Richard Jones' Log

Sat, 23 Jan 2010
Linux.Conf.Au 2010 is done

What a week. Unlike other week-long conferences I've been to this one had talks every day. Combined with the usual events every night I'm quite tired now :)

I gave two presentations: a State of Python talk which was a little rambling but otherwise well-received.

I did the haka. Much fun!

Even better-received was my tutorial Introduction to Game Programming which was attended by both programmers and non-programmers. Pia Waugh and Pamela Fox* both have good writeups. A couple of the attendees have come to me afterwards to say again how they enjoyed the tutorial and are continuing to develop their games. Quite a good outcome, I think!

On Wednesday night I got my solderin' on and put together a Pebble board for my Arduino. It's a neat invention of Luke Weston and the builds were made possible by the folk from the Melbourne Connected Community HackerSpace.

During the week I set up the PyCon Au website with the help of Benno Rice, Tim Ansell and Michael Kedzierski. It's running the PyCon-Tech code which Malcolm Tedinnick has offered to bring into the modern age of Django post-1.0 :)

Finally on Saturday I organised a Python booth at the Open Day in Wellington Town Hall. I had a lot of great chats with a diverse range of people including some younger boys and girls who were excited by the game programming aspect of Python. Following advice (I've lost a link to) I had a donated external monitor (thanks Nic) which made showing things off much easier. I had a nice 1.8m banner printed (thanks PSF) which looked cool and gave out about 250 stickers :)

* Google Wave account required

category: Python | permanent link
Thu, 21 Jan 2010
withgui finally made public!

On the heels of the release of the cool withhacks library, I've finally (thanks Robert Collins for helping) released withgui on Launchpad. withgui is my experiment in simple GUI creation as mentioned previously (see also.)

I'll be looking at incorporating withhacks to replace my less-elegant (and fragile) namespace hackery. Feel free to take the code, branch and run. Contact me if you're interested in contributing (no comments on this blog but you'll figure out how to.)

Thanks also to Brianna Laugher who tried to help me release to Launchpad a couple of months ago - the failure then was in my available time.

category: Python | permanent link
Thu, 14 Jan 2010
New "html" module release, 1.8

I just had a query regarding my Python html generation module, asking whether I could a) upload a ZIP file and b) whether it was Python 3 compatible. I made one change (map(...)list(map(...))) and have released version 1.8 on PyPI.

category: Python | permanent link
Python module statement ordering ... wart?

Can't call this one a "wart" because it's present in Python 3 and we all know Python 3 got rid of all the warts <wink>.

It has to do with the very specific ordering of statements at the top of your Python source. Specifically if you have any of the following they must appear in this order:

  1. Top-of-file comments (Typically "# /usr/bin/env python", file encoding or source control revision ID string), then
  2. Module documentation string, then
  3. "from __future__ import ..." statement(s), then
  4. The rest of your module.

Failure to order them precisely like this will result in one of a couple of things: either your docstring will not be created correctly (as the __doc__ attribute) or you'll get a SyntaxError because your "from __future__ import ..." statements aren't "at the beginning of the file" (even though they can't be at the beginning of the file.) If the docstring appears after the "from __future__" imports it won't be used as __doc__.

category: Python | permanent link
Mon, 04 Jan 2010
New Year's Python meme
  1. Whats the coolest Python application, framework or library you have discovered in 2009 ?
    promise - just too cool :)
  2. What new programming technique did you learn in 2009?
    I learnt how to use some of the new features in Python 2.6 and 3.1 but mostly I was just refining my knowledge of Twisted and SMS protocols.
  3. Whats the name of the open source project you contributed the most in 2009? What did you do?
    Roundup - I still lead development of the project even though there's usually one or two other code contributors. I also released html and failed to release withgui ;)
  4. What was the Python blog or website you read the most in 2009?
    Planet Python.
  5. What are the three top things you want to learn in 2010 ?
    For my day job I have to learn about SS7 and MAP. I imagine I won't have much room for anything else, though I do look forward to random presentations at the Melbourne Python Users' Group :)
category: Python | permanent link