Salt file.recurse source file not found (file encoding issue)

So I was running this:

    - clean: True
    - user: root
    - group: root
    - dir_mode: 755
    - file_mode: 644
    - source: salt://inst/mediawiki-1.29
    - require:
      - pkg: apache2

And getting an error like this:

          ID: /var/www/
    Function: file.recurse
      Result: False
     Comment: #### /var/www/ ####
              Source file 'salt://inst/mediawiki-1.29/vendor/james-heinrich/getid3/getid3/' not found

              #### /var/www/ ####
              Source file 'salt://inst/mediawiki-1.29/vendor/james-heinrich/getid3/getid3/' not found
     Started: 14:27:18.352264
    Duration: 134735.945 ms

The issue was that the source files mentioned weren’t in UTF-8 format. To convert the files I ran, e.g.:

$ iconv -f WINDOWS-1252 -t UTF-8//TRANSLIT < >

(Actually I couldn’t get the ‘iconv’ command to work so I edited manually in Vim)

Peter Norvig: What to demand from a Scientific Computing Language

Doing some research on Peter Norvig (I’m fascinated by the guy and want to know what he thinks) and I found a talk of his: Peter Norvig: What to demand from a Scientific Computing Language. In the talk Peter explains what he wants out of a programming language and why he feels that Python fits the bill.

I watched the whole thing but I think I’ll put it on my TODO list to watch this again one day.

Python string formatting

I’m working through Zed Shaw’s Learn Python The Hard Way, and I’m up to exercise 5. Doing the extra credit 3 involved searching online for Python format strings, and I found that there is the old way, which is presumably what Shaw wanted me to find, and also the new way in which a new scheme for string formatting is provided.