Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Windows Python 3.6, VS2017 and the case of the missing basetsd.h

So you decided to join the Python 3 bandwagon on Windows with your new shiny Visual Studio. And then you start work on a fresh virtual environment and then you do a pip install or something. Sometimes, you'll end up with a compile error just like this:
WTF is this missing 'basetsd.h' file
You'll google this and end up with one of many stackoverflow topics stating you must install Visual Studio 2015 or some SDK.

Fuck that and save your time. You can do better because a programmer named Dimitri Janczak found a solution that works and I can confirm it works. 

The solution is as follows:

1. Install or update setuptools (> 34.0). Do note that setuptools is sort of tied with your version of Pip. So you might have to do: python -m pip install -U pip setuptools

2. The next step is to pick the correct command-line environment. What?! I know right, Visual Studio comes with multiple command prompts. 

Select the appropriate Native Tools Command prompt. Navigate to the project folder. Activate the virtual environment and do what you did last before you encountered the compile error.

If you goes to plan then you should get a successful result. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Using git push to deploy code to DigitalOcean

There'll be times using a continue integration server or stack is a big pain in the butt. Sometimes we just want to type git push from the terminal and the live app is updated. This is that tutorial although specific to DigitalOcean. I'll bet it will roughly work the same for other cloud services.

  • You have a Digital Ocean server (or droplet) running and configured
  • You have the ssh to said droplet working
So ssh to the droplet and then navigate to /var/www (or anywhere else you want to put your code) and make two directories:

$ mkdir && mkdir appcode.git
$ cd appcode.git

Inside the appcode.git folder we will create a "bare" git repository: git init --bare
A bare git repository doesn't contain our code but rather the internals of the .git folder. The whole point of this is to access the hooks folder within.

The hooks folder have scripts that can be run at certain steps within the git repo's lifecycle. We want a hook script to run after we "receive" a push to this repo. Hence we create a post-receive file inside the hooks folder.

$ vi post-receive

# Type this in

git --work-tree=/var/www/ --git-dir=/var/www/appcode.git checkout -f

# save and exit
# make the post-receive hook executable

$ chmod +x post-receive

There! We are done for the server side. We move to the our local machines.

All we actually need is need is to add a remote target in your working git repo. Assuming you added the droplet in your local ssh config then the command should be look like:

$ git remote add droplet ssh://user@ip-of-droplet/var/www/appcode.git

# add a new commit - this will not work even if you existing commits
# you must have a new commit
$ git add .
$ git commit -m "new commit"

# push to repo - could be github or bitbucket
$ git push

# push to droplet
$ git push droplet master

If all goes to plan, then our code will show in our new "git work tree" which is the folder inside our droplet.

A couple more thoughts:
  1. It's fairly easy to setup a sort of staging or testing folder/area with this.
  2. The post-receive script can do more things like a "restart app" or send mail to admin for notification. It's just a bash script.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Ghetto Python development with VS Code

Not everyone can afford Pycharm or Sublime or you just don't like the new Pycharm terms/license then this could be a alternative setup with Visual Studio Code.
  1. Install Visual Studio Code. It's has all the "f"s: fast, free, flexible, fowerful.
    Don't forget to install Python also.

    Tip: Install Python 3 unless you're maintaining legacy Python code then install Python 2
  2. Pick our plugins for Python. You can install plugins or extensions from the within VS Code; Just click on the "Extensions" button on the side menu or you can download them from the "marketplace" and install them manually. Go here for details.

    Here's our list of extensions.
    1. donjayamanne.python - our primary plugin so we can work with Python. It's got almost all the things we'd expect to make for a good Python IDE; Intellisense, Code formatting, refactoring, debugging, and linting.

      A word on linting though, The plugin doesn't come with it. You'll have to install your linting module like say Pylint or Flake 8 separately via pip. 

    2. Indent-raindow - Trust me, you'll need this. It makes seeing the code indents easier. 

    3. Jinja - This is an optional plugin. You'll probably only need this if you're working with a lot of Jinja templates.

      Don't forget to explore the marketplace for other customisations like themes.
  3. Start coding. Don't forget to make a virtual environment because VSCode does support them on a per project bases via a settings JSON file. Same with debugging.
  4. Push to a repo. VSCode already has a git client built-in so push your code to popular repos like Github, Gitlab or Bitbucket.
Code away!