Wednesday, July 16, 2008

pyCologne Python User Group, Cologne, Germany, July 9, Notes

The Python User Group in Cologne met at the computer centre of the University of Cologne. The meeting was attended by 16 people. German speakers might want to refer to our wiki page:

The meeting started with some introductory statements from Rex Turnbull:
  • Short talks and talks in general from everybodies work experience are very welcome at any of our meetings.
  • Klaus Bremer suggests to give a talk on Web-Applications-Development with Python at one of the next Meetings.
  • Suggestion: The call for talks and discussion-topics sent by e-mail should be earlier in advance (Now: about 2 weeks)
  • Suggestion: There should be a report about the Europython conference from the participants within the next meeting.
Rex welcomed todays new participants and as usual there was a short presentation of everyone.

Then we got down to the talks:

Creation of strange pictures using Turtle-Graphics (Günter Jantzen):

Günter gave a short introduction into Turtle-Graphics and Python's Turtle-Graphics-Module and showed us
some amazing pictures:
  • The Turtle-Graphics module is based on Tkinter
  • The drawing scheme uses the model of a turtle which can advance forward and turn about a certain angle. While moving it draws a line.
  • Günter showed some graphics which based on a spiral drawing pattern.
  • He discussed the problem that float values can get inexact for certain big numbers and exponents. This problems are visible within the graphics and can be solved by using the modulo function.
The sources can be found at

The Hotwire-Shell (Michael Kesper):

Michael gave an introduction into the Hotwire-Shell, a modern, object-oriented shell.
  • Hotwire-Shell is written in Python and features a graphical user-interface.
  • Usual commands like "ls" and "cat" are available. The difference to a normal shell is the presentation of the result within a type specific view. (a directory-listing or a scrollable text-file-browser)
  • Results of previous commands are stored and can be used as input for the next command. (Dynamic creation of a pipeline.)
  • Hotwire-Shell supports various languages as command languages. e.g. Python
  • It can be downloaded at

Information about Open-Source activities around Cologne (Thomas Richter):

Thomas informed us about open-source activities within the region of Cologne:
  • There is a collaboration of several User-Groups to get support from the City of Cologne. The idea is that the City of Cologne could provide facilities like rooms for user-group activities (Support of cultural activities is a municipial task.)
  • Cooperation with the "Kölner-Freiwilligen-Agentur" has been established. Members of this organization offer their own spare time for activities to help other people or to support social projects.
  • On 6th of september there will take place an event of the City of Cologne where the idea of a "House for free software" will be presented.
  • There was some discussion for possibilities to cooperate with companies and organizations.

Further announcements:
  • 20th of september: Software-Freedom-Day
  • 8th to 22th of october: Linux-Congress of the GUUG (German Unix Users Group) in Hamburg with the stress on kernel development.
The next meeting will be held on, Wednesday, August, 13th.

The minutes of the meeting in German language can be found here.

Like usual we enjoyed the rest of the evening in our usual italian restaurant having food, drinks and friendly conversation.

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