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Missing from Python: kill-able threads and popens with timeouts…

It would be nice to be able to kill threads anytime you wanted, there are solutions to this but are not part of the Python library and I didn’t yet get a chance to try them… Actually there is only one promising solution to this.

The other thing I would love to have in Python is to be able to call popen with a second parameter which is a timeout, That is (obviously) popen would give up and return if the call was taking more than x number of seconds…

Comments (0)   Filed under: Programming, Python   Posted by: Codehead on May 15, 2009

Python win32api and pywintypes.error: (5, ‘TerminateProcess’, ‘Access is denied.’)

I was working on a piece of code that was supposed to close a bunch of processes ‘with the same name’ right after each other and was getting this error message:
pywintypes.error: (5, ‘TerminateProcess’, ‘Access is denied.’)

The problem was that I was doing this in a loop and Windows didn’t get enough time to close the first process yet. To fix this, just add a time.sleep(0.5) in your loop and you will be all set…

I hope this helps :)

Here is the code I’m using (found in Python mailing list):

import time
import win32api, win32pdhutil, win32con
import win32pdh, string
# ***********************************************************************
# ***********************************************************************
def GetAllProcesses():
  object = "Process"
  items, instances = win32pdh.EnumObjectItems(None,None,object, 
  return instances
# ***********************************************************************
# ***********************************************************************
# ***********************************************************************
def GetProcessID ( name ) :
  object = "Process"
  items, instances = win32pdh.EnumObjectItems(None,None,object, win32pdh.PERF_DETAIL_WIZARD)
  val = None
  if name in instances :
    hq = win32pdh.OpenQuery()
    hcs = []
    item = "ID Process"
    path = win32pdh.MakeCounterPath( (None,object,name, None, 0, item) )
    hcs.append(win32pdh.AddCounter(hq, path))
    for hc in hcs:
      type, val = win32pdh.GetFormattedCounterValue(hc, win32pdh.PDH_FMT_LONG)
    return val
# ***********************************************************************
# ***********************************************************************
# ***********************************************************************
def Kill_Process_pid ( pid ) :
  handle = win32api.OpenProcess(win32con.PROCESS_TERMINATE, 0, pid) #get process handle
  win32api.TerminateProcess(handle, -1) #kill by handle
  win32api.CloseHandle(handle)        #close api
# ***********************************************************************
# ***********************************************************************
# ***********************************************************************
def Kill_Process ( name ) :
  pid = GetProcessID(name)
  if pid:
        return True
    return False
# ***********************************************************************

I just modified the last function, it’s kind of funny I know but that works for me, then I call it like:

print 'Killing IEs...',
while Kill_Process('iexplore'):
print 'Done!'
Comments (0)   Filed under: Programming, Python   Posted by: Codehead on

Ungzip a string in Python - gzinflate in Python

I was very surprised that I couldn’t do this easily in Python, so here is the solution to this:

import zlib
# ...
ungziped_str = zlib.decompressobj().decompress('x\x9c' + gziped_str)

Wow, PHP does it like this:

$ungziped_str = gzinflate($gziped_str);
Comments (0)   Filed under: Programming, Python   Posted by: Codehead on May 6, 2009

Python “Unhandled exception in thread started by Error in sys.excepthook:”

I was getting this error message and I was using a Queue object to queue some jobs and block everything until all threads are done with:


Well, in my particular case, I was getting these error messages the work was not done in worker threads:

Unhandled exception in thread started by
Error in sys.excepthook:

Original exception was:

So what I did was this:

threads = []
for i in range(0, max_threads):
   thread = Worker()
# And then...
for thread in threads:

And this fixed my issue, this will make sense to people with this problem ;)

Comments (0)   Filed under: Programming, Python   Posted by: Codehead on

PML - A Python template engine

I finally decided to release PML as an open source software. I developed this template engine for a project that unfortunately never happened using Python.

Here is a sample application using PML and Yahoo! Search API:

You can download it here:

[D O W N L O A D]

The web search example is also included in the download.

PML was written to be fast, simple and compact. Here are some of it’s features:
1 - Template filters
2 - Output filters
3 - Template variable filters
4 - Template cache - default
5 - Bytecode cache - default
6 - Complete output buffer cache
7 - Garbage collection
8 - Output compression - GZIP
9 - A powerful, quick compiler
10 - Ability to add helpers easily
11 - Ability to add custom compiler tags
12 - Auto escaping your variables, even lists, dicts, and tuples
13 - Compile templates once until you edit them

And more.

I will write a tutorial in my next post.

Comments (0)   Filed under: Programming, Python, Web Design, Web Development   Posted by: Codehead on March 31, 2009

A little Program For Monitoring Your Websites, With Alarm

I hope someone will find this useful:

 #    Hamid Alipour
 # Config
urls = ['http://www.P U T  Y O U R  U R L S  H E R']
url_timeout = 5
sleep_time = 5 * 60
failed_count_before_alarm = 10
sleep_time_on_failure = 15
import urllib2
import winsound
import time
class SiteMonitor:
    def __init__(self):
    def start(self):
        while True:
            for url in urls:
                if not self.check_url(url):
                    if not self.is_it_live(url):
    def is_it_live(self, url):
        failed_count = 0
        while failed_count < failed_count_before_alarm:
            if not self.check_url(url):
                failed_count += 1
                return True
        return False
    def check_url(self, url):
        print 'Checking...' + url + '...',
            urllib2.urlopen(url, timeout=url_timeout)
            print 'Failed!'
            return False
        print 'Done it\'s up!'
        return True
    def alarm(self):
        print 'Too many failures...'
        while True:
            print 'Alarm...'
            winsound.PlaySound("SystemExit", winsound.SND_ALIAS)
    def sleep(self, seconds):
        print 'Sleeping for ' + str(seconds) + ' second(s)...'
        print 'Waking up...'
def main():
if __name__ == "__main__":

Save it as and run it like:

Or just double click on the file.

Please note: in order to run this, you will have to install Python:

Comments (1)   Filed under: Python, Server   Posted by: Codehead on February 20, 2009

Web App Security: XSS Attacks

Today, I saw a funny comment on a website:

<script> alert('0wn3d by X - X') </script>

In case you don’t know about these types of attacks, an attacker will write this comment on a blog (or any sort of web application) and if the application doesn’t escape it before displaying it, this code will display an alert box and then redirects your visitors to whatever the URL is right away.

So again, if I visit this page, I see the alert box and will be redirected to another page on the Internet.

To prevent this, you will have to escape all user generated content before displaying them on your pages, in PHP:

function html_escape($str) {
   return htmlentities($str, ENT_QUOTES, 'utf-8');

In Python:

import cgi
# ...
def escape_html(value)
   return cgi.escape(value, True)

These types of attacks are called Cross-Site Scripting or XSS:

Good Luck :)

Comments (0)   Filed under: PHP, Python, Security, Web Development   Posted by: Codehead on January 21, 2009

Python ImportError: cannot import name X

This was strange, I had a bunch of classes in a file and was trying to import one of them from a file in a child folder.

The package looked like this:

/ <– “import child” was in here way on top
/child/ <– For every file in this folder, import it
/child/ <– Import a class in *Error*

The reason was that I was doing “import child” way on top before implementing the class I was importing in

I moved the “import child” line from the top of the to the constructor of the class I was implementing and it fixed the issue.

I hope this made sense :) (and I know it will to the person with this problem ;) )

Comments (5)   Filed under: Python   Posted by: Codehead on November 22, 2008

Decorating Python’s sys.stdout

Try this:

class stdoutflip:
    def __init__(self, sys):
        self.stdout = sys.stdout
        sys.stdout = self
    def write(self, txt):
        txt = list(txt)
class stdoutupper:
    def __init__(self, sys):
        self.stdout = sys.stdout
        sys.stdout = self
    def write(self, txt):

To test it do this:

out = stdoutupper(stdoutflip(sys))

Now try printing stuff:

print "Hello Python!"


Comments (0)   Filed under: Fun, Programming, Python   Posted by: Codehead on November 14, 2008

Python as CGI and Error 500, Internal Server Error

If you have this problem on *nix systems, these are the things to look for:

1 - Make sure your line breaks are \n not \r\n you can set this in almost all editors, you will have to either select *nix like line breaks or \n somewhere in your editor preferences.

2 - After the first step you will have to make sure that your FTP client uploads the files in ASCII format and this will insure that \n will stay \n.

3 - If it still doesn’t work, make sure your Python script’s permissions are 755. You can try:
chmod 755

Or use your FTP client to fix this. (Refer to it’s documentation but usually you can right click on the file, on your server and click properties)

4 - If you still have the problem, you will have to have the right shebang line in the beginning of your script, the most common one is:
#!/usr/bin/env python
If this doesn’t work try:
Note that, this must be the first line

5 - If none of these worked and you have root access to your server, try:
tail -f /usr/local/apache/logs/error_log (Note that, the path to Apache error log might be different on your server)
And look for the error message associated with your request.

6 - If you still can’t figure it out, write to your hosting company and ask them.

I hope this helps :)

Comments (2)   Filed under: Annoying Stuff, Python   Posted by: Codehead on November 10, 2008
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