Tag Archives | GNHLUG

Notes for CentraLUG, 7-June-2010: Wikis

The topic of the month is Wikis. “Wiki Wiki!” is Hawaiian for “quick, quick!” and is a pattern of presenting a read-write web site. There are more variations and implementations than grains of sand in the universe. but we’ll look at a couple of them, specifically:

We’ll talk a little bit about the range of markup languages, the technology behind the wiki, the social and community aspects of how a wiki works (or doesn’t), and how Free/Open Source has played into the success of wikis.

Recommended Reading: “The Wiki Way, Quick Collaboration on the Web” by Ward Cunningham (inventor of the wiki) and Bo Leuf, Addison-Wesley, 2001, ISBN 0-201-71499-X and http://wiki.org/. We’ll have a copy there for your browsing.

Comments from other members suggest we might also want to look at:

MindTouch (http://sourceforge.net/projects/dekiwiki/)

Wekkid https://launchpad.net/wikkid

Wikipedia’s entry on Wikis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki_software and

a list of software with comparisons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wikis

and http://www.wikimatrix.org/

My most active Wiki experience: http://fox.wikis.com (Not open source, either in implementations nor base language).

Notes from Python SIG, 27 May 2010

The May meeting of the New Hampshire Python Special Interest Group was planned as an informal chat, and there was no dearth of topics! We met as usual (the fourth Thursday of the month) at the Amoskeag Business Incubator (http://www.abi-nh.com) in Manchester, from 7 – 9 PM. Seven people attended the meeting.

We had a demonstration of a prototype of a video bulletin board system to be used for the community TV channel in Pepperell, MA. It was using a Python script to drive displays including slides in OpenOffice.org Impress and videos played in VLC. Interesting libraries in use include shlex for parsing command lines and a graphics library whose name I missed to generate the “crawler” at the bottom of the screen.

We discussed the licensing issues with video and audo codecs and the solution that’s provided by Fluendo.

We looked at the new photography management application Shotwell included in the most recent Fedora and Ubuntu distributions. Shotwell is written in the new Vala language that “aims to bring modern programming language features to GNOME developers without imposing any additional runtime requirements and without using a different ABI compared to applications and libraries written in C” and Bill noted another derivative language, Genie, which has a style far more similar to Python. (You wondered what all this had to do with Python, didn’t you?)

We looked for some solutions for accessing the output of Java classes from within a Python application., citing pages like this and discussing the pros and cons of the solutions available. We’re looking forward to a future meeting where we get a report on how it comes up.

As always, a good time was had by all. Thanks to Janet for yummy chocolate chip cookes and frosted brownies. Thanks to the Amoskeag Business Incubator for the use of the facilities, to Bill for organizing and moderating the meeting. and thanks to all for attending participating.

Git presentation, CentraLUG, 3 May 2010

The Central New Hampshire Linux User Group will meet at its usual place and time, NHTI Library, Room 146, 7 PM – 9 PM. Directions can be found at http://wiki.gnhlug.org/twiki2/bin/view/Www/NHTILibrary.

In keeping with the tradition of 3-letter presentations (CSS, Vim, SQL, er, HTM), I’ll talk abut Git, the distributed version control system. Git was originally developed by Linus Torvalds for the Linux kernel and is licensed under GPL2. It’s become popular in Rails development as well, especially with the hosted site GitHub.com. Similar to Mercurial [Updated link, Ed.] or Bazaar, Git is a DVCS – a distributed (or Decentralized) version control system or revision control system. DVCSes introduce an easier way to work on shared project. We’ll talk about how DVCSes work and Git in particular, look at some of the available references, handy cheatsheets, and sites to host your DVCS.

As always, we’ll have some time for introductions, job postings, folks looking for work, questions and hopefully answers.

Hope to see you there.

Some additional links, besides the ones I posted to the announcement above:

Scott Chacon is the authority on Git. Check out his book, his tweets, his online reference, his PDF, and Why Git Is Better Than X.

The Git wiki is a good source of reference materials.

A great diagram and discuss about using git branches in a real development and production environment.

PySIG notes, 25-Feb-2010: CSS

Six people braved miserably wet weather to attend the February meeting of the Python Special Interest Group, held as usual on the fourth Thursday of the month at the Amoskeag Business Incubator.

We had a brief set of introductions and announcements of upcoming meetings. We hope to host a discussion of PyCon 2010 presentations by PySIG members next month; details to be worked out, stay tuned.

I’ve seen this presentation seven times and I think this was the best. Along with the Introduction to CSS, I added a “sneak peek” preview of HTML5 and CSS3 and discussed the support (finally!) for CSS 2.1 in Internet Explorer 8 and how that meant the leading browsers all had support for some intriguing features as outlined in the SitePoint book, “Everything You Know About CSS is Wrong!” There was lots of give and take with the audience, and a few side trips off-script to cover an issue someone wanted to know more about, and a war story or two. Ben Scott was heckled in abstentia.

Slides can be found at http://www.tedroche.com/Present/2010/css/css.html.

Thanks to Bill for arranging and promoting the meeting, to the Amoskeag Business Incubator for the fine facilities, to Laura and the Hopkinton High girls basketball team fundraiser for the M&M cookies, and to all who attended and participated.

Notes from Python Special Interest Group, 20-Nov-2009

Eight people attended the Python Special Interest Group, held a week early to avoid the Thanksgiving holiday. Anticipate a reschedule December meeting as well.

Last night’s meeting was a vigorous and far-reaching discussion of MySQL, Oracle, the future of MySQL, Maria DB, OpenOffice.org automation using Python, OpenOffice.org automation using Visual FoxPro, Twisted, IE6, Zope, Plone, Django, MS SQL Server, pyodbc, SQLAlchemy, Cascading Style Sheets, IE6, FireFox and FireBug, User Agents, IE6, how not to insulate a bungalow roof, the (Python!) cssparse module (http://cthedot.de/cssutils/), Fortune’s selection of Steve Jobs as “CEO  of the Decade”, Lenovo netbooks and Ubuntu, the Millennium, why calendar years are one-based and not zero-based, distributed version control systems, master-slave and master-master replication using MySQL and Postgres, svn and git, and more! Whew! You should have been there!

Thanks to Bill for organizing the meeting, to all for attending and participating, and to the Amoskeag Business Incubator for providing the great facilities!

Stay tuned for an announcement of the December meeting, and hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving!

NHRuby, 17 September: Games in Ruby

The New Hampshire Ruby / Rails Group announces the topic of their September meeting: Games. It sounds like the games are just an excuse for us to have problems to solve by actually writing code in Ruby. Not a bad idea — trick us into coding by having fun? Radical.

Notes from Python Special Interest Group, 27-August-2009

Twelve folks attended the August meeting of the Python Special Interest Group, one of the most active chapters of the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group. The meeting was held on the regular night, the fourth Thursday of the month at the Amoskeag Business Incubator in Manchester, gathering at 6:30 with the formal meeting starting at 7 PM.

I gave the usual pitch about the GNHLUG, checking the calendars for upcoming meetings, joining the announcement mailing lists for low-traffic meeting announcments, or the GNHLUG and PySIG discussion list for slightly-higher traffic but high-quality technical discussions, and mentioned some of the upcoming meetings. I also reminded members that user group discounts are available from many of the book publishers, and that if they are interested in reviewing a recently released book, I can request one through the user group program.

Software Freedom Day is coming up September 19th, and Arc will be running an event in Manchester. Keep an eye on the mailing list for further details.

Mark talked about his monthly Tech Talk presentations in at the Lawrence Library in Pepperell, MA (next meeting, September 30th), and his Tech Talk newsletter. Mark is doing a great job getting the word out there and spreading the message about Free/Open Source to non-technical folks. He’s also tried to get a hearing about Open Source in his local schools, but without much luck. Mark also pointed out the new Full Circle magazine Issue 27, which starts a tutorial series on Python.

Arc Riley gave a quick demo of Crunchy, a python-based local web server for serving Python tutorials. Looks neat.

Arc talked about the Python Software Foundation and the Google Summer of Code and also here. The project Arc mentored helped to develop the 3to2 program for rolling back code written for Python 3 to run in Python 2.x. While the code is still in an alpha state, it successfully performs a lot of the conversion needed, and will continue as a framework for the final product. Arc managed the GSOC for the PSF. The Python Software Foundation had the second largest number of sponsored GSOC projects (Apache was #1) and most were completed successfully. Thanks to Arc for a lot of hard work this summer!

Kent S. Johnson talked about itertools. Itertools provides a simple way to represent and manipulate large sequences of numbers without the necessity to consume large memory and CPU resources with creating the entire sequence before iterating over the sequences. Starting with some simple examples of arrays and lists, sequences and generators, Kent built up examples (with some contributions from Bill Freeman) into a more complex problem that illustrated why itertools is so handy. Well done!

Bruce Labitt is almost single-handedly responsible for keeping the pysig mailing list going this summer. Bruce talked about the work he’s doing with intensive calculations and huge arrays. Bruce is building some complex simulations of radio waveforms and calculating various aspects of the radio waves for regulatory compliance. He’s using Python and NumPy and other libraries to generate test data and simulations, and interfacing common PCs with some supercomputing facilities for the heavy number-crunching. Very interesting talk.

Thanks to Bill Sconce for organizing the meeting, to Mark, Arc and Bruce for presenting, to Janet for the awesome cookies, to the Amoskeag  Business Incubator for the great facilities, and to all for attending and participating.

More links from NHRuby.org’s August dinner meeting

I was finally able to decode some of the scrawling notes I took at the NHRuby.org August dinner meeting, and found a couple more resources worth looking at. With our theme of “Where’d you learn that?” I’d recommend you check out these resources:

Dave Thomas, co-author of the original Pragmatic Programmer and proprietor of the same-named shop, has a series of videos called “The Ruby Object Model and Metaprogramming” that one attendee thought was well worth watching.

Another recommendation was to check out Topher Cyll’s book, “Practical Ruby Projects: Ideas for the Eclectic Programmer” for some interesting insights into Ruby.

Notes from NH Ruby group, 20-Aug-2009, “Where’d you learn that?”

Eight folks enjoyed an excellent dinner at The Rosa Restaurant. We had a private room upstairs where we could woot and yell over each other and tell geek jokes without inhibitions, not that that has ever stopped us before.

Nick Plante mentioned Rails Rumble coming up this weekend. Watch for some incredible apps coming from the Rumble. Can’t wait to see the winners.

Adam Bair brought along two books, Kent Beck’s “Smalltalk Best Practice Patterns” (ISBN 978-0134769042) and Martin Fowler’s “Refactoring” (978-0201485677). Adam credit both books as being very helpful for his practice in the past several years where he has had to refactor a lot of code in rescuing lower-quality Rails projects.

Adam also mentioned an inspirational presentation by Marcel Molina, Jr. at Ruby Hoedown 2007 called “Beautiful Code” (http://rubyhoedown2007.confreaks.com/session09.html) – Adam recommends the higher quality videos as they include video/slides side by side – and also browsing much of the confreaks.com site for some great videos.

Russ talked about Peepcode videos (http://peepcode.com), which he really appreciates. In particular, he mentioned the most recent, Advanced Command Line, helped him debug an unusual problem he was having with one remote client whose shell behaved incorrectly. He’s used inspiration from that video to reconfigure the way he uses his shell. Russ also mentioned Ryan Bates “RailsCasts” (http://railscasts.com/) as very useful, and in particular, thought that the three part series on forms (link updated; thanks, Russ!) changed the way he developed Ruby apps.

I talked a little bit about “The Well Grounded Rubyist” (ISBN 979-1933988658) by David Black, which has helped me fill in some of the background of how and why Ruby behaves the way it does. I also passed around Jason Clinton’s “Ruby Phrasebook” which is a handy book of recipes on how an experienced Rubyist is likely to solve common problems like parsing config files or processing XML.

Nick mentioned that he’s using the unix screen command to do screen-sharing for remote pair-programming and you could see the lightbulbs go off over people’s heads (“That’s my payoff for tonight!” one attendee exclaimed.) He’s also working with EC2 instances and is fired up over how simple and powerful they are. Nick promised a followup, perhaps a demo at a future NHRuby meeting, and Casey mentioned that there’s someone local who’s been doing demos on the Amazon Web Services offerings – we hope to come up with some contact info and see if we can schedule a presentation.

The group also talked about how, as a group, we might contribute to one particular open source project. A couple of ideas were batted around. I look forward to hearing more about this idea.

The night’s theme was “How do you know that?” and I asked about how people are keeping up on all the news about what’s happening. We didn’t really come up with a list of links or blogs or news sites, so if you think of any now (or have your bookmarks handy for sharing), I’d appreciate you passing them on and I’ll include them in the meeting notes.

Thanks all, for a fun dinner amongst friends and some inspiring ideas!

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