fabric: a good assistant for the development of WaterOnMars

wom-logo-128Despite spending currently more time using my WaterOnMars feed reader than developing it, I’m still making small improvements to it. And to make my life easier I could count on a solid little project: fabric !

fabric is a Python based command-line utility designed to help running commands remotely: typically to deploy a web app on a remote server.

So I’m using it to deploy WaterOnMars on my personal server and also to deploy the demo version on heroku. But more recently I added fabric’s configuration file (the “fabfile”) to the sources of the project as an officially maintained helper for development tasks1. It’s now usable to run the test suite, to launch the web app locally, to set-up the db and to deploy it on custom servers.

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  1. well I didn’t think of it in such a formal way obviously []

Unveiling WaterOnMars

Today, I’m officially releasing a personal project called wateronmars, a web app combining a news reader and a bookmark collection.

wom-logo-128

So this is just another news reader but this ones aims at being a free (as in freedom) platform from which users can explore the web.

A demo site is hosted on heroku: http://wateronmars-demo.herokuapp.com/

For now this web application focuses on offering a lean interface based on a very simple workflow:

  1. Take a glimpse at the news: a river views displays the latest news
  2. Dig in when time allows: a sieve (some would say a mailbox-like) view makes it easy to look at and filter out the news
  3. Take notes: a “collection” gathers all web pages that the user wants to keep the link to
  4. Subscribe to news sources: a “sources” page gathers all the web pages from which the user wants to see the news as they come

The source code (under Affero GPL) is available on github.

Although they make up a working and usable (IMHO) application I consider them as the building blocks for a slightly more ambitious web exploration platform.

PS: If you came here looking for actual water on the planet mars, all apologies and feel free to go on wikipedia.