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Command line candy for PYBOSSA

Command line candy for PYBOSSA

Photo by Lost in space

PYBOSSA is a great framework, however we were lacking a nice command line tool to interact with it.

For this reason, after providing several different scripts to create projects, add tasks, etc, etc. I’ve decided to finally create a simple command line tool to master the PYBOSSA API.

pbs - mastering PYBOSSA API

As I wanted to create a powerful but simple tool to manage PYBOSSA projects via the command line, I looked for different solutions: argparse, docopt, etc. From all the available solutions I found Click from Armin Ronacher and after trying it I was simply AMAZED.

Click is really powerful, simple and its feature for nesting commands is incredible.

Thanks to Click I’ve managed to develop a command line tool for PYBOSSA in two days, that behaves more or less like git with commands, sub-commands and –help options to make your life much simpler!

Installing pbs

Installing pbs is very simple. Just install it with pip with the following command:

 pip install pybossa-pbs

Then all the magic happens .

Configuring pbs

I’ve designed pbs to be very flexible, so all the options can be passed as arguments, giving you all the flexibility that you could need.

One of the key aspects that I love from pbs is the possibility of having a config file for storing my credentials for different PYBOSSA servers. This simplifies my life, reduces the ammount of typing and I don’t have to check all the time my API-KEY in the servers that I’m using :-)

The config file is very simple. It’s just a file named .pybossa.cfg that looks something like this:

 server: yourserver
 apikey: yourkey

 server: youranotherserver
 apikey: youranotherkey

By default, pbs will use the default section, but if you want to authenticate against another server, all you’ve to do is to pass the following command line option: –credentials anotherserver. Done!

You don’t actually need that file, but if you are working a lot with PYBOSSA I would recommend you to create it. It’s really amazing.

Creating a project

Now that we’ve pbs configured all we’ve to do is to create a project. Creating a project is as simple as always. All you need is a project.json with something like this:

    'name': 'Name of your application',
    'short_name': 'theslug',
    'description': 'description'

Then, if you run pbs from the same folder where that file has been created, all you’ve to do for creating a project is running the following command:

pbs create_project

Two words, and your project is created!

Adding tasks

Now that we’ve our project available in the server, we can add tasks to it. With pbs I wanted to allow users to import tasks from PYBOSSA servers without having to do nothing special. If you visit a project in Crowdcrafting you will see that right now PYBOSSA allows you to download tasks as files in two different formats: CSV and JSON.

Once you’ve downloaded one set of tasks from Crowdcrafting, pbs allows you to re-use the data, as all the projects are using an open-data license. Cool, right?

How do you re-use the tasks’s file? If you’ve downloaded the tasks in CSV format, all you have to do is running the following command:

pbs add_tasks --tasks-file file --tasks-type=csv

Done! You’ve even a progress bar and if you have more than 300 tasks, pbs will auto enable the throttling to respect the PYBOSSA limits of the server. I love this ;-)

Adding the task presenter, long description and tutorial

Now, all we’ve to do is to add the tutorial, task presenter and long description.

For adding those files to the project, you can have those files created in a folder, with the following names:

  • template.html
  • tutorial.html

If those file names exist where you are running the command, then you don’t have to type almost anything, just this command:

pbs update_project

Done! Quick, fast and simple. If you are testing something new, or if you want to reuse a template from another project, all you’ve to do is tell it to pbs:

pbs update_project --task-template /path/to/template.html

An example

In the following video you can see how quickly you can create a project in Crowdcrafting (or any PYBOSSA server) using pbs with the Flickr Person Finder template.


Installing pbs

Creating a project and adding tasks

PS: I almost forgot to mention it: everything is open source and you can check the source code here.