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: My computer blew up. Fortunately, the hard drives seem okay. I'm not sure whether or not the motherboard got it or whether it was just the power supply, but I just got a new motherboard that I never installed because it wouldn't fit right in my case and my video card wouldn't fit in it. So really the whole experience has just been an impetus for me to buy the missing pieces.

: Beautiful Soup 2.1.0 contains a bunch of new methods that solve a large class of problems that previously required that you write a while loop that navigated the parse tree.

I'd been meaning to do this for a while, but the impetus for me actually doing it was that I ended up writing one of those while loops in the screen-scraping script I wrote for the vaporware Productivity Hacks book. With the new stuff in 2.1.0 I could trim a line of code from the manuscript and make it easier to explain.

In fact, Beautiful Soup 2.0 (and the RSS feed builder mentioned earlier, which is going to have a life of its own once I finish the hack) was done for the same reason: so I wouldn't have to explain in print what this complicated code was supposed to do. This is the true power of documentation: it forces you to make things work in a way that's easier to explain. Assuming you care about the people who are reading your documentation, I mean.


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