Thursday, February 15, 2007

Geek Event Aggravator

I swear to you, the code that gathers data for the Geek Event Aggregator is running great.  It's harvesting over 5,000 events, with ever-improving completeness and accuracy.  

Unfortunately... the code that ships the harvested data up to Google Calendar - which worked perfectly at first - is now falling flat, with gCal returning 
"Error: Cannot access the calendar you requested." 
when I try to ship the new data up, or to clear out the old data - thus the redundant entries.  (No, it's not a simple password problem, I did check that...) 

I suspect that I triggered something at gCal that said, "Hey, there's way too much activity on this calendar, it must be some evil bot, lock it down."
I guess this is the problem with mashups.  It's great to springboard off the work of total strangers - but you're at the mercy of a black box.  Maybe I can buttonhole somebody from Google at PyCon next week (holy cow!  PyCon next week!) and ask for a contact somewhere in the bowels of the gCal team who might be willing to help me troubleshoot.  The sad thing is, this pretty much sinks my plan to do a Lightning Talk on it.

So anyway, my apologies if you've been trying to use the Aggregator and have found only stale and redundant information.  My box is overladen with fresh, hot event data; I just have to figure out a way to get it out to you.  I tried Swivel, but can't seem to get the data there, either.  And the old-fashioned solution - the app running in the Oracle Application Express sandbox - can only receive data by manual uploads, and then only in small chunks; I would have to do about fifty mouse clicks every time I wanted to refresh the Aggregator's data, and I'm sorry, but I'm not a clicker.

The ultimate solution, of course, is to build my own app on my own web server, or on a web host with permissive policies on installing software.  I don't have those resources right now, unfortunately.  (sigh)

[I apologize; Blogger has gone loony on the line breaks for this post, and I can't seem to fix it. Grumble. All my web resources are letting me down today.]


Anonymous said...

I was planning to talk to you about this at PyCon (esp the "don't have those resources" part), but my schedule is so insane right now that I have to skip PyCon this year... Argh! In any case, if you haven't solved it before then, remind me again next month when my schedule lets up a bit and maybe I can help out... Have fun this weekend!!

Jofish said...

on unrelated note, every blog i've seen on pycon seemed to really like the mexican lunch. i think you can consider that a success!