Saturday, December 22, 2007

pyCologne Python User Group, Cologne, Germany, Dec 12, Notes

The Python User Group in Cologne usually meets at the computer centre of the University of Cologne. The meetings are attended by about 15 people. German speakers might want to refer to our wiki page:

Reimar Bauer talked about the Google Highly Open Participation Contest™ for students which involves tasks for the Python-Project, Plone and MoinMoin. After 100 new tasks have been added recently, the Python project now features more than 250 tasks.

Talk proposals and requests for future pyCologne meetings:
  • Talk about MoinMoin (proposed by Thomas Richter
    and to be held by Reimar Bauer)
  • Talk about the Publisher/Subscriber-Pattern (Observer-Pattern) (proposed and to be held by Christopher Arndt)
  • A general introduction into design-patterns (advantages and disadvantages, different types, example: Singleton-Pattern) by Stefan Pielicke
  • A talk about the Composite-Pattern and its use-cases e.g. parsing/matching by Ralf Schönian
  • Selected advanced topics from an introductory course into Python (Iterators, Generators, Lambda, Sets, function-parameters with *, **) by Rebecca Breu
This post is closely based on the minutes of the meeting taken by Rebecca Breu. The original German text can be found here.

Monday, December 10, 2007

pyCologne Python User Group, Cologne, Germany, Dec 12, Announcement

The next meeting of pyCologne will take place

Wednesday, December, 12th
starting about 6.30 pm - 6.45 pm
at Room 1.08 , 1st floor, Benutzerrechenzentrum (RRZK-B)
University of Cologne, Berrenrather Str. 136, 50937 Köln, Germany

  • Short introduction to design-patterns (Stefan Pielicke)
  • A Talk about the Composite Pattern (Ralf Schönian)
  • Selected topics from an introductory course into Python (Rebecca Breu)
From about 8.30 pm we will enjoy the evening in a nearby restaurant or visit one of Cologne's christmas markets to enjoy the mulled wine.

Further information including directions how to get to the location can be found at: (Sorry, this page is in German only)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

pyCologne Python User Group, Cologne, Germany, Nov 14, Notes

The Python User Group in Cologne usually meets at the computer centre of the University of Cologne. The meetings are attended usually by about 15 people. People speaking German might want to refer to our Wiki-Page:

After welcoming and introducing the new participants Klaus Bremer, Thomas Wittek and Vidar Andersen, we got down to the main topics of the evening:

A decision was taken for our future logo. It has been selected by internet vote from several proposals. It will be fine-tuned by the creator and then published.

Possible topics for the following meetings were discussed . Among them MoinMoin 1.6, Python 3.0, Coding-Styles and corresponding tools, the editor vi(m) and Eclipse's PyDev.

In our series "My favourite editor" Rebecca Breu introduced the emacs-editor and its Python capabilities:
  • excellent navigation, especially using the keyboard
  • python-mode providing code-completion
  • independend from the programming language
  • stack for copy and paste
  • code templates
  • highly customizable
Furthermore, pyCologne celebrated its 1st year anniversary which led to a review of what happened and possible activities in the future:

Review: 13 meetings, 4 different locations, an average of 14.42 participients, 21 presentations, 12 lecturers

Future activities and wishlist:
  • More discussion within the meetings
  • There is the wish for a better room. Although the room provides beamer, internet connection and is free of charge, it is not feasible for discussions (several rows of computer desks)
  • Discussion about financing a better room, activities or advertising.
  • Establish cooperation with the city of cologne and schools
  • Organisation of Sprints or a Python-Camp
Like usual the formal part was followed by socialising and having pizza, beer and other refreshments in a near restaurant.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Omaha Python Users Group, Dec 5, Notes

Burch has arranged for us to meet at Rosken's Hall on the University of Nebraska at Omaha's campus. Watch for more specific details to follow on the mail list and on the website.

Jeff gave a presentation/overview of functional programming in Python

Eli talked about:
  • Google's MapReduce - a software framework implemented by Google to support parallel computations over large (greater than 100 terabyte) data sets on unreliable clusters of computers.
  • HardOCP - Hadoop implements MapReduce, using the Hadoop Distributed File SystemHDFS) MapReduce divides applications into many small blocks of work.
  • glusterfs - a clustered file-system capable of scaling to several peta-bytes.

Jeff gave a short presentation on anecdotes about optimizing Python code.
  1. Premature speed optimizations are the root of all evil
  2. Enhanced readability is an optimization
  3. Follow pep8 and use structured code you get an automatic speed up by just keeping your name spaces clean and local
  4. Know where your code is spending it's time and optimize their first when in doubt, optimize the inner loop first
  5. Remove the dots - short circuit lookup intensive operations. i.e. _lstappend = lst.append
  6. Check out shedskin although it can compile entire programs, it is perhaps most useful at speeding up a targeted area of code. ShedSkin makes writing an extension module very simple see "optimize the inner loop first"

We enjoyed some decent pizza and shop talk between talks.

The door prize, "Python in a Nutshell" was won by Burch. A big Thank You to O'Reilly for the door prizes at our meetings. Thanks to you to Marsee!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Omaha Python Users Group, Nov 7, Notes

This month's meeting revolved around parallelism, python in the workplace and podcasts. We talked about Parallel Python and attempts at applying it to the NetFlix Prize contest. Jeff gave an impromptu overview on how python is used in his workplace. There was a demo of icepodder, a dolphin safe podcast client written in python.

There was also talk about the number of linux distros that are using python. Ubuntu, Red Hat's Anaconda installer, and Gentoo's Portage package manager.

MIT is using Python for it's core EE/CS programs.

Chad was talking about gOS which has been getting a lot of press lately.

Rich won the door prize of "Python in a Nutshell" courtesy of O'Reilly. Thanks for your support!

If you missed this month's meeting we look forward to seeing you next month. Check the groups website @ for meeting details and how to join the mailing list.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

new IRC channel for Python North West

There is now a #python-north-west IRC channel on, run with a Python bot called "Phenny" (very easy to install). It seemed to be fairly popular, with people logging in literally minutes after I posted the announcement, some even "new faces" and lurkers who didn't come forward on the list. It's yet another way to spread the message, I guess, and it seems to be very low-maintenance; lots of people in the FOSS world are on freenode already.

On a different note, the Facebook group is not really taking off at all. I wonder if it's really worth it to reach out to "social networking" sites... I created the group on FB mainly as a pointer to the mailing list, but I still expected more people to nominally join.

England North-West 2nd meeting - Michael Sparks on "Greylisting with Kamaelia"

The main talk for the second meeting of the Python North-West group was Michael Sparks on "Greylisting with Kamaelia".

Michael works for the BBC R&D dept., and developed Kamaelia as a Python framework to build applications that can easily implement parallellism and concurrency. He demonstrated how he used Kamaelia components to build an antispam device to "greylist" servers, refusing mail from servers which won't bother re-sending email after a short delay. Kamaelia is completely open-source, contributions are very welcome, and the project is still very active (despite the apparent lack of updates to the main page, which is entirely due to developers being busy!). Slides from the presentation are available on SlideShare and also in the group Files, as ODP.

Michael also demonstrated some Python features like closures and generators, that people often mention; it was extremely useful to see these techniques used in the field, for once, and not just described as some abstract tool. I'll try to do something similar next time I have to give a talk, it's the sort of "practical advocacy" that people really understand intuitively.

Strangely enough, we had similar attendancy numbers as last time, but I was the only one to attend both times. Is this a good thing? The list keeps growing, even though it's gone a bit quiet of recent; I hope it's just the fact that, being november, people are busy at work.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Omaha Python Users Group, Oct 3, Notes

The gathering stayed strong again this month with 2 new people joining in the fray. A presentation on mod_python, publisher and psp was given while pizza was eaten. (Funny thing about having good pizza in an Irish pub)

Talk then went on about using python in sysadmin tasks and then on to how best to setup some massive home storage. GlusterFS , ZFS and NFS. We all seem to have a need for terra type storage

A copy of "The Python Cookbook" was handed out to the winner of the door prize (Thanks O'Reilly)

After the meeting a social hour(s) ensued with wild eyed talk of google phones and grand central.

We look forward to seeing old friends and new faces at the next meeting. Details are on the website, .

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Notes on the first Python North-West meeting

Well, I think it went ok.

Attendance was slightly lower than expected, but it's entirely my fault: the date clashed not just with a (very active) BSD user-group, but also with another OSS event and even a Manchester United home game (which means: terrible traffic as the multitudes move to Old Trafford, and people staying at home/local pub to watch the game). We ended up being 5 (17% of the list members), I expected 2-3 more. Better luck next time, eh!

My presentation about Django (which I uploaded to the Files section of the group page ) seemed well-received, and understood enough to be the conversation-starter which was meant to be. Skills in the group are different enough that it's not going to be a web-only thing.

People seemed happy to make this a regular event... there's another speaker in the pipeline which I hope will be available in two weeks, so that we can set on a fortnightly schedule; this should reduce the odds that we'll clash with other events in the long run. I warmly welcomed all suggestions about people who would/could speak, and I'll try to follow up as soon as possible. If I can't find anyone, I'll try to have a social event anyway and see what happens.

I posted to the group list thanking the attendants and pointing to the presentation... maybe I should also try to write down a couple of other points we discussed, to kickstart conversation and increase interest in the next meeting, but I don't want to sound too fanboyish... so I'll better wait a couple of days and then, if the list is silent, I'll post.

The room was very good. The people at Manchester Digital Development Agency were very kind and helpful and provided everything we needed (and more). I suggest people investigate if similar "public" organizations exist in their cities/towns (make that tax money work for you!).

All in all, it was a good experience. Next time, I'll make sure I stay away from football games (as much as possible) and I'll advertise the free nibbles!

Friday, September 21, 2007

September Cambridge Python Podcasts and Slides, Wing IDE 3.0 and Development

(Cambridge Python Interest Group, September Meetup)

Stephan Deibel and John Ehresman, the owners Wingware and developers of Wing IDE, gave a talk on the latest version of Wing and it's Development. Wing IDE is arguably the most advanced python development IDE in existence. The talk consisted of two parts, a detailed demo of the new Wing 3.0, and a very open discussion about running a business and the development of Wing.

The Demo
We were not able to get video of the demo, but if you would like to see the previous version of the software there is a screencast instructional video which I highly recommend. Stephan and John use Wing to develop Wing, and as such are just as hungry for any features which will streamline and take the pain out of development. There were many key features covered in detail during the demo two of which deserve special mention.

1. The Probe Debugger
Wing comes with a debugger which at first looks like every other introspective debugger on the market. What you might overlook is the python shell prompt which has the local context of what ever breakpoint, or stack level you currently have selected. You can inspect, evaluate, and change the values of the selected scope in this shell! clicking up or down the stack will immediately switch the context of the shell. So will moving to the next breakpoint. There was no lag or waiting. Oh, and the shell has auto completion local to it's context.

2. Unit Test Integration
New in 3.0, WingIDE is python unit test aware. you can run tests from the ide with the press of a button. Individual tests failures and output are all integrated. Expanding the test tree, you can see which tests failed and where. You can select a failure, have the code come up, set a breakpoint, and then re-run only that single test failure, and have it come up in the debugger. This combined with the probe debugger will change the way you think about your projects.

Developing Wing
Stephan and John were very open and frank about their experiences starting a company, and developing a product which some people view more as a religion than a tool. In the second half of the talk they discuss the development process, open source, multi-threading verses asynchronous, developing for multiple platforms, and listening to the users.

Podcasts and Slides
I arrived late to the talk, and rushed to get the sound equipment set up. As a result I forgot to turn on the amplifier. I have attempted to boost the gain on the files, but they are still very soft. There is a fair amount of line noise due to this, and many of the audience questions are lost, but Stephan (who was wearing the microphone) can be heard clearly.

(Sorry we do not yet have ogg versions)
  • Cambridge Python Meetup, Sept 19th - Wing IDE 3.0 (mp3, ogg)
  • Cambridge Python Meetup, Sept 19th - Wingware Development (mp3, ogg)
  • Cambridge Python Meetup, Sept 19th - Wingware- Slides (tar, online)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Texas Unconference Over, Next DFW Pythoneers Meeting This Saturday

=== Texas Python Unconference ===

For those who didn't make it to Houston last weekend, the first Texas Python Unconference went very well. On Saturday we had at peak 44 attendees and on Sunday 12 attendees. You can see a group photo at:

It was a single track of presentations with roughly 16 talks, a few of which made their slides available at:

There was lots of interesting conversation over lunches and dinners as well as in the breaks. My thanks to the University of Houston for hosting us with a great presentation facility (and generously providing snacks/drinks), Robin Friedrich for event coordination/MC, Josten Ma for getting us into the University and coordinating and the good folks at Enthought for springing for pizza during lunch (if I've overlooked a contribution, my sincere apologies).

I would encourage other regions of Python users to hold their own unconferences, which require much less work that a formal conference. You are welcome to make use of the wiki above - just create a folder off of the root for your region.

=== 4th Saturday Meeting of the DFW Pythoneers ===

This Saturday in Dallas we have our 4th Saturday meeting at, at the usual 2 PM until 5 PM. If there is interest, I can repeat two of my Houston talks; a demonstration of how to program the TuxDroid to talk, wave and dance about, and a code walkthru of a simple program that uses the VPython (visual python) framework to animate simple geometric shapes (a pyramid slowly colliding with a checkerboard while a ball spaceship launches to get away) using OpenGL. Martin Thomas is going to bring his TuxDroid as well so we'll see how to coordinate them over their wireless network using Python.

If you want an early peek or cannot make it this Saturday, you can find the source to the two demos in our club version control system, at:

We'll leave the OpenMoko cellphone GUI and pyMIDI piano trainer for our next meeting. ;-)

I'd also like to suggest folks install the Gobby application on their laptops. Gobby is a peer-to-peer networked, shared text editor and chat program. It is written completely in Python and may be good for collaborative notetaking at future events. A number of us would like to check it out for usability among a group.

It does run under Windows as well as Linux and Mac, although you must install some dependencies outlined in the install notes. It has also been packaged for various operating systems, so for some it will be a simple click install. Be sure to get the latest version as you cannot mix the old and new versions on the network.

Hope to see you this Saturday!


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Announcing Python North-West

On the wave of the great time we had at PyCon UK, it was decided we should have a proper mailing list dedicated to English North-West-based Python users, so here it is!

The list is open to everyone in the North-West of England who loves coding/playing/enjoying Python. Members are not expected to know their django from their pylons or their pyqt from their wxwindows... and certainly they don't need to pronounce WSGI.

See the Python North-West homepage on GoogleGroups for info on subscribing. There is also a "dummy" Facebook group pointing to the list (it would be great to have some sort of gateway between FB and generic mailing lists, I can't believe FB developers didn't think about it). I'd personally be interested in hearing about other groups' experiences with social software of any kind...

Our first meeting is scheduled to happen in the first week of october, with topics still TBD (submissions more than welcome!). We are looking for a suitable venue, which should have decent Wi-Fi (free if possible), refreshments not too far off, and possibly a projector or big screen. Since it's a fairly scattered group, I'd like to look into some sort of "backup" plan for people who cannot be there in person (it's 2007, how hard can it be, right...?)

That's it for now, I'll report more info as soon as we finalize our plans.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Omaha Python Users Group, Sept 5, Notes

Well we've managed to maintain a new meeting attendance level. There were 6 of us again tonight at the meeting, 5 alumni and 1 new attendee. The meeting started out with some introductions and talk about Py3K alpha. We then turned to talk about the various python implementations C, Iron, Jython and ActiveState's.

Talk then turned to available windowing options and what exactly was built-in for python as opposed to 3rd party libraries. PythonCard is the project I was trying to recall. While not a windowing kit -- it is based on wxPython, it offers a nice entry point in to building a client GUI for a python project for those new to python and GUI kits.

There were some random topics brought up and answered as we munched on some quite good pizza.

We then broke out some code for the pyorhythms group project. We talked about how the imports had been laid out, the over all structure of the program and a number of questions from those new to python were asked. What are those triple commented things (docstrings) how are they used, etc.

We then talked about the use of map statements and what was going to happen to them in Py3K. Someone asked what does reduce do, and I didn't have an answer then as I hadn't used it before, but have one now

"reduce(function, sequence)" returns a single value constructed by calling the binary function function on the first two items of the sequence, then on the result and the next item, and so on. For example, to compute the sum of the numbers 1 through 10:

>>> def add(x,y): return x+y
>>> reduce(add, range(1, 11))

I did a live demonstration of pyorhythms and there was some pleasant smiles and nods at seeing how well pylab graphed everything.

At the end of the meeting we handed out the door prize, "Beautiful Code."

After the meeting some of stuck around and pondered the architecture of the google file system why doesn't google offer a google apps appliance? and the possible ramifications of Grand Central and the rumored google phone.

For those of you who couldn't attend we hope to see you next month (Brad et al)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Notes from the SoCal Piggies meeting on 08/22/07

Just a few words about the meeting we had this Wednesday August 22nd at Caltech.

Tommi Virtanen aka Tv presented on "Git for Computer Scientists". I liked the fact that Tv didn't go as much into how to use git as into how git operates under the covers. While geared towards the needs of the Linux kernel developers, it looks like git is approaching a user friendliness which might make it suitable for the general public too (don't try any version older than 1.5). And this thing is FAST! As an alternative in the area of distributed revision control systems, Tv recommended Mercurial over Bazaar, in terms of both features and performance.

Michael Carter gave us an introduction to Twisted. He talked about the Twisted asynchronous model, about reactors, deferreds, in general about the low-level plumbing that makes Twisted so useful. The take-away idea was that Twisted is for you if you want to make use of the incredibly large amount of network protocols that it implements, and not so much if you want a general-purpose Web application. Tv also pointed us to his review of the O'Reilly 'snake-ball' book on Twisted.

Michael also showed us some code based on Twisted that he wrote for his Web IRC client which is using orbited. He also encouraged us (and you readers) to join the orbited mailing list and start contributing to this project.

I (Grig) showed a short demo of Selenium RC, making use at the same time of the Selenium IDE. Old news for regulars of the SoCal Piggies meetings, but hopefully useful for new people who hadn't been exposed to the Selenium tools. Of course, if you want to know more about Selenium, go buy the book :-)

Thanks to Tv and Michael for presenting. As usual, we had some lively conversations outside of the presentations, and we partook of the delicious pizza provided by Prof. Dr. Titus Brown.

Before I finish this post, I want to say that we heard during the meeting, from a reliable source that shall remain unnamed, that all major animation studios (Disney, Dreamworks) use Python for their day-to-day scripting needs; even Maya, the 3D rendering engine, dropped its proprietary scripting language in favor of Python. Nice!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cambridge Python Podcasts and Slides Available, Silverlight and Storm

The audio for the July and August Cambridge Boston Meetups are now available.

The July 18th meetup was a dive into Silverlight by Chris Bowen of Microsoft. Unfortunately, the audio is of very poor quality, and the real value of the presentation was watching Silverlight, IronPython, and FireFox in action. Most of the applications required no client side code or plugins, which is no small feat, and rather unexpected given Microsoft's history.

The August 15th meetup was all about the new ORM from Canonical, Storm. Chris Armstrong from Canonical gives a fantastic dive into the database front end. He started the presentation asking that people hold off on questions about how Storm differs from other ORM's out there, and then proceeded to answer those questions before they were asked. The slides for the presentation are also available. We have switched to some better audio equipment, so the audio is audible. (NOTE: 170Mhz wireless mic + 170Mhz wireless mouse = interference.)

(Sorry we do not yet have ogg versions)
  • Cambridge Python Meetup, July 18th - Silverlight, Chris Bowen - Microsoft (mp3, ogg)
  • Cambridge Python Meetup, Aug. 15th - Storm ORM, Chris Armstrong - Canonical (mp3, ogg, odp)

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.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Cambridge Boston Python June Podcast

The June meeting was a big success. We had two guest speakers and covered a lot of ground.
  1. George Lambert, Goldenware Technology
  2. Mike Pittaro, SnapLogic open source data integration Project implemented in 100% Python
We attempted to do a podcast of the meeting, but the audio is rather poor. Please check out the first file first, and only down load the others if you can withstand it.

NOTE: The audio is extremely soft at points and at the beginning, so you will need to crank the volume up.

  • Introductions and Django.June recap (mp3, ogg)
  • Mass TLC recap, and an extensive discussion on GPLv3, Licensing, Patents, and Python (mp3, ogg)
  • Ligntning rounds with George Lambert and Mike Pittaro. (mp3, ogg)
  • Open Discussion (mp3, ogg)
More details on the event can be found here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dallas-Ft. Worth Pythoneers Meeting THIS Saturday

This Saturday we'll be holding our 4th Saturday meeting of the DFW Pythoneers, at the usual location of bookstore in Richardson. For directions, visit the website. We start at 2pm and run until 5pm, and then go out for a group dinner.

At this meeting one of our local members, Jeremy Dunck, will be giving us a preview of a 60-minute advanced Django tutorial he is helping to give at OSCON next month. The advanced material will cover the unicode branch, signals and either stateful views or gis branch.

Since many of our members are not experienced with Django, Jeremy will present a 45-minute introduction to Django first, which will cover URLConf, views, models and perhaps middleware.

By the way, I've been contacted by a developer at the Dallas Travelocity office, who is looking for Python developers with experience in Django or Genshi. If you're interested, let me know and I can put you in touch.

And just to give a heads-up for July, Patrick R. Michaud has agreed to give our group a presentation on the status of support for Python in the virtual machine, Parrot, underlying Perl 6 and many other languages. If you're not familiar with what Parrot is, check out:

Patrick will present to us on the 2nd Saturday of July, the 14th.

See you there!

Jeff Rush
DFW Pythoneers Organizer

Friday, June 15, 2007

Omaha Python Users Group, June 14 -- Meeting Notes

June 14, 2007

Another banner meeting occurred this evening. Although it was a bit warm there were some cool conversations going on at the meeting tonight. There were questions and talk about -
targeting win32:





Jeff gave a short presentation on the subprocess module The slides and example code are available on the website. He also gave a little demo of his current internal project showing off subprocess, mod_python and pyRSS2Gen.

There was also a round of talk about using python as a tool to target multiple platforms at once, giving the user leverage to move between those platforms as they see fit. Also the ability of python to leverage existing code and services. A number of the attendees illustrated this topic by talking about how they are using python to build on existing resources and integrate systems on the application and OS level. It is interesting to see Python being used in banks and

As with previous meetings, kudos to Jay and Reboot The User for graciously donating the space for the gathering. Pizza and Pop sponsored by DM&T.

The door prize winner tonight, Todd, will receive "Python in a Nutshell, 2nd Edition" courtesy of O'Reilly. Unfortunately I left the house in such a rush tonight, that I didn't remember to bring it along. Todd, if you are going to be at the OLUG East luncheon Friday, I will have it with me and you can get it there. Otherwise, email me off list and we can make arrangements to get it to you pdq.

Mark your calendars early, July 12, and don't miss out on the fun. Here is gCal link so you can add it to your calendar.

We'll be giving away something for a door prize. There will be food and drink and hopefully many more "lightning" talks about projects by local python developers.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Cambridge Boston Python Meetup in One Week

Members, Python Newbies and Certified Snake Charmers,

Hope you can all make it to the next Python Meetup. This is a busy month for those of us interested in Python. So for those that can't make some of the events scheduled ( we hope to review some of the events highlights.

This month's agenda: News and Events, Lighting Talks, General Discussion.

Scheduled Lighting Talks
1: George Lambert, Goldenware Technology
2: Mike Pittaro, SnapLogic open source data integration Project implemented in 100% Python

We are meeting once again at the amazing Brickbottom Gallery. It is worth the trip just to see the 'Immersed in Italy' exhibit before it ends.

Find out more and RSVP at:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Notes from PySIG, 24-May-2007: Python logging and wxPython

Thirteen participants made it to the May meeting of the Python Special Interest Group of the Greater New Hampshire Linux User Group, held as usual on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7 PM at the Amoskeag Business Incubator, Manchester, NH.

It was a busy meeting. A quick round of introductions and announcements was followed by several terrific presentations.

Kent Johnson entertained us with Kent's Korner, this month featuring the logging module. Simple logging can be implemented in two lines of code and customized with a third, but the module can be expanded almost infinitely to include multiple handlers arranged in a hierarchical fashion with different levels of filtering and multiple output. As usual, Kent did a fine job of showing simple examples and clearly building on them.

Bill Sconce decided to defer his second attempt at describing a hierarchy of data types, a discussion sure to rouse an interesting and educational debate amongst the participants. Stay tuned for a future meeting...

Ric Werme made the main presentation on wxPython. He brought the most extensive handouts we've had today, with an engaging backstory of his several-decades tinkering with graphing and the Petals of the Rose patterns. The demo was arresting, and source code can be downloaded here and here. Ric walked us through the wxPython wrapper, explaining the various widgets used and spoke well of the new wxPython book.

Thanks to Ric and Kent for their presentations, to Bill Sconce and Alex Hewitt for arranging the meeting and facilities, to the Amoskeag Business Incubator for their hospitality and to all who attended for their participation!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

About This Past DFW Pythoneers 4th Sat Meeting

Although it was Memorial Day weekend, the DFW Pythoneers held their Saturday meeting at the Nerdbooks store as usual. For those who don't know, we meet at the store on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month, from 2pm until 5pm. We have a projector and draw around 7-14 attendees currently. At this meeting we had 8 people as I recall.

This meeting was a rapid fire sequence of mini-talks, by various people. As a result of the work on the Forrester survey, I had some simple, clearly documented source examples, provided by Martin Thomas (local), Mario Ruggier (not local) and myself. They can be found in our club subversion repository.

One of them is a mashup by Martin of placing temperature readings collected from one site using REST, onto a DFW Google map.

Another is HTML page generation using Twisted Nevow/STAN, along with an RSS feed parser module to embed a list of the N most recent news stories.

And one is a simple but powerful presentation and form validation using the Gizmo(QP) framework, which does the validation both in the server and in the browser using JavaScript. No big deal, until you realize the JavaScript in the browser is generated from the Python source, and the whole source fits on a couple of screens.

I had also had recent opportunity to toss together a simple RSS client (15-lines or so) that pulled down a collection of photos from an Apple site, for the non-Mac user and did a walk-thru of the source.

John Zurawski had at the previous meeting presented on his entry into the 48-hour PyGame challenge but since most of the attendees at this meeting had missed this, he walked through his source for us again.

And since I had had to compute some statistics for the Forrester survey of Python mail traffic, I walked thru my first use of the really cool BeautifulSoup module, for screenscaping the Mailman interface to locate and download the message archives.

And then we wrapped up with a quick examination of Raymond Hettinger's NamedTuples recipe from the Python Cookbook site. It had recently floated by on Planet Python and I just thought its implementation was neat.

We may have covered other topics that I've forgotten, but that was the gist of it.

Our 2nd Saturday meeting of June is this weekend, and we're looking for presentation ideas. There has been a request for a repeat of Martin's TuxDroid (programmable with Python) demo by those who missed the first one, and a test of having two TuxDroids within RF range. Brad has offered to cover the power of the Python logging module, and I can skim how you can write a filesystem in Python using the FUSE (filesystem in userspace) module. More topics are welcome, as these tend to be short.

Jeff Rush
DFW Pythoneers

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Omaha Python Users Group, May 10 -- User Group Meeting Notes

May 10, 2007

Well now, that was quite a meeting. We ended up not talking about any of the announced subjects so it was a very good meeting (I like spontaneous talks). Eli made an appearance tonight and for a sysadmin who doesn't "program", Eli has produced some pretty interesting python projects. sipie, Pronounced SY PIE, like "sirius python", sipie is a command-line player for Sirius online Internet streaming

We also talked about using private certs and CA's, the different python based packages and use them with the twisted framework. Eli hammered out the details and did something with twisted that not many knew was possible. Thanks for sharing -- Very Cool.

As with previous meetings, kudos to Jay and Reboot The User for graciously donating the space for the gathering. The new executive conference room is nearing completion -- we will be stylin' then. Also, props to Todd for covering the pizza guy before I got there. Pizza and Pop sponsored by DM&T.

And finally, thanks to O'Reilly (Marsee) for the great door prize. Eli, even won the door prize, "Programming Python" by Mark Lutz.

Mark your calendars early, June 14, and don't miss out on the fun.

We'll be giving away a copy of "Python in a Nutshell", 3rd Edition for a door prize. There will be food and drink and hopefully many more "lightning" talks about projects by local python developers. There is a rumor that we might get a sneak peek (and play) with a beta unit mame based gaming console (think arcade size console).


Friday, April 27, 2007

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.