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!