October 31, 2007

Python Now Embedded In EventScripts

Simon Willison points out that the 2.0 release of EventScripts can be scripted in Python. It seems like Python is a popular language with gaming companies.

Great Python Reference Site

Bruce Eckel recently reminded us in his Ode to the Python Quick Reference (PQR) that Richard Gruet and his collaborators have done the community a great service by preparing and maintaining these notes. The documents are available under a Creative Commons license.

If you want to know the specifics of a given version of Python then the series goes all the way back to version 1.5.2, making it valuable in archaeological terms too!

What more need be said? Thanks, guys, the PQR is an invaluable resource that truly caters to an international market.

October 24, 2007

Google Set to Become a Proper Mail Provider

Gmail is taking a step forward this week, as Google roll out IMAP access for their mail service that offers 2.5+ GB of on-line storage per customer. It may be a while before it's available to all users.

This makes it possible to use Gmail from a range of different devices and see the synchronized contents of your Gmail mailbox from them all. Well done Google, people have been after this for years.

October 23, 2007

reSTinPeace Beta Release

I only recently found out about reSTinPeace (now I check, I see it is yet another fuzzyman recommendation) and managed to install it very easily using easy_install (which I installed as a part of the process).

Although it's in beta the author claims to be adding features, so I figure he's looking for user feedback. Give it a try and see what you think, offer your feedback if you want. It isn't finished yet but it looks like it's going to be a very useful tool, and I hope that eventually it will make the task of contributing to the Python documentation even easier than it currently is.

October 15, 2007

RESTORE Act - Reject Telco Immunity

We disenfranchised immigrants don't even get to vote for our congressman. If you have a congressman's ear I would encourage you to ask them not to vote for telco immunity provisions should they appear in this bill. The Electronic Frontier Foundation have provided a succinct summary of the issues which I commend to your attention. Basically it would be an attempt to write retroactive immunity for criminal behavior.

October 14, 2007

Python 3.X Switch Poll Result

So, I Saw This Poll Widget on Blogger ...
As Seth Godin reminds us, anyone who treats these figures as any kind of indication of what might exist or happen in reality is treating them as way too significant, so I am publishing them as a graphic to make them less easy to copy and paste in a way that might come to Google's (the search engine's) attention.

As far as the results go, I think it's interesting that about a third of voters are ready to switch (which, remember, does not mean porting existing products, necessarily) and the biggest group has no current plans (which in effect you don't if it isn't going to happen in the next three years). I think this will be reassuring to the developers, because I don't believe 2.x will stop being the recommended release even after 3.0.0's initial release. [David Goodger kindly pointed out I originally negated the proposition of this sentence in error].

It will be helpful for 3.0 to have a relatively populous user base, though. These people can blaze the trail (and another Seth Godin post has something to say about that, too). There will be a lot of crossover between the languages by backporting features into 2.6 et seq, so porting from 2.6 or maybe 2.7 to 3.1 or 3.2 after a year or two's experience with the new features is likely to be a viable option, I believe.

Various cautions were raised on mailing lists and by email about the limited nature of the choices, lack of information about when Python 3.0 goes live and so on, along with some individual votes for options not listed. Thanks for those; once a vote has been cast the poll cannot be edited, though, and I did not want to throw away votes already cast. Most cautions were reasonable and could have improved the poll. Despite its inherently unscientific nature it's does at least show what some people are thinking.

Thanks To All Voters
Seth Godin is right about polls being traffic stunts too (else why would Blogger offer them?), though I suspect many of those voting will have been what regulars this blog has. If the poll brought you to "... Magic" for the first time, welcome. If it didn't, welcome back!

I try to make it a dialog, but often end up talking to myself. A bit like the rest of life, really.

October 11, 2007

And, In Related News ... ?

So I read the output from my daily agent and it includes this gem:
PyWPS releases version 2.0.0
Turns out that even while I was blundering along completely unaware of version 1.something, the PyWPS Development Team have been slaving away to produce version 2.0! Now there's dedication.

Sorry to seem cynical. It is in fact an entirely worthy site, as a look at pywps.wald.intevation.org should convince anybody. As usual my ignorance's limits continue to widen. This strikes me as an amazing opportunity for a bright Python programmer or two to succeed. Geospatial data processing is hot right now.

I am extremely glad to hear that there is an open standard for this stuff. I don't suppose (hope springing, as it does, eternal in the human breast) that Microsoft are on board with the standard. Perhaps they already decided to just buy the committee when the votes come around.

Reading and Writing Zip Files in Python

Nice piece in Builder AU (an Australian web site, but none the worse for that) about how to manipulate a Zip file from inside a Python program. This is useful (for example) to Zip-encode attachments before sending them.

October 10, 2007

Python Magazine Technology

Brian Jones has posted a blog entry detailing how Python magazine is put together. Brian mentions that the Python community has been very accepting of the fact the web site is written in PHP. Just goes to show that the Python community has little interest in religious wars.

Virtualenv is Real

Sorry, couldn't resist the pun. I have been waiting for a couple of weeks for Ian Bicking to get his finger out and finish virtualenv so it works on Windows as well as Unix-like systems. Being Ian, of course, he included Mac framework builds, and he now appears confident the code, while not yet perfect, is ready for general use. Well done, Ian, and thanks.

October 9, 2007

Kudos to SoC Mentors

Over the last two years the PSF* has received $24,500 in Google Summer of Code mentoring fees, representing (I believe) 49 different projects. Thanks to the mentors, who chose not to claim their mentoring fees back. That kind of community spirit is one of the things I really like about Python users.

* Python Software Foundation

October 8, 2007

Will McGugan on PyGame

I see from this blog entry that Will now has some idea of the shape of his (?) forthcoming book on Pygame. Good luck with the book, it's a hard road to hoe.

October 6, 2007

No Print Statement? Python 3 Web Seminar

Young boy trying to be scary© Photographer: Freefly | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Of course, contemplating change is scary. But how scary, exactly, does it need to be? I have been asked to present a web seminar about what we might loosely term Python, the Next Generation, and rather than just touch on what I think are the interesting issues I wanted to find out what real people are interested in. So cardboard replicas may not apply.

Thanks, by the way, to everybody who has bothered to respond to the I Will Switch to Python 3.x ... poll. Six days left to run but I doubt that the answers are likely to change that much. Maybe I'll just run the next one a week,

So, please add a comment to this post (or mail me if you must ...) with your thoughts. What do you want to know about the future of Python? I can't guarantee to answer all questions, but I will try my best.

October 4, 2007

Script the Acorn Image Editor in Python

Flying Meat have released a piece of software I can't use, but it's still interesting. Their Acorn image editor product, recently released for MacOS, is another in the long list of products that can be scripted in Python. The march to world domination continues ...

Jeff Rush Wins "Most Popular Video" on ShowMeDo

Congratulations to the PSF's Advocacy Coordinator, Jeff Rush. Jeff has just been awarded ShowMeDo's second (September) most popular video award for his The 'IPython' Interactive Shell - Part 1 video. Well done, Jeff, and good luck as you move on from the Coordinator position to other challenges. The Forrester report in scripting languages might have been far less favorable to Python had it not been for your efforts!

LinkedIn Annoyance

October 3, 2007

Subversive Activities

I have supported the EFF with everything except money since they opened for business, and they deserve wider support than they receive, since they are fighting to define important constitutional rights (even for us disenfranchised immigrants) in the USA. Time I gave then some money.

I also bought a GNU T-shirt back in 1980-something to support development of Emacs and the the FSF. So sue me.

Refactoring for Journalism

Strange journalistic synchronicity.

Today the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) notified their contacts of a telco lobby to the administration to evade legal liability for possible anti-constitutional crimes. I wanted to blog about it in my Yorkshireman in America blog, and sought editorial scrutiny from the Foundation. Their Danny O'Brien replied:

Looks fine! Perhaps worth adding that Congress still has a chance to show some spine, and that you can call Pelosi or Reid to demand they stand up to the lobbyists.

So I did. Look at me, Ma, I'm a journalist :-)

All this success on the same day I learn that the first issue of the new Python Magazine is going to be electronic and free (as in beer, at least - the editor will have to speak to the rest). Look for the news on holdenweb.com - if I can get that blasted del.icio.us summary program working again ... but anyway I have some sort of an end-piece in it (which I wrote so long ago I am unsure of its subject, let alone its gist).