For fun, I thought I'd write a post describing how to build a blog using Flask, a Python web-framework. Building a blog seems like, along with writing a Twitter-clone, a quintessential experience when learning a new web framework. I remember when I was attending a five-day Django tutorial presented by Jacob Kaplan-Moss, one of my favorite projects we did was creating a blog. After setting up the core of the site, I spent a ton of time adding features and little tweaks here-and-there. My hope is that this post will give you the tools to build a blog, and that you have fun customizing the site and adding cool new features.
In this post we'll cover the basics to get a functional site, but leave lots of room for personalization and improvements so you can make it your own. The actual Python source code for the blog will be a very manageable 200 lines.
This post is intended for beginner to intermediate-level Python developers, or experienced developers looking to learn a bit more about Python and Flask. For the mother of all Flask tutorials, check out Miguel Grinberg's 18 part Flask mega-tutorial.
Here are the features:
A while back I wrote about using Flask to create a note-taking app. The goal of that app was to make it really easy for me to save little notes from my phone or computer. In the first follow-up post, I showed how to transition the JSON views to a full-featured RESTful API. I also showed how to add email reminders and to-do lists with checkable items to the notes app. Then in the most recent post, I showed how to leverage SQLite's full-text search extension to make the notes searchable. In this, the final installment, I'll show how I built a command-line client for the note-taking app.
Here is how the notes app looked when we left off at the end of part 3:
If you'd like to follow along, you can find the source code for the most recent version of the note-taking app in this gist:
If you'd rather skip the post and get straight to the code, here is the code for the updated version:
In preparation for the fourth and final installment in the "Flask Note-taking app" series, I found it necessary to improve the search feature of the note-taking app. In this post we will use SQLite's full-text search extension to improve the search feature.
In part 2, we added email reminders and check-able task lists to the note-taking app. We also converted the backend to use flask-peewee's REST API extension, which made it easy to add pagination and search. And that is how I've left it for the last three months or so.
Below is a screenshot of the latest version of the notes app. The UI is much cleaner thanks to a stylesheet from bootswatch. The bootswatch stylesheet works as a drop-in replacement for the default bootstrap CSS file.
All together, the note-taking app has the following features:
In case you were curious, I've been using the notes app for things like:
A couple years back I wrote about building an Analytics service with Cassandra. As fun as that project was to build, the reality was that Cassandra was completely unsuitable for my actual needs, so I decided to switch to something simpler. I'm happy to say the replacement app has been running without a hitch for the past 5 months taking up only about 20 MB of RAM! In this post I'll show how to build a lightweight Analytics service using Flask.
My post from last month, Saturday Morning Hack, a Little Note-Taking App with Flask, was pretty well-received. Since I've made a number of improvements to the app, I thought I would write one more post to share some of the updates I've made to this project, in the hopes that they may be of interest to you.
A live demo is up and running on Python Anywhere, so feel free to check that out before continuing on with the post: http://beetlejuicer.pythonanywhere.com/
And this is how it looks now!
So what's new? Well, I've made a couple changes under-the-hood, and added some entirely new features to the UI.
Notemodel. Thanks to flask-peewee everything comes "for free".
Read the rest of the post for the details.
Because I had so much fun writing my last Saturday morning hack, I thought I would share another little hack. I was thinking that I really enjoy my subscription to Python weekly and wouldn't it be great if I had a personal email digest containing just the types of things that interest me? I regularly cruise reddit and
hacker hater news but in my opinion there's a pretty low signal-to-noise ratio. Occasionally I stumble on fascinating content and that's what keeps me coming back.
I wanted to write an app that would search the sites I read and automatically create an email digest based on search terms that I specified. I recently swapped my blog over to SQLite and I love that the SQLite full-text search extension lets you specify boolean queries. With that in mind, I decided that I would have a curated list of boolean search queries which would be used to filter content from the various sites I read. Any articles that match my search would then be emailed to me.
Here are some of my search terms, which I am viewing in the flask-peewee admin interface:
If you're interested in learning how to build your own version of this project, check out the rest of the post.
I was cruising through some old bookmarked YouTube videos this evening and was sad to see that a few of my favorites were no longer available. I was able to search and find them again, but I decided it might not be a bad idea to save my favorites to my media server. I installed youtube-dl and was impressed by how well it just worked. Since I wanted to store these videos on my media server and watch them on Plex I then
scp-ed the video files to the media server. Then it hit me -- why not just write a tiny web frontend for youtube-dl? Once I had a web app, then I could write a chrome extension to communicate with it...
With Flask the whole process took about 20 minutes, so I thought I'd share in case anyone else would find this useful.
Read on for the details.
A couple Saturdays ago I spent the morning hacking together a note-taking app. I'm really pleased with the result, so I thought I'd share the code in case anyone else might find it useful.
The note-taking project idea came about out of necessity -- I wanted something that worked well from my phone. While I have a personal wiki site I've used for things like software installation notes or salsa recipes, I've also noticed that because it's so cumbersome to use from my phone, I often end up emailing things to myself. Plus a wiki implies a kind of permanence to the content, making it not a great fit for these impromptu notes. I also like to use markdown to format notes, but markdown isn't too easy on a phone because of the special characters or the need to indent blocks of text. With these considerations in mind, I set out to build a note-taking app that would be easy to use from my phone.
Here is how the app appears on a narrow screen like my phone:
And here it is on my laptop:
Because markdown is a bit difficult to use when you're not in a nice text editor like vim, I've added some simple toolbar buttons to the editor:
Read the full post for all the details!
The other day a friend of mine was trying out flask-peewee and he had some questions about the best way to structure his app to avoid triggering circular imports. For someone new to flask, this can be a bit of a puzzler, especially if you're coming from django which automatically imports your modules. In this post I'll walk through how I like to structure my flask apps to avoid circular imports. In my examples I'll be showing how to use "flask-peewee", but the same technique should be applicable for other flask plugins.
I'll walk through the modules I commonly use in my apps, then show how to tie them all together and provide a single entrypoint into your app.
The other day I noticed I had a couple thumbdrives kicking around with various versions of my "absolutely do not lose" files...stuff like my private keys, tax documents, zips of papers I wrote in college, etc. These USB drives were all over the house, and many contained duplicate versions of the same files. I thought it would be neat to write a little app to give me a web-based interface to store and manage these files securely. In this post I'll talk about how I built a web-based file storage app using flask, pycrypto, and amazon S3.