Windows installation went OK

Tags: django

My (geo)django installation on the customer’s windows 2008 box went way better than I expected. “Mostly smooth” is what I’d call it. My windows experience is a tad rusty after not using windows productively for about 13 years or so. And I ran into all sorts of problems when trying it out locally. So I expected much worse.

Trying everything out beforehand and assembling the right set of packages and killing off all DLL problems helps. See my earlier article about all the weird problems I encountered). It is hard work to find the cause for some obscure DLL problem, but it beats having to debug it when the customer is sitting next to you :-)

The actual installation went without a hitch. Everything installed just fine. I had written down what I had to do beforehand: that paid out in spades. I only saw two serious problems in the end:

  • Oracle doesn’t like django’s TextFields when they’re used with an .distinct() query. They also cannot be used for indexes or primary keys. Oracle stores them as a “NCLOB” field: some sort of character blob. I fixed the one part in the code where I had a .distinct(): no, that didn’t help. In the end a “name” field (the most important field in the model) was a TextField instead of a CharField just like all the other models… Ok, that’s a regular bug in our code. And another reminder that all our code needs to be tested: we’d have caught this bug for sure in that case.

  • Apache seems to die after a while. Apache with a django-behind-mod_wsgi setup. I got the impression it died after some 100 requests. But during the last test it seemed to die instantly. Every request seems to have no effect after the “crash” or whatever it is: there’s no clear error message. Every request just seems to disappear in a black hole. I’ll have to google that one, as I couldn’t figure it out in time.

In any case: the software installed just fine. And the oracle database connection works just fine. And the customer was happy! And I’m too :-) logo

About me

My name is Reinout van Rees and I work a lot with Python (programming language) and Django (website framework). I live in The Netherlands and I'm happily married to Annie van Rees-Kooiman.

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