Monday, December 13, 2010

A PhillyCarShare API

Do you have a PhillyCarShare account? Do you know (or want to know) Python? For the past few months I have been working on a public API to PhillyCarShare's reservation and account management system. However, I have only had opportunity to test it on single-member, personal accounts (since that's the only kind I have). So now I'm reaching out for some assistance. I'm open-sourcing the interface and encouraging (or imploring) folks to tinker with it.


The source is available on github at It's written in Python to run on top of AppEngine (though it could theoretically be ported to Django with minimal effort). I have an instance up and running at The app name is purposefully gargantuan, as appengine names are permanent for now, and I didn't want to create any problems for the future.

I know everyone is tight on time, so if there's anything I could do that would make contributing easier, please let me know. I realize the documentation is a bit lacking right now, and I'm working on it :). If you have any questions at all, let me know in the comments, or shoot me a message by email or on twitter @mjumbewu


If you're not a developer but still want to help test the API or stuff developed with the API, or have any other questions, contact me as well.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Beguiling Events — A Poem About Systems!

Beguiling Events
A system is a big black box
Of which we can't unlock the locks,
And all we can find out about
Is what goes in and what comes out.
Perceiving input-output pairs,
Related by parameters,
Permits us, sometimes, to relate
An input, output and a state.
If this relation's good and stable
Then to predict we may be able,
But if this fails us—heaven forbid!
We'll be compelled to force the lid!
—Kenneth Boulding, economist