Tag Archives | PySIG

PySIG Notes, 26 April 2007

Thirteen attendees made it to the April meeting of the Python Special Interest Group, held as usual at the Amoskeag Business Incubator, Commercial Street, Manchester, NH on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7 PM.

Bill Sconce lead off the meeting with a printed agenda and a round of introductions. Several new people were welcomed to the group; a range of levels of experience with computers and specifically Python made for a good mixed crowd.

Martin LeDoux showed off homemade bookbinding of the Python tutorial. Using an HP laser and Adobe Acrobat, Martin printed duplex 2-up folded, cut, glued and bound a pretty handy homemade book. Very cool.

Shawn K. O’Shea showed off the tarfile module which allows creation, querying, extraction and manipulation of tar files (with gz or bz2 compression) from within Python. This can be a real handy way to create cross-platform installable packages that would run on OS X, Linux or Windows.

Shawn also mentioned that there was a Google API for the Google Calendar with examples in Python scripting. Someone asked what that might be used for, and I offered the LUG coordinator Nag-O-Matic as a great example of using automation with calendars.

Bill attempted an introduction to Python datatypes by creating a hierarchy from primitive to complex objects. Kent had an objection to the terminology, and countered with chapter 3 of the _library_ reference (not chapter 3 of the Python reference which Bill was using) and a vigorous discussion ensued. That’s the point of the meeting, after all. And it’s far less likely to erupt into a flamewar in person. All sides had some good points, examples and counterexamples, and most of us learned more about Python internals. Good stuff.

Kent started Kent’s Korner 4: Iterators and Generators at 9 PM, when the milk and cookies were starting to kick in, The crowd was a bit more subdued, having spent their energy harassing Bill (and heckling Ben, in abstentia). Iterators went quite quickly. Generators woke the crowd up. Bill Sconce came up with a great example of greenbar color code generator, where the boss decides there should be two reds, three greens, alternating and repeating, though he may change his mind once he sees it. Off-script, Kent took off with this example, and followed it with a discussion of parameter passing to a generator.

Kent really has a gift for shedding light on these sometimes obuse topics; his examples really helped make the functionality clear, and working through the real-world example proposed at the meeting gave us all some idea of what was involved.

Kent also mentioned that he’s using IPython (note the capitalization; guess it’s not an Apple product!) an improved interactive shell.

Meeting called at 9:44. Wow. Long meeting, but a very productive one. One of the attendees wrote to me this morning that he went home and altered some of his scripts based on what he learned at the meeting. No greater praise could we ask for.

Thanks to Bill Sconce for running the meeting, the Amoskeag Business Incubator for the facilities, Alex Hewitt for wrestling with the network, to Martin, Shawn and Kent for presenting, and to all for attending and participating.

Next meeting May 24th, topic TBA.

Postscript: Like the previous meetings, we saw examples running in Python on OS X, Windows (VMWare on the Mac, I think) and Linux. It Just Works.

PySIG, 22-March-2007: Project Night

An even dozen people showed up for the Python Special Interest Groups March meeting, held as usual at the Amoskeag Business Incubator in Manchester, NH.

Bill Sconce called us to order promptly at 7 PM and we proceeded through the printed agenda. It was duly noted the Ben Scott deserved heckling despite his absence. We ran through announcements of a couple of upcoming meetings, plugging the MythTV installfest beta and pointing out Jarod’s book. We mentioned meetings upcoming for the LUGs, including ZFS at DLSLUG, LVM at CentraLUG and the new Ruby group.

Kent’s Korner: Kent S. Johnson presented his month talk, this month on list comprehensions. Kent had a great handout, and has collected his past couple of handouts in one place. Starting with simple examples and building in complexity, Kent lead us through what can be an intimidating topic in a way most couple follow. Some great discussions, on-topic and off-, regarding assignment and Python idioms, always make this a fun part of the meeting.

There was some discussion of Python 3000 and its expected schedule. Bill Sconce had a video of Guido practicing his Py3K presentation in front of an audience at Google, which he went on to present at PyCon.

For the Gotcha of the month, Bill Freeman offered up an “Un-Gotcha:” a=b=4 works, but not for the reason you might think. Assignments of this style in C have a different underlying meaning, and perhaps in some circumstances, different side effects. A key to understanding the single = assignment in Python is to understand that it is a STATEMENT. There is no value associated with the statement and “chained” assignments in Python like the above are specially-coded as an exception case. This lead to yet another great discussion.

Ric Werme showed off the web pages that result from his Python software that collects and forwards weather data from his weather station. His current conditions page, http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wx/current.html has links to everything else. Ric bought the weather station in part to have an excuse to write more Python code, and his current code runs the gamut from implementing the weather station protocol through pyserial.py and the serial port to CGI scripts that take data requests, fetches the data from MySQL, creates gnuplot data files that create .gif files, and returns a HTML page to display the results. His description of the software is at http://werme.8m.net/wx/vantage_software.html .

Ric also demonstrated a Python cgi script for collecting data for a weather observers group that Todd Gross created while he was WHDH. It’s customizable, so people can create a form preloaded with their location that offer just the data they collect, and the submission code adds it to a MySQL database and recreates a web page of members reports over the previous day.

Shawn O’Shea showed off Python running in the Win32 and COM environments. Shawn does a lot of work administering and automating Windows configurations, and the COM set of interfaces can allow a lot of internal manipulation of the major applications, a big step up from the VBScripts supplied by Microsoft with some of the tools. Shawn demonstrated the canonical Hello, World with Microsoft Word, but then dug into a couple more concrete and practical examples with querying the Registry and spelunking in the IIS metabase.

Lots of interesting stuff coming up at future meetings: Martin Ledoux offered to show something on the work he’s done with amateur book-binding with pytut/pyref books. Kent has promised an update soon on his real-life experiences with Django. Ray Côté may be able to show off the new web site he used as an excuse to miss the meeting. And I’ll bet Bill will wheedle some more cookies from Janet.

Thanks to Bill Sconce for organizing, Alex Hewitt for getting the networking working, the Amoskeag Business Incubator for providing the great facilities, Janet for the awesome cookies, Kent for his great Korner, Bill Freeman for the csv module and those strange blinking white blocks, Ric Werme for demoing his weather projects, Shawn for the Win32-COM-Automation and everyone for attending and participating.

P.S. Anyone got python running on a WRT54G?

P.P.S. Tom Mosco mentioned to me that the Chicago Python group had a very long presentation on Django by the creators and also a Ruby on Rails presentation by its author. Videos can be found at here and here

PySIG: 26-Oct-2006 SciTE, meld, subversion, lambda expressions

Bill Sconce announces:

The monthly meeting of PySIG, the New Hampshire Python Special Interest Group, happens on the fourth Thursday of the month, starting at 7:00 PM. Beginners' session starts at 6:30 PM. Bring a Python question!

At this meeting we'll begin the often-requested “Python development
series”, with the specific topics of source-code differencing (using
meld – an excellent development tool in its own right, written in
Python!), how to integrate tools such as meld into the SciTE editor.
In other words, one way to start complementing and moving beyond the
interactive Python window. Time permitting, we'll demonstrate similar
integration of revision control: Subversion checkins and Subversion
diffs. Presented by Bill Sconce (recovering Eclipse user).

Kent's Korner (Module of the Month) will be lambda expressions, hosted
this month by Mr. Python, Lloyd Kvam of Venix Corp.

The full announcement can be found here

Python Special Interest Group: September 28: byte codes and TurboGears

Bill Sconce posts the news for next Thursdays Python Special Interest Group meeting in Manchester:

PySIG — New Hampshire Python Special Interest Group
Amoskeag Business Incubator, Manchester, NH
28 September 2006 (4th Thursday) 7:00 PM

PySIG meetings are seminar-style, hands on. Laptop-friendly: 'Net access, wired + wireless. Python questions, war stories, examples always welcome.Everyone is welcome. Free of charge. Free of braces.

7:00 PM: Introductions –Bill & Ted & Alex, Milk & Cookies –Ben, Janet

7:10 PM: Happenings & AnnouncementsL Python 2.5 Released! Hosstraders 5-6 October, Hopkinton…

7:15 PM: Anyone's question(s) about Python, Python Module of the Month, Favorite-Python-Gotcha contest, Topics for future meetings…

7:30 PM: Bytecode Disassembly & Reassembly, presented by Bill Sconce, In Spec, Inc., Milford NH

Bill: “An August announcement on python-announce-list caught my eye — a bytecode assembler/dissassembler for Python. Because I spent one of my former lives as project leader for a bytecode/stack-pseudomachine, JIT-compiled, commercial language I thought it'd be fun and instructive to poke into Python's pseudomachine. It was and is. This easy-to-use tool makes it easy for anyone to get a start looking at Python internals.”

Bill Sconce is co-founder and chief cookie-procurer at PySIG, teaches Python, and writes in Python as often as he can.

8:10 PM: TurboGears, presented by Lloyd Kvam, Venix Corp, Lebanon NH

Lloyd: “I am impressed with the TurboGears (TG) approach to combining data and templates. They have a 20 minute tutorial that took me an hour – I insist on trying to understand how the magic is done. TG has a very ingenious use of decorators to link templates and data.

“The result is very different from Myghty which is much more like PHP with lots of snippets that get combined any which way you like.

“I am not sure I really understand all of the tradeoffs between the TG and Myghty approaches. That could lead to some interesting discussion.”

Lloyd Kvam is a charter member of PySIG and has given a number of Python tutorials at PySIG and elsewhere.

Python Special Interest Group: July 27th, Cole Tuininga on Myghty

On the Python-Talk mailing list, Bill Sconce of the GNHLUG PySIG announces the July meeting:

“The next meeting of the New Hampshire PySIG will be one week from
tonight — the 27th of July, 7:00 PM at the usual fine place, the
Amoskeag Business Incubator.”

“Our topics will be everything that's fair game to Python, including
a report by Bill on the Northeast Linux Symposium, where Python RULED,
and a remarkable development sprint by Jeff Elkner's students.”

“Our featured speaker will be Cole Tuininga, a founding member of PySIG, who knows a lot about “other languages” as well as Python, and who will tell us about Myghty.”

Do LUGs matter? Yes!

Slashdot asks Do LUGs Still Matter?, pointing to an article by Joe Barr, writing for NewsForge. The answer for all UGs hasn’t changed: User Groups matter if they matter to you. If there’s something you want out of a LUG and you’re willing to put some effort into a LUG, amazing things can happen. Everyone knows of a LUG that’s faded: there’s a natural rhythm to LUGs like all organizations. A leader with fire in his/her belly drives the group to new heights, burns out or gets distracted, and the group declines. A new leader may emerge or the group may fade away like the Cheshire Cat, leaving nothing but an empty web page or two.

The Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group is on another power climb, not its first, nor hopefully its last. Active volunteers are running chapters in Nashua, Peterborough, Hanover, Concord and Durham. A Python Special Interest Group shares many of its members and the groups resources and gives us a presence in Manchester as well.

In the past year, member of the group were present at Linuxworld Boston, the Software Association of New Hampshire InfoeXchange annual conference, the Hosstraders ham radio swapfest, the McAuliffe annual teacher’s conference, and Software Freedom Day.

LUGs can matter as much as you want them to.

PySIG last Thursday: Jython

The Python Special Interest Group (http://www.pysig.org), a chapter of the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group (http://www.gnhlug.org) had it’s monthly meeting last Thursday at the Amoskeag Business Incubator in Manchester, NH.

Kent Johnson put on a very good presentation and demonstration of Jython, complete with working demos, sample code and handouts. Everyone from novice to journeyman practitioner walked away with a better appreciation of what Jython is (simplifying, a Python interpreter/runtime written in Java) and what it isn’t, when to use it (working in a Java environment or wanting to use Java-based library functions). Great job, Kent! I’ve posted some notes from the meeting as well as Kent’s notes to the PySIG wiki at http://www.pysig.org/pywiki/PyNotes20051027.

Nearly a dozen people attended at the Amoskeag Business Incubator (thanks to them for the free space and projector), including new attendees brought in by Bill Sconce’s recent appearance at the ACM/IEEE seminar series and from my posts to the SwaNH lists. See, PR works!

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