Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Personal Django apps I created and use daily

I am a huge privacy advocate, if you didn't know that already. I purposely don't join websites which are known for their privacy problems *cough* facebook *cough*. I also prefer to have full control over my own personal data and information whenever possible. Because of this, I tend to build web applications for tools which already exist in the wild, but more tailored to my own personal requirements. All of these personal apps which I have created are located online, but not publicly linked anywhere. Some websites may see where the apps are stored via the REFERRER header in my requests. I don't screen out this header, as I would like 3rd party domains to know who is visiting their website or product page. Since the apps do require authentication, they are simply redirect to my main profile page which provides the 3rd party with basic information about myself, and of course a link to my blog.

These personal apps which I created are not coupled with my main project, and thus I am able to easily deploy them on other websites. Because of this, I am planning on releasing them for the public eye on a portfolio website for other users can see what I create behind closed doors. If there is some demand for it, such as other users wanting to create their own Django personal cloud, I can release the actual source code into a public repository for users to download. The apps are installable into any existing Django project with ease, one only needs to add the app into INSTALLED_APPS, and add a prefix into their urls.py, very little hassle. Most of the apps are currently South-enabled too, so you are free to modify the app to your own tastes as needed.

Since the apps are very small and use little resources, one can easily deploy them on any free Django hosting platform. The apps themselves require no outside deps, so you do not even need pip access, that's how simple they are. Although they are simple, they are fairly powerful when used, listed below are the apps themselves, and some brief information about them:

PCBank AKA myFinance
This is a personal budgeting system which I have created, it has matured a lot throughout the past few months. I originally created it last year in October, as using a spreadsheet to keep track of all my expenses grew tedious. It can also manage roommates, and split bills accordingly. This is my most used app out of all of the apps I created. It also has an RSS and JSON interface for third party applications to fetch data. I use the RSS for a Live Bookmark to easily access all my online banking websites from my browser toolbar. I use the JSON interface with a mobile app I created so that I can easily check my bank balances on the go without needing to actually sign into my online bank website on an insecure wireless network.
myProjects
This app was created in recent months to keep track of my many projects I do. It keeps track of individual projects, which I can jot down notes about each one. I can create goals under each project and assign a due date for them. This makes seeing all my workload and upcoming goals easy to browse, and add personal notes to.
myJobSearch
I created this app to keep track of the various jobs which I am applying for, the status of the job, such as interview time, and if the ad was removed. I created an RSS feed in the form of a Live bookmark which I can use to quickly visit the advertisements website to see if it's still available. I also added the ability to use a bookmarklet to add a job to the database.
myServers
Sort of an extension to myProjects above, as it keeps track of my various servers I run and operate. It sorts the servers by hosting provider. Then under each server, I can list the various applications which the server runs. Makes it easy to know where everything is located in my infrastructure.
myBookmarks
A service I created for myself a very long time ago, as I wanted a central place to store all of my bookmarks. I use a simple bookmarklet to add new bookmarks as I browse the web. I know I could use the various free services out there to do the same thing, but the point of self hosting this system, is privacy. myBookmarks was adapted for this very website, for it's bookmarks section. This app also provides a Live bookmark, so I can easy access my bookmarks from any browser. The RSS feed itself does not require authentication, but once you click onto one of the bookmark links, it will require authentication to reveal the actual URL and redirect to it.

There you have it, a list of all the apps I use in my private cloud which I plan on showcasing in an upcoming online portfolio which I will link from this blog soon. Leave any comments below.

Comment #1: Posted 2 years, 2 months ago by deoren

Cool apps. I've yet to try and run any Python web apps, but if you do end up opening them up via a public repo I'd be pretty tempted to take them for a spin.

Comment #2: Posted 2 years, 2 months ago by Kevin Veroneau

Thank you for your comment deoren. Glad to see some interest in them. I'm sure once my portfolio site is up and running, there may be more interest as the apps themselves are fairly powerful(especially pcbank).

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