Installing Python 2.4 under Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot)

As I’m currently merging 2.x and 3.x branches of openpyxl, I now need to perform tests over all existing Python releases known to man. I decided to install a new Ubuntu VM to perform the the tests, but I struggled during 2.4 installation.

Tried pythonbrew, which was a very disappointing experience as nothing worked as it was supposed to.

Then I tried to build from source myself, but here again the GCC version available on ubuntu 11.10 is apparently no longer able to compile original python sources.

Here is how I did it :

  1. download RPM version for Fedora here : (direct link)
  2. install alien (sudo apt-get install alien)
  3. type the following command
$ sudo alien -i python2.4-2.4-1pydotorg.i386.rpm

Now you can type

$ python2.4

and everything should work !

openpyxl 1.5.6

Small compatibility release this time, no big features added, see the changelog by yourself:

  • [iter_worksheet] add support for calculated strings (they have a special data type for that ?)
  • [strings] make sure we always use unicode strings everywhere
  • [iter] fixed max row and column detection for iter reader
  • [styles] fixed custom number format detection under OOCalc
However, a large effort has been made on supporting the whole python 2.4 – 2.7 range. In the past, 2.4 and 2.5 compatibilities were damaged, now it should be restored back to normal.
Once again, thanks to all the contributors for their help 😉

openpyxl 1.5.5

After a long (long) break (sorry, I eventually bought a PS3, I knew this could happen), we come back with a new version of openpyxl !

This has been requested by a few people so here is a small changelog since the last (1.5.4 version):

  • Commented out the ‘scheme’ element as it appears to prevent the font name from being applied in Excel.
  • [cell] added Decimal type as a numeric type (fixes #78)
  • [writer] added write support for wrapped text (fixes #65)
  • [cell] fixed the numeric regexp (fixes #77)
  • [cell] added encoding support for data input (fixes #76)
  • [excel(reader)] Added try except around loading workbook properties, so that workbooks with no properties get the default properties
  • [date_time] Modified the re that deals with W3CDTF date format to allow dates without an ending Z (fixes #73)
  • [cell] Altered the re for numeric in order to block out numbers with leading zeroes (fixes #70)
  • [worksheet(writer)] fixed long number bug. using repr on a long number causes it to return the number with L appended. Now using str() on long numbers
  • [dump] watching file descriptors to avoid a ‘too many open files’ error when dumping a large number of worksheets

So, a lot of big fixes, such as file descriptors, numerical regexps and leading zeroes, and a few improvements, like encoding support.

I’m also very happy to see an ever-increasing number of contributors and of course users 🙂 Thanks again everybody !

PS: special thanks to Yaroslav Halchenko for the late night licence checks 😉

openpyxl 1.5.0 released

It has been almost one full year since I started this project, and it has now reached a state where it is well suited for production, and intensively tested by an increasing number of people around the globe.

The most recent additions I’m the most proud of are the optimized reader and writer, that become stable in this version. It took around 6 months to get them working properly (the reader was the hardest actually), and now they’re here !

You can read and write workbooks of any size, with low and almost constant memory consumption (which is not the case with Excel actually).

I’m also really happy that people keep sending patches and asking for features, so the project continues to live, even when I’m not fully available to work on it.

You can get the latest version of openpyxl either with easy_install:

easy_install openpyxl

or from the official website.

SSL Secured Piston Webservice

On FreeBSD, there are a few gotchas to work with Apache + SSL + Piston.

Here are my findings:

  • Enabling SSL in Apache 2.0

As most SSL-related functions are enclosed in <IfDefine SSL> blocks, adding

apache2_flags="-D SSL"

to /etc/rc.conf will enable them.

  • Disabling _default_ SSL Virtualhost

There’s a _default_ virtalenv defined in the ssl.conf file, and activated at the same time as the rest of the SSL config.

I didn’t find a “clean” way to disable it, and it was conflicting with my own virtualhost, so I encapsulated if between <IfDefine SSLVH> tags and it did the trick 🙂

  • Generating SSL keys

I followed a guide found on google (in French). Extremely useful.

Copied them to /usr/local/etc/apache2/ssl.key/ and /usr/local/etc/apache2/ssl.crt/

  • Updating my virtualhosts to fetch HTTPS requests

As I disabled the _default_ virtualhost, I needed to make a copy of my existing (port 80) virtualhost, and merge it with what was defined in the _default_ one.

<VirtualHost *:443>


  SSLEngine On
  SSLOptions +FakeBasicAuth +ExportCertData +StrictRequire

  SSLCertificateKeyFile /usr/local/etc/apache2/ssl.key/server.key
  SSLCertificateFile /usr/local/etc/apache2/ssl.crt/server.crt

<FilesMatch "\.(cgi|shtml|phtml|php3?)$">
    SSLOptions +StdEnvVars
    SSLOptions +StdEnvVars

SetEnvIf User-Agent ".*MSIE.*" \
         nokeepalive ssl-unclean-shutdown \
         downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0

CustomLog /var/log/httpd-ssl_request.log \
          "%t %h %{SSL_PROTOCOL}x %{SSL_CIPHER}x \"%r\" %b"

  • Open port 443 on the firewall

Almost forgot this one 🙂

Piston + HTTP Authentication + mod_FastCGI

I’ve spent much more time than necessary on this issue, so if it can help someone, I’m posting a working config for Django Piston + Apache’s mod_fastcgi + HTTP Basic Authentication.

Works with :

  • Apache 2.0.63
  • Django 1.2.3
  • Piston 0.2.2

I’ve updated the default config file found on the official Django website:

FastCGIExternalServer /project/dir/mysite.fcgi -socket /project/dir/mysite.sock -pass-header Authorization

<VirtualHost 123.456.78.9>
DocumentRoot /project/dir
Alias /media /project/dir/media
RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^/(media.*)$ /$1 [QSA,L,PT]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ /mysite.fcgi/$1 [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization},QSA,L]

tl;dr: -pass-header Authorization and [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization},QSA,L]

openpyxl turns 1.1

After two weeks of intense activity around openpyxl, I’m releasing version 1.1 today. This new version brings support for dates and number formats.

Several bugs have been fixed, thanks to the careful testing of two new contributors, Jonathan Peirce and Yaroslav Halchenko, both working on the PsychoPy project.

Thanks guys for boosting my morale, providing valuable advises and patches !

Many thanks goes to Marko Loparic for his support and enthusiasm 😉

You can get the sources for the latest version here I expect a lot of bug reports with this new version, as it is stable but not extensively tested yet, and that the number of possibilities have seriously increased with the introduction of number formatting.

Keep in mind that the memory footprint is still high, but that it is the target for milestone 1.2. It should perform reasonably well if your needs are moderate (<100.000 cells), but if you want to add more data, then it might start consuming RAM pretty quickly. This holds for writing and reading.

Memory consumption is almost linear, and a 15MB workbook results in 450MB in RAM.

There is also a new mailing list for the project: It’s pretty empty for now, but feel free to ask questions there, I’ll be reading it regularly.

Bug reports will be better handled if they are filed on the project bug tracker:

Happy coding !