fail whale

I originally created a simple site monitoring Python script and posted it up to github as a “gist”: 177420. It was then improved by Eric Wendelin who forked my original gist and made it better in this gist: 187610 .

Eric had made the script much more “pythonic” and really made the code more usable and expendable which he explains in his blog post, Site monitoring with Python and cron. He had made the script accept command line arguments and even added a way to send email through Python if you didn’t want to setup your own mail daemon.

I thought his additions were a great example of open source coding in action.

What does this have to do with Nix?

Well on the surface it doesn’t directly relate to Linux. The project itself is more useful for web designers and people that host websites; however, I thought this was a perfect example of open source coding and wanted to share it with you. Open source code and community programming is what Linux was made from. This project doesn’t contribute to the Linux kernel or anything super important but it is a very simple script that is now open to the public for review and improvement.

Ever wanted to contribute to a project but didn’t know where to start?

If you ever wanted to contribute and feel part of an open source community now is your chance. I feel like this is a very small project and it could be improved by ANYONE with the smallest amount of Python experience. We are not asking you to know how a kernel works or for you to start writing device drivers, just a simple Python script. This is a great opportunity for you to learn the nature of open source software and the community that powers Linux and some of the best programs around.

I’m even going to give you the steps you need to get going!

Download Git

Download Git. (sudo apt-get install git)

Clone the Project

git clone git://github.com/sanbornm/Site-Monitor.git

Make Changes

Now make some changes.

Something I personally would like to see in this code is the ability to generate a graph of response times. Other things could include:

  • Threshold for alert on slow response time
  • Support for a config file

I am not a Programmer but I still want to contribute!

If you are not a programmer but still want to contribute to the open source community and learn a little about how it all works please consider going to the project website and submit a feature request (click create issue). This will give us an idea about what you would like to see in the script and help shape future versions.

See you in the open source community!

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One Response

  1. [...] It looks like Mark has made this a full project on GitHub and added timing the requests and command-line options! This is a perfect example of how OSS projects are started. Check out introductory post. [...]