Life as a conversion script author

About a year ago, the infrastructure team of the python language projectsent out a call for trackers. They had come to the conclusion that the tracker available at sourceforge was not good enough. I can understand that - it’s very hard to use, and since it’s running on sourceforge’s servers, it can’t be customized.


I and several other people thought that roundup, a tracker infrastructure would be a good choice, so we formed a team and managed to come up with a submission for the call. This included writing a conversion script that took the data from sourceforge and imported it into the new tracker. I created this script based on a screenscraper library for sourceforge written by Fredrik Lundh. This was importer #1.\

Later on, roundup was selected as one of the two final alternatives. Happy happy, joy joy :-). A team was formed (including me) for creating the tracker, and Upfront Systems kindly provided a linux host for running the tracker. \

Now began the real work of designing the tracker and adjusting the importer to the final schema. During this time, sourceforge managed to fix their broken xml export, so I wrote a new importer that instead of screenscraping webpages took an xml file as input which was much faster and more reliable. That is, I wrote importer #2.

Later on, when we were beginning to get ready for production launch, a real showstopper shows up - the xml export from sourceforge couldn’t cope with the size of the python project - the export was missing data.

After several months of waiting for sourceforge, they have a new export script that includes all data. Unfortunately, it has a completely new xml format. Writing a third importer was less than fun, but I managed to complete importer #3 yesterday. Hopefully, I didn’t introduce that many bugs.. \

Who knows, maybe the python project will have a new tracker sometime this year? :-)

Try out the new tracker at\

Written on July 25, 2007