be solved now – I’ve disabled the automatic conversion and do it all myself.

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May 10th, 2003

Skating in Etienne Brule Park

Finding near by paths suitable for in-line skating is difficult in Toronto. If you are a good in-line skater who doesn’t mind the odd hill, gravel road, or tram tracks there’s plenty of choice. With my skill level however I’ve found it best on the beaches and out on the islands, both of which take a considerable time to get there.

I decided to try my luck at Etienne Brule Park this afternoon, and it seems like a good place. In theory you can follow the trail all the way up to Lawrence, but I found that the path deteriorated in quality by Dundas West. Maybe once I’ve got back into the swing of things I’ll try going further up.

From the Old Mill subway station it’s just a short walk to the park where the path starts. There’s a separate brick path for pedestrians, and a paved path for cyclists and bladers both of which generally follow the path of the river upstream. The surface quality is mixed but generally good, with the inclines being shallow enough for me to cope with. The path does climb slowly as you work up river, which means that coming back is much more fun. It’s a shame that it’s not a little longer, but I may yet give the path into Lambton Woods another go to try and extend the run.

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