Monday, July 30, 2007

Notes from the SoCal Piggies meeting on July 25th

We had our monthly SoCal Piggies meeting at Caltech on July25th, hosted graciously by Prof. Dr. Titus Brown. In attendance, for the last time as a SoCal Piggie, was also Dr. Daniel Arbuckle, with his title freshly obtained from the Comp. Sci. dept. at USC. Daniel is moving to New Hampshire, so who knows, maybe the Python community there will come up with a PIG.

The first presentation we had was from Diane Trout, who talked about Jabber and demo-ed a few Jabber bots she wrote. Diane is running her own Jabber server, and she wanted a way to be notified when long-running jobs have been completed, or when a system's CPU/load/memory/etc went over a certain threshold. Jabber bots to the rescue. Diane showed us how easy it is to write a bot using the xmpppy library (she appropriately named her bot BenderJab.)

Diane also entertained us with an Eliza/Alice-type bot that I blogged about already.

Michael Carter, our second presenter, talked about his Orbited project. To use some buzz-generating keywords, Orbited is a Web 3.0 application based on Comet and using HTTP push techniques. You can download Michael's PPT presentations from here, but the basic idea is that the browser 'subscribes' to certain events, and the server pushes data related to those events to the browser. The first demo that Michael showed us used this technology to create a simple chat application. The chat participants used their browser to send messages to one another, and the message appeared in all browser windows tuned to the chat. BTW, if this is familiar to Google Chat users, it's because Google uses the Comet technology in their chat app. Orbited is pretty mind-boggling, and the sky seems to be the limit in regards to the things you can do with it. You can pretty much control a browser remotely by seding it commands, either in raw javascript, or in a DSL of your choice. Think Selenium RC! I'll have to mull over it a bit and see what kind of uses I can find. In any case, please check out the Orbited project and send Michael your feedback at Michael.Carter at -- he's very interested in it.

Pizza was excellent as usual, and we had fun incidents, also as usual, so all in all it was a very pleasant way to spend an evening. If you are a Python enthusiast in the Los Angeles area, please consider participating in our next meeting.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Omaha Python Users Group Meeting, Aug 1 @ 7pm

The Omaha Python Users Group meets the First Wednesday of the Month.
* August 1, 2007 - 7pm
* Lightning Talks
* Group Flyers
* Possible Group Project?
* Group Q and A session

Clancy's East
7128 Pacific Street (72nd & Pacific)
Omaha, NE

It's Clancy's -- so food and drink will be available.

Door Prize(s)?:
* Python Pocket Reference, 3rd Edition

See for more information.

Monday, July 16, 2007

July '07 ChiPy Meeting

Last Thursday's ChiPy meeting for July went pretty well. Brian Ray hosted. Ian Bicking demoed lxml, his current, "favorite xml library for Python." I demoed the concurrent goodness of ipython1, and Karl led a open ended discussion on Django apps that led to a discussion of web frameworks, and a bunch of other stuff. All in all, a good meeting.

Friday, July 13, 2007

ANN: Omaha Python Users Group Meeting Notes, July 12, 2007

July 12, 2007
The meeting opened up with lots of interesting rumors, speculation and general kibitzing about Google's plans for the new CB location. Who knows for sure -- but lots of fun in the mean time.

Jeff gave a presentation on Crunchy ( Talk about a gee whiz app. We poked at it with sticks and xkill ( to figure out how/who had control of the tkinter/wx/gtk windows.

The graphics capabilities brought out some questions about graphing packages available to Python. Jeff recalled a recent blog entry by Fuzzyman a.k.a Michael Foord ( about him looking for a graphing package to use with IronPython (
A bit of googling and gnuplot ( was found.

Next was a question about xml parsers from someone new to Python and while no one was definitive, we suggested that they look at elementtree ( and lxml (

The conversation then drifted towards web development. We had a java programmer in the group who has been recently been using Django ( and is becoming enamored with Python. We gabbed about storm ( and news about how the TurboGears had started implementing TG2 (
as an abstraction on top of Pylons ( There was also talk of mod_wsgi ( and how it is different than mod_python ( Jeff shared a little bit about mod_wsgi's embedded and daemon modes he had picked up from Graham's recent blog entry (

The talk then veered in to lambda ( and the java types whispered "anonymous" <g> This quickly veered in to discussion on how binding ( operates, which lead to
an impromptu demonstration of passing a function as an argument to a function and how you assign a function to a dictionary element.

>>> def f(x):
... return x*x
>>> print f(2)

>>> def g(fn,x):
... return apply(fn,[x])
>>> g(f,2)

>>> d={}
>>> d['foo']=f
>>> print d['foo'](2)

As the meeting came to a close, we decided to change the meeting time from the 2nd Thursday of the month to the 1st Wednesday of the month. In the case that a holiday coincides with or is immediately adjacent to that day, the meeting will be held 1 week later on the second Wednesday. There was also a motion to move the meeting location and two locations were put up for consideration:

* Scooter's Java Express @ 120th and Blondo
* Student Union @ UNO's campus, 60th and Dodge

We will investigate these two locations and report back to the list for a vote by early next week.

Brad S. won the Door Prize of "Python in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition". Tom never contacted us to pick it up so he lost out from last month. Sorry Tom.

Thanks and appreciation to Jay and Reboot The User for donating the meeting space and Dundee Media & Technology, Inc. for the pizza and pop.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ChiPy, Chicago Python Users Group meets this Thursday

Chicago Python User Group

There is no minute like the last one! Come join us for our best
meeting ever! Bring a friend.


* Ian Bicking demos lxml.html, a library for parsing and manipulating
* Chris McAvoy demos ipython1, an extension to the popular ipython
shell that makes writing distributed applications easy. Who needs
* Carl: Lead open discussion on Portable Django Components


Barry Quadrangle Party Room in Lakeview

849 W. Barry


Barry Quad is located close to the El: Brown, Purple, and Red line
stop at Belmont. If taking the EL, take Belmont 1/2 block west to
Sheffield turn left (south) on Sheffield, walk two blocks South to
Barry, turn Left on Barry, its on the right side of street (south)
about 3/4 of the block. If you get to Walgreens, you went too far.

Metered parking may sometime be found on the East end of Barry or on
Halsted or Sheffield.

Hit #66 on the buzzer at the entrance. Walk to the back of courtyard
and then left to the entrance. Down the stairs and the party room is
there. Call 773 835 9876, if you need help getting in. If you
remember to do so, please RSVP (

Food and drinks will be served and your welcome to bring your own.

An optional donation of $5 will help me cover cost for the room and


* Find a projector (Carl is looking into this)
* Find a WIFI provider (Brian R is looking into this) It is possible
we will not have WIFI so bring presentations local.

About ChiPy

ChiPy is a group of Chicago Python Programmers, l33t, and n00bs.
Meetings are held monthly at various locations around Chicago.
Also, ChiPy is a proud sponsor of many Open Source and Educational
efforts in Chicago. Stay tuned to the mailing list for more info.