As of 19th Oct this site is now running on Octopress/Jekyll. I’ve used Wordpress on and off for many years and have not entirely been happy with bulk of php used nor the editor. Rather than hating on Wordpress, this post is about how awesome Octopress is. For a low volume and rarely changing site like this, it just isn’t necessary to have dynamic page generation at runtime. Even with caching, it is a bit of an overkill.
In addition to the URL Status Check script, I’ve also written a basic script to continuously [ping](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ping_(networking_utility)) a system. Whilst probably not the most efficient nor simplest way to do it, it is achieves the goal of returning the ping result. As an added bonus, it uses a little corner of groovy that most will find useful at some point or another, executing something on the system command line. In Groovy, this is achieved with a simple script like:
Geb is a Groovy-based layer of magic over the top of Selenium/WebDriver for web-based automation tasks and is a tool worthy of being added to your programming tool belt. What’s So Special About Geb? Quoting from the Gebish.org site: It brings together the power of WebDriver, the elegance of jQuery content selection, the robustness of Page Object modelling and the expressiveness of the Groovy language. The simplicity and elegance of a typical script makes it very easy to get a basic task up an going within minutes, something we can demonstrate right now.
Recently I discovered a local site, westernrails.com, provides a weekly update on some train movements in the Perth / WA area, in the form of an e-mag / PDF. (I’m a bit of a train geek, but that’s a different post). Unfortunately the site doesn’t offer a feed so as a bit of an exercise I decided to write a little downloader script that would grab the whole list of back-issues.