Saturday, December 17, 2005

pymon, ZConfig, Nevow, and pyparsing

twisted :: python :: web

As I have published recently on the pymon
, we're getting very close to a pre-release of pymon. The
latest changes involved migrating from a custom, home-grown
configuration scheme and API to ZConfig. I am very happy with the
Apahce-style config files of ZConfig. It has drastically simplified the
configuration files, thus lightening the work-loads of systems and
network administrators who use pymon. But even more, I like the ZConfig
python API for accessing configuration data. Our home-grown solution
had an API that was similar to, but not as clean as ZConfig's.

After getting pymon running with ZConfig, I turned to the web UI for
viewing monitored services states. I haven't touched Nevow since
version 0.4, and it was really nice to dive back in. I'd forgetten what
a joy Nevow is to work with. Now some significant progress is being
made on state data display, and some design choices need to be made
about Nevow render patterns and slots... fortunately neither rocket
science nor mind-numbing ;-) There's a good chance that the web UI will
be ready in time for the release.

Unfortunately, I don't think the first steps towards the pymon OS will
be. We've got some code prototyped in my sandbox. This will be a great
feature. You telnet/ssh into pymon, and run commands that control the
monitoring configuration, display monitored service states, etc., just
like you would on a firewall. We're using pyparsing to generate the
grammar and parse user commands. It's in a very early stage, but it is
one of the more exciting aspects of pymon, as it is interesting code
and there's nothing out there even remotely like it (to our knowledge).
As soon as the first release is out, though, we'll be merging the
prototype pymon OS into trunk, providing at the very least a glimpse
into pymon's bright future ;-)

As a couple of us have been using older versions of pymon for a couple
years now, and I have been using the new version for a year, we're
ready to start sharing with others, getting feedback, and developing a
user and contributor base. What's more is, even though I can't say much
now, we are demoing pymon for a couple companies, one of which
specializes in security solutions for the defense industry.

Look for a pymon release very soon!

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