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Dec 29, 2008

Upgraded to Plone 3.1.7

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Last night I bravely decided to upgrade to the latest Plone release. Luckily I already converted it over to a buildout based install a couple months back. This was pivotol in my speedy migration effort since it allowed me to switch products in and out so effortlessly.

This site is fairly simple since I'm only using a couple add-on products. Quills is the primary product I use. The old site was running Plone 2.1.4 and Quills 1.5 RC3. I tried to go directly to 3.1.7, but the portal_migration failed. Rather than try and debug that nasty error, I decided to migrate to the latest 2.5 release first. This was a complete success!

Next, I updated the buildout with all the Plone 3 compatible versions of the products. Then changed the plone recipe to point to the latest 3.1.x release. After that, I ran the buildout and started the site back up. Now it was time to try the portal_migration again. It blew up again, but with a less painful error. Quills 1.6 and above no longer uses a custom workflow and therefore made something unhappy. All I had to do was set the weblog types back to the default Plone workflow and try again. This was a success!

Next up was the Quills migration. This is automatically run while quickinstalling Products.Quills in the portal_quickinstaller. No issues here either. There are some Quills artifacts that have to be removed by hand including the quills_tool, RPCAuth, blog archive folder and blog drafts folder. Also, I didn't like the way the beta of handled the addition of the portlets to the weblog. It's currently creating a new 'category' of portlets by interface that has no way of managing them through the Plone interface. I posted a hint on the Quills dev list on how to remove them via a debug session.

Lastly I needed to update my custom theme. I moved all my main_template customizations into custom viewlets. Any template overrides were re-integrated using z3c.jbot. Then I removed my in favor of a GenericSetup profile. That was it! Now I'm ready to upgrade to Plone 3.2 when it gets released in the not too distant future :)

Now that I'm on the Plone 3 series I was able to quickly install CacheFu via an egg. That should help my site's performance quite a bit out of the gate. I also installed the python markdown package and added the transform so I can write in plain text anywhere in Markdown, then copy paste into the site. Thanks to tomster for evangelizing it, I was sold after reading the philosophy and synopsis. This post was written in Markdown, and hopefully many more... :)

Dec 11, 2008

AppleScripting Missing iTunes Party Shuffle Features

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My name is claytron and I'm a party shuffle addict.  There, I said it.  In my opinion the iTunes party shuffle feature is pure awesomeness.  I have been using it like mad since it was introduced.  I'm still amazed when I talk to iTunes users that haven't used it.

My typical modus operandi is to set the party shuffle to a rated smart playlist (3 stars and up or 4 stars and up).  Then if i want to add an album in the mix I can select it and 'Play Next in Party Shuffle' or 'Add to Party Shuffle'.  This is where AppleScript can come in handy.  Doug Adams wrote a nifty little AppleScript that allows you to select a track and add that track's album to the party shuffle!  This really comes in handy when my eMusic downloads arrive in iTunes.  I can sort my library by 'Date Added' and then select a track from one of the newly imported albums and have it start playing next in the party shuffle.  Totally effing awesome.

So herein lies the next issue.  Let's say I just downloaded five albums and imported them into iTunes.  You would think you could highlight a track from each album and then use the 'Play Next in Party Shuffle' script.  But instead it pops up with a selection dialog with all the albums in your library.  For me this is completely useless, I have 2000+ albums.  So I went ahead and modified the script to add the album for each selected track.

After doing so I emailed Doug about the modifications.  As you might guess, he gets a ton of emails with modifications and fixes for all the scripts posted on his site and can't possibly include them all.  I also don't think he quite understood the purpose of the modification.  But since most of the scripts are licensed under the GPL you can still benefit from my mods!

There are two scripts.  The first one is the 'Play Album(s) Next in Party Shuffle'  which allows you to select one or more tracks and have each track's album be cued up next in party shuffle.  The second script is 'Add Album(s) to Party Shuffle' which does the same thing except it adds the album to the end of the party shuffle.  That way you don't have to add an album in the middle of another!

Both of these scripts require that the party shuffle is currently playing.  I couldn't find a way around that in AppleScript (but I'm still an AppleScript n00b).  The only other item to mention is that I added a property to the top of each script called 'show_party_shuffle'.  If this is true then you'll be taken to the party shuffle after adding the tracks.  If you don't want to be switched over, you can set it to false.