Using DendroPy Interoperability Modules to Download, Align, and Estimate a Tree from GenBank Sequences

The following example shows how easy it can be to use the three interoperability modules provided by the DendroPy Phylogenetic Computing Library to download nucleotide sequences from GenBank, align them using MUSCLE, and estimate a maximum-likelihood tree using RAxML. The automatic label composition option of the DendroPy genbank module creates practical taxon labels out the original data. We also pass in additional arguments to RAxML to request that the tree search be carried out 250 times (['-N', Read more [...]

Vim Regular Expression Special Characters: To Escape or Not To Escape

Vim's regular expression dialect is distinct from many of the other more popular ones out there today (and actually predates them). One of the dialect differences that always leaves me fumbling has to do with which special characters need to be escaped. Vim does have a special "very magic" mode (that is activated by "\v" in the regular expression) that makes thing very clean and simple in this regard: only letters, numbers and underscores are treated as literals without escaping. But I have never Read more [...]

Unconditionally Accepting All Merging-In Changes During a Git Merge

Merge conflicts suck. It is not uncommon, however, that you often just know that you really just want to accept all the changes from the branch that you are merging in. Which makes things a lot simpler conceptually. The Git documentation suggests that this can also be procedurally simple as well, as it mentions the "-s theirs" merge strategy which does just that, i.e., unconditionally accept everything from the branch that you are merging in: $ git merge -s theirs Unfortunately, however, running Read more [...]

The Power and Precision of Vim’s Text Objects: Efficent, Elegant, Awesome.

Vim's text objects are not only a powerful, flexible and precise way to specify a region of text, but also intuitive and efficient. They can be used with any command that can be combined with a motion (e.g., "d", "y", "v", "r"), but in this post I will be using the "c" command ("change") to illustrate them. Imagine you were on a line looked like this, with the cursor on the letter "r" of the word "dry": print "Enter run mode ('test', 'dry', or 'full')" Then, after typing "c" to start Read more [...]

Supplementary Command-History Logging in Bash: Tracking Working Directory, Dates, Times, etc.

Introduction Here is a way to create a secondary shell history log (i.e., one that supplements the primary "~/.bash_history") that tracks a range of other information, such as the working directory, hostname, time and date etc. Using the "HISTTIMEFORMAT" variable, it is in fact possible to store the time and date with the primary history, but the storing of the other information is not as readibly do-able. Here, I present an approach based on this excellent post on StackOverflow. The main differences Read more [...]

Stripping Paths from Files in TAR Archives

There is no way to get tar to ignore directory paths of files that it is archiving. So, for example, if you have a large number of files scattered about in subdirectories, there is no way to tell tar to archive all the files while ignoring their subdirectories, such that when unpacking the archive you extract all the files to the same location. You can, however, tell tar to strip a fixed number of elements from the full (relative) path to the file when extracting using the "--strip-components" option. Read more [...]

Pure-Python Implementation of Fisher’s Exact Test for a 2×2 Contingency Table

While Python comes with many "batteries included", many others are not. Luckily, thanks to generosity and hard work of various members of the Python community, there are a number of third-party implementations to fill in this gap. For example, Fisher's exact test is not part of the standard library. While Python comes with many "batteries included", many others are not. Luckily, thanks to generosity and hard work of various members of the Python community, there are a number of third-party implementations Read more [...]

Piping Output Over a Secure Shell (SSH) Connection

We all know about using scp to transfer files over a secure shell connection. It works fine, but there are many cases where alternate modalities of usage are required, for example, when dealing when you want to transfer the output of one program directly to be stored on a remote machine. Here are some ways of going about doing this. Let "$PROG" be a program that writes data to the standard output stream. Then: Transfering without compression: $PROG | ssh destination.ip.address Read more [...]

Parse Python Stack Trace and Open Selected Source References for Editing in OS X

UPDATE Nov 7, 2009: Better parsing of traceback. UPDATE Nov 4, 2009: Now passing a "-b" flag to the script opens the parsed stack frame references in a BBEdit results browser, inspired by an AppleScript script by Marc Liyanage. When things go wrong in a Python script, the interpreter dumps a stack trace, which looks something like this: $ python Calling f1 ... Traceback (most recent call last): File "", line 6, in x.f3() File "/Users/jeet/Scratch/snippets/", line Read more [...]

Neat Bash Trick: Open Last Command for Editing in the Default Editor and then Execute on Saving/Exiting

This is pretty slick: enter “fc” in the shell and your last command opens up for editing in your default editor (as given by “$EDITOR“). Works perfectly with vi. The”$EDITOR” variable approach does not seem to work with BBEdit though, and you have to:

$ fc -e '/usr/bin/bbedit --wait'

With vi, “:cq” aborts execution of the command.

Most Pythonique, Efficient, Compact, and Elegant Way to Do This

Given a list of strings, how would you iterpolate a multi-character string in front of each element? For example, given: >>> k = ['the quick', 'brown fox', 'jumps over', 'the lazy', 'dog'] The objective is to get: ['-c', 'the quick', '-c', 'brown fox', '-c', 'jumps over', '-c', 'the lazy', '-c', 'dog'] Of course, the naive solution would be to compose a new list by iterate over the original list: >>> result = [] >>> for i in k: ... result.append('-c') Read more [...]

Molecular Sequence Generation with DendroPy

The DendroPy Phylogenetic Computing Library includes native infrastructure for phylogenetic sequence simulation on DendroPy trees under the HKY model. Being pure-Python, however, it is a little slow. If Seq-Gen is installed on your system, though, you can take advantage of a lightweight Seq-Gen wrapper added to the latest revision under the interop subpackage: dendropy.interop.seqgen. Documentation is lagging, but the following examples should be enough to get started, and the class is simple and Read more [...]

Managing and Munging Line Endings in Vim

If you have opened a file, and see a bunch "^M" or "^J" characters in it, chances are that for some reason Vim is confused as to the line-ending type. You can force it to interpret the file with a specific line-ending by using the "++ff" argument and asking Vim to re-read the file using the ":e" command: :e ++ff=unix :e ++ff=mac :e ++ff=dos This will not actually change any characters in the file, just the way the file is interpreted. If you want to resave the file with the new line-ending Read more [...]

OS X Terminal Taking a Very Long Time to Start

For a week now, opening a new tab or window in OS X's Terminal application has been major palaver, sometimes taking up to a minute. CPU usage would shoot up (mostly/usually by WindowServer, but sometimes by kernel_task). It was driving me nuts. I practically live in the Terminal (or the be more accurate, Terminal + Vim), and usually spawn a new Terminal window several times in an hour for everything from using R as a calculator to opening files for viewing to actual development work. With this slow Read more [...]

Locally Mounting a Remote Directory Through a Firewall Gateway on OS X

Download and install MacFUSE. Download the sshfs binary, renaming/moving to, for example, "/usr/local/bin/sshfs". Create a wrapper tunneling script and save it to somewhere on your system path (e.g., "/usr/local/bin/"), making sure to set the executable bit ("chmod a+x"): #! /bin/bash ssh -t GATEWAY.HOST.IP.ADDRESS ssh $@ Create the following script, and save it to somewhere on your system path (e.g., "/usr/local/bin/"), making sure Read more [...]

List All Modules Provided By A Python Package

The following is an example of how to use the "pkg_resources" module (provided by the setuptools project) to compose a list of all available modules in a Python package. #! /usr/bin/env python import sys try: import pkg_resources except ImportError: sys.stderr.write("'pkg_resources' could not be imported: setuptools installation required\n") sys.exit(1) def list_package_modules(package_name): """ Returns list of module names for package `package_name`. """ Read more [...]

List All Changes from a Git Pull, Merge, or Fast-Forward

When you pull and update your local, it would be nice to easily see all the commits that you have applied in the pull. Sure you can figure it by scanning through the git log carefully, but adding the following to your '~/.gitconfig' gives you an easy way to see it in a glance: whatsnewlog = !"sh -c \"git log --graph --pretty=format:'%Creset%C(red bold)[%ad] %C(blue bold)%h%C(magenta bold)%d %Creset%s %C(green bold)(%an)%Creset' --abbrev-commit --date=short $(git symbolic-ref HEAD 2> /dev/null Read more [...]

Lazy-Loading Cached Properties Using Descriptors and Decorators

Python descriptors allow for rather powerful and flexible attribute management with new-style classes. Combined with decorators, they make for some elegant programming. One useful application of these mechanisms are lazy-loading properties, i.e., properties with values that are computed only when first called, returning cached values on subsequent calls. An implementation of this concept (based on this post) is: class lazy_property(object): """ Lazy-loading read-only property descriptor. Read more [...]

Grepping in Git: How to Search Git Repository Revisions, Working Trees, Commit Messages, etc.

To search content of all tracked files in the current working tree for a pattern: git grep To search content of all commit messages for a pattern ('-E' for extended grep): git log [-E] --grep To search content of all commit diffs for lines that add or remove a pattern ('-w' for pattern only at word boundary): git [-w] log -G To search content of entire working trees of previous revisions for a pattern: git grep $(git rev-list --all) Note that Git supports POSIX Basic Regular Expression. Read more [...]