Installing Planet Venus | on Debian Lenny

I decided to try out Planet Venus over the week-end, a popular blog aggregation system. The end result is pretty neat, I really like how it works (though I must say it's the first blog aggregator I ever look into.)

The documentation very sensibly insists on running all the unit tests before doing anything, which is where I encountered a couple of issues. One was a malformed HTML docs page which I ignored, the other one looked a bit more serious, a parsing error.

======================================================================
ERROR: test_content_tag_soup (tests.test_reconstitute.ReconstituteTest)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
<...snip traceback...>
HTMLParseError: malformed start tag, at line 1, column 14

What didn't make a difference

  • Running the tests using python 2.4, 2.5, 2.6
  • Reinstalling python-libxml2 (already installed, reinstall inspired by Venus devel mailing list archives)
  • Reinstalling python-beautifulsoup
  • Installing python-libxslt1, python-xml, python-lxml

Trying to debug the exception a bit more closely, this looked like the usual BeautifulSoup issues that started occurring after the move to HTMLParser for Python 3.0 compatibility.

What worked, eventually

Warning: it's a hack :/ Some solutions suggest removing the python-beautifulsoup package, unfortunately I am unable to try this out as many things on my desktop depend on it.

This workaround posted on the mailing list for a similar problem did work for me though. It involves looking for "import BeautifulSoup" in planet/vendor/feedparser.py and removing the statement.

try:
    raise Exception # import BeautifulSoup
except:
    BeautifulSoup = None

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