Python Programming, news on the Voidspace Python Projects and all things techie.

Lococast PyCon Podcast

emoticon:development Whilst I was at PyCon (which was awesome by the way) I recorded an interview with Rick Harding from the Lococast podcast. It's a half hour ramble around topics like IronPython, testing, PyCon, working for canonical, choice of operating system and other topics. It was good fun to chat to Rick and hopefully almost as fun to listen to:

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2011-03-22 00:27:23 | |

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Sad that Python doesn't moo? A reason to be happy

emoticon:halt Further inspired by python -me I've finally solved one of the big problems that hinders adoption of Python in the corporate world. Python can now moo:

pip install oo
python -moo

This requires pygame 1.8 (or more recent) and Python 2.6 (or more recent). As with python -me, the real blame for this monstrosity rests with Georg Brandl who started the whole thing.

The script lives on PyPI if you want to download without installing.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2011-01-10 22:02:58 | |

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A Little Bit of Python: Episodes 11 to 14

emoticon:html Since I last reported on the A Little Bit of Python podcast we've produced three more episodes (but still not managed to get a proper website up). A Little Bit of Python is an occasional podcast on Python related topics with myself, Brett Cannon, Jesse Noller, Steve Holden and Andrew Kuchling.

Episode 11 is an interview I recorded with Antoine Pitrou at PyCon 2010. Antoine is a core-Python developer. As well as having done a lot of work on Python 3, Antoine is also responsible for the "new-GIL". This is a change to the Global Interpreter Lock to improve Python's performance when running multi-threaded code. In this interview we discuss core-Python development, including of course the new-GIL:

Episode 12 is a discussion on general concurrency issues. We discuss the significance of the Global Interpreter Lock (or GIL) and recent work at improving it, PEP 3148 proposing futures as a new asynchronous execution method, some recent IronPython work, and a new Python podcast.

Episode 13 is longer one; a 40 minute discussion covering topics like:

  • Python 2.7 beta 1 released.
  • PEP 3147: New bytecode directory layout.
  • Google's Summer of Code beginning.
  • SEC proposes mandating Python's use in financial filings.
  • PyCon interview: Dr Tim Couper
  • How to Fund Python Development
  • Python for Beginners: Getting started on Windows.

The episode 13 files:

Episode 14 is another interview, recorded at PyCon with Christian Tismer. Christian is a long standing member of the Python community and, amongst other things, he is the original creator of Stackless and has worked on both psyco and PyPy. In this interview we discuss all of these projects, both their history and what the future holds for them.

A Little Bit of Python has an iTunes page, an RSS feed and a Twitter account, so you have no excuse for missing it:

If you have feedback, insults or suggestions for new topics you can email us on: all@bitofpython.com.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2010-06-08 12:08:26 | |

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A Little Bit of Python: Episodes 9 and 10

emoticon:noise We're on a roll with A Little Bit of Python, with two more episodes now up. A Little Bit of Python is an occasional podcast on Python related topics with myself, Brett Cannon, Jesse Noller, Steve Holden and Andrew Kuchling.

Episode 9 is a round-table discussion of various bits of news. We discuss some (more) of the new things coming in Python 2.7 (argparse plus improvements to the unittest and ElementTree modules), some news from other implementations of Python (specifically PyPy, IronPython and Jython), and some other bits and pieces of Python related news.

Episode 10 is an interview by Andrew Kuchling with Richard Jones about the PyWeek games programming competition (the latest round has just started!) and the Pyglet games programming library.

This is the first episode put together where we recorded all the audio streams separately, so the audio quality is much better than previous episodes. It still isn't perfect but we're moving along the learning curve.

A Little Bit of Python has an iTunes page and a Twitter account, so you have no excuse for missing it:

If you have feedback, insults or suggestions for new topics you can email us on: all@bitofpython.com.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2010-03-30 18:54:52 | |

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A Little Bit of Python: Episodes 7 and 8

emoticon:test_tubes Two more episodes of A Little Bit of Python have been posted. A Little Bit of Python is an occasional podcast on Python related topics with myself, Brett Cannon, Jesse Noller, Steve Holden and Andrew Kuchling.

A little bit of Python is now listed on iTunes!

Episode 7 is a discussion of Unladen Swallow, a branch of CPython that uses the LLVM (Low Level Virtual Machine) to provide a JIT (Just-In-Time compiler) for performance improvements in Python. This episode was recorded before PyCon. Since then a couple of decisions about Unladen Swallow have been made, that were still open questions when we recorded this episode:

  • PEP 3146 has been tentatively accepted.

    With the proviso that it depends on startup time improvements, memory use reductions and further performance improvements (all discussed in the PEP), Unladen Swallow has been approved to merge with CPython. A new subversion branch, py3k-jit has been created for this purpose.

  • The version of Python that the merge targets is Python 3.3. As Python 3.2 will be out later this year it is realistically going to be about 2 years before Python with an Unladen Swallow JIT is released. This is plenty of time for the outstanding issues to be addressed and for users to test Unladen Swallow.

Episode 8 is an interview with Mark Shuttleworth recorded by Steve Holden at PyCon.

General links for the podcast feeds and a webpage with an embedded flash player:

If you have feedback, insults or suggestions for new topics you can email us on: all@bitofpython.com.

We have a twitter account, so for news on new episodes follow @bitofpython. A Little Bit of Python is also syndicated on Hacker Public Radio (although they're only up to episode two so far).

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2010-03-21 15:16:03 | |

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EuroPython 2010: Registration, Call for Papers and Call for Volunteers

emoticon:dove Planning for EuroPython 2010 is well underway. Both registration (Early Bird) and the talk submission system are open, and we need your help!

As well as the core conference itself there are tutorials before the conference, development sprints afterwards and Python Language Summit and a Python Software Foundation meeting (first one in Europe) during the conference. Confirmed speakers include Brett Cannon and Raymond Hettinger. We also have some exciting keynote speakers that have yet to be announced.

There is lots to do and we need your help! Ways you can help:

  • Come to the conference! Seriously, register now.
  • Join the EuroPython Improve Mailing List and introduce yourself
  • Submit your talk, tutorial and sprint proposals
  • If your company uses Python then they need to sponsor EuroPython. Hassle your boss today
  • Publicise EuroPython in your community

EuroPython 2010 - 17th to 24th July 2010

EuroPython is a conference for the Python programming language community, including the Django, Zope and Plone communities. It is aimed at everyone in the Python community, of all skill levels, both users and programmers.

Last year's conference was the largest open source conference in the UK and one of the largest community organised software conferences in Europe.

This year EuroPython will be held from the 17th to 24th July in Birmingham, UK. It will include over 100 talks, tutorials, sprints and social events.

Registration

Registration is open now at: http://www.europython.eu/registration/

For the best registration rates, book as soon as you can! Early Bird rate will apply until 10th May.

Talks, Activities and Events

Do you have something you wish to present at EuroPython? You want to give a talk, run a tutorial or sprint?

Help Us Out

EuroPython is run by volunteers, like you! We could use a hand, and any contribution is welcome.

Sponsors

Sponsoring EuroPython is a unique opportunity to affiliate with this prestigious conference and to reach a large number of Python users from computing professionals to academics, from entrepreneurs to motivated and well-educated job seekers.

Spread the Word

We are a community-run not-for-profit conference. Please help to spread the word by distributing this announcement to colleagues, project mailing lists, friends, your blog, Web site, and through your social networking connections. Take a look at our publicity resources:

General Information

For more information about the conference, please visit the official site: http://www.europython.eu/

Looking forward to see you!
The EuroPython Team

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2010-03-16 20:17:58 | |

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A Little Bit of Python: Episodes 5 and 6

emoticon:boxing_gloves Two more episodes of A Little Bit of Python have been posted. A Little Bit of Python is an occasional podcast on Python related topics with myself, Brett Cannon, Jesse Noller, Steve Holden and Andrew Kuchling.

Episode 5 is a round table discussion of some of the new things coming in Python 2.7. This includes a discussion of the changes coming to the logging module and distutils (with rambling side discussions at every point of course). Episode 6 is the first of a series of interviews I recorded at PyCon. This interview is with Van Lindberg, who lists amongst his achievements being the PyCon chair this year [1], being the PSF lawyer and a PSF member, and also the author of Intellectual Property and Open Source. In his spare time he works as an intellectual property lawyer. In the interview, recorded after PyCon 2010 had finished, we discuss how PyCon went, what we can look forward to in PyCon 2011 and a bit about his book and his work.

General links for the podcast feeds and a webpage with an embedded flash player:

Note

Unfortunately the audio quality in episode 5 is not great. This is because of the way we have been recording. We have one more episode recorded using the same technique, but future episodes should be higher quality.

If you have feedback, insults or suggestions for new topics you can email us on: all@bitofpython.com. We don't yet have the podcast listed on iTunes; we'll set that up once our permanent online home goes live.

We do have a twitter account, so for news on new episodes follow @bitofpython. A Little Bit of Python is also syndicated on Hacker Public Radio (although they're only up to episode two so far).

[1]I previously stated, incorrectly, that Van had been the PyCon chair for the last three years. Van was the PyCon chair in 2010 and in 2008-2009 was the sponsorship coordinator. David Goodger was PyCon chair in 2008-2009.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2010-03-11 15:19:29 | |

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A Little Bit of Python Episode 4: A Pre-PyCon Special

emoticon:bluetooth A Little Bit of Python is an occasional podcast on Python related topics with myself, Brett Cannon, Jesse Noller, Steve Holden and Andrew Kuchling.

The website is in progress and apparently nearly ready, thanks to Jesse and various other people who we will thank as soon as it is done. In the meantime, episode 4 is out. PyCon 2010 is only ten days away and it is the highlight of the year for many of us in the Python community. This episode is a pre-PyCon special where we discuss some of the things that will be happening at the conference and how to get the best out of it.

General links for the podcast feeds and a webpage with an embedded flash player:

If you have feedback, insults or suggestions for new topics you can email us on: all@bitofpython.com. We don't yet have the podcast listed on iTunes; we'll set that up once our permanent online home goes live.

We do have a twitter account, so for news on new episodes follow @bitofpython. A Little Bit of Python is also syndicated on Hacker Public Radio (although they've only released episode one so far).

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2010-02-08 00:13:48 | |

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A Little Bit of Python Episode 3

emoticon:globesearch A Little Bit of Python is an occasional podcast on Python related topics with myself, Brett Cannon, Jesse Noller, Steve Holden and Andrew Kuchling. We still don't have our own website although that is due to land any day now. Meanwhile episode 3 has just gone live. The topics covered include the Python transition to using Mercurial, the release of the first alphas of Python 2.7 and the furore caused by comments on the Python Package Index.

General links for the podcast feeds and a webpage with an embedded flash player:

If you have feedback, insults or suggestions for new topics you can email us on: all@bitofpython.com.

We don't yet have the podcast listed on iTunes; we'll set that up as soon as we have a permanent home for the podcast.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2010-01-30 21:00:06 | |

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New Year's Python Meme

emoticon:baldguy This is the blog entry I had nearly finished when I started messing around with Mock on Saturday. Started by Tarek Ziade, five short questions on you and Python in 2009 (or in this case me and Python)...

  1. What's the coolest Python application, framework or library you have discovered in 2009?

    One of the biggest things that happened in my life in 2009 was leaving Resolver Systems to become a freelance developer working for a German firm Comsulting.de. I'm still working with IronPython, but now developing web applications with Django on the server and using IronPython in Silverlight on the client. It's great fun and although I'd used both Silverlight and Django a bit previously I'm now using working with them full time.

  2. What new programming technique did you learn in 2009?

    At Resolver Systems we all took responsibility for architectural decisions. It was a great team to be part of and a great way to work. In my current project I've largely been responsible for building the application myself, although my colleague who is an excellent designer has recently been able to join me in the coding. That means I've made the architectural decisions for the application. This has stretched me and structuring large applications is something I want to explore more.

  3. What's the name of the open source project you contributed the most in 2009? What did you do?

    Well, in 2009 I became a Python core-developer and the maintainer of unittest. The work I've done on unittest is definitely the most valuable contribution to open-source in 2009. That reminds me, there are a bunch of open tickets with my name on that I really ought to be looking at instead of doing this...

    Other than that I worked on a bunch of little projects of my own.

    • Try Python

      This is probably the project I'm most proud of: a Python interpreter and tutorial that runs in the browser with Silverlight. As Silverlight comes from Microsoft, and last I heard was installed on around 30% of the world's browsers, Try Python isn't a runaway success but I think it is very cool. Moonlight is now out, so in theory the site could work on Linux machines - but there is an issue with the version of IronPython I use. Hopefully I'll get around to updating the site soon and will also add an IronPython tutorial to the Python tutorial.

    • ConfigObj

      A Python configuration file reader and writer that is easy to use but with about a gazillion extra features not found in ConfigParser. This is the most widely used code I've ever released, but I don't use it much myself these days. Thankfully it takes little maintaining, however I have done a bunch of work on version 4.7 which is just waiting for me to pull my finger out and release.

    • Mock

      A simple mocking library for testing Python code, that makes a great companion to unittest. In my day job I'm now focusing on integration testing and not doing much unit testing, so I don't use Mock as much as I used to and it hasn't got the attention it deserves. It was nice to finally add support for magic methods so that you can mock numeric types, containers and so on.

    I also wrote a lot of articles on IronPython and supporting example code to go with them.

  4. What was the Python blog or website you read the most in 2009?

    Like many of the other folk who answered these questions, I tend to keep in touch with Python news through Planet Python (in fact this year I sort of became responsible for some of the administration of the Planet when I joined the Python webmaster team). I enjoy a lot of the bloggers on the Planet and find it invaluable for keeping up to date with the Python world. There really are a lot of great bloggers contributing to the Planet so I'm only going to call out one: Jacob Kaplan-Moss. A great blogger, both fun and on the ball technically. Of course like the rest of us he needs to pull his finger out and blog more often.

    In fact in 2009 I went old school and (re)discovered the joys of IRC. I'm often on #python-dev and various other Python related channels. Twitter is also still growing and I've had a lot of fun and learned a lot from the many tech folk I follow there.

  5. What are the three top things you want to learn in 2010?

    I'd like to learn more about web programming, in particular I want to get deeper into Django (and perhaps Pinax) and properly learn Javascript. There are lots of programming languages I'd like to learn (C so I can contribute to CPython and just because it is everywhere, Haskell so I can get functional enlightenment [1], maybe F# so I can achieve the same thing but in a language that might actually be useful, Erlang because all the cool kids are doing it and it seems to have the most practical approach to concurrency of the 'modern' languages, Lisp to see what all the fuss is about and probably a load more languages). In reality I'll only learn a programming language that I actually need to use, so I think Javascript is the programming language I'm most likely to have the opportunity to really dive into. Although I've tinkered with Javascript (who hasn't) I haven't fully appreciated what it means to idiomatically program with a prototype based language so it is definitely of value.

    There are a huge number of libraries and frameworks I'd love to learn, including Twisted, multiprocessing and other web frameworks. I'd also like to do mobile application development either for the iPhone or Android. That would give me a reason to use another language, but I have to say that Objective-C is more appealing than Java.

    I doubt I'll find time to do any of this in 'hobby-time', so hopefully they'll come up in a work context. Smile

[1]Using functional programming techniques is one of my favourite Python tricks, but I still have a hard time seeing how a pure functional language can be useful for application development. The only way to get round this is to actually use one of the damn languages...

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2010-01-04 14:31:39 | |

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A Little Bit of Python (Podcast)

emoticon:development Myself and several co-conspirators have started an 'occasional podcast' on all things Python, and the first two episodes are now online. The podcast is called A Little Bit of Python and stars:

All of us are Python Software Foundation members [1], we are all (or have been) core Python developers and we're all full time programmers in one way or another (Brett is still a student and Steve does a lot of training as well as programming). We're also all talkative and argumentative, so it should be a fun series. The website (bitofpython.com) isn't up yet, so the first two episodes are available from a temporary location, but we'll setup redirects as soon as we're properly up and running:

The first three episodes cover topics like the new Python moratorium, PyCon, Python 2.7, and the great PyPI comments debate (debacle?). We'll generally be discussing anything newsworthy or of interest affecting the Python community.

Note

The podcast isn't up on iTunes. We'll do that as soon as the website is up and running.

If you want to send fan mail, hate mail, or suggestions for topics then you can already email us at: all@bitofpython.com

We're still working on the technical details, so audio quality will improve. In particular the audio of my voice is very poor in the first two episodes but should be better in the third episode that is being edited as you read this and will go up soon. We're finding our stride, both in the audio technology and in finding our feet - recording a podcast with five people makes for interesting group dynamics. Be gentle on us for these early episodes. Very Happy

Thanks to Andrew for motivating this and for handling the editing. Thanks to Jesse for doing the website work which I have every confidence will be online shortly... Wink

[1]But this is in no way an official podcast. Brett in particular wanted to make it clear that he swears a lot (although he's curbed himself so far) so it may not be suitable for minors...

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2009-12-22 16:13:11 | |

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