September 24, 2008

Scratching Setuptools Itches

Interestingly, two different people have announced setuptools replacement/enhancement products on the same day. Maybe we will eventually see some such functionality in the Python standard library. It's obvious there's a lot of pull for the feature set, even though different people have different complaints about the implementation.

September 23, 2008

The Other Side of the Bike Shed

I've long used the C. Northcote Parkinson bicycle shed discussion example to try to focus on the big issues, and suspect I may have been the one to introduce it to comp.lang.python (though someone with superior google-fu would have to confirm or deny that assertion).

It's always a temptation to expend most energy on the issues we feel comfortable with, and rush the discussions on the areas outside our area of competence even though they are the ones we should rationally spend time discussing, grappling with issues and trying to understand.

The current Bush administration proposal, on which they demand action from Congress within a week, sees the other side of the bicycle shed. Urgent action is alleged to be needed, and it seems that many in government are prepared to rush a decision through because they don't really understand the issues.

The fact remains that it's an unconscionable bid to bail out the fat cats whose corporate greed, with the connivance of the SEC, sent the economy down the shitter in the first place. Personally I'd rather see the discomfort spread about rather more democratically, with those who have been making money from their investments in ill-advised mortgages now taking losses still not comparable with those of the often innocent borrowers who are losing their homes by the thousand.

Remember, the value of your investments can go down as well as up.

September 22, 2008

PyCon Tutorials, 2009

So, the call for tutorials has gone out, and I am thinking (yet again) of offering at least one. In the past my tutorials have been of an introductory nature: the DB API, wxPython, and last year I taught Python itself (or enough of it for newcomers to be able to understand conference talks) in three hours.

So, what would people like to see this year? I'm minded to do something a little more advanced this time, so I can feed it into Holden Web's public course schedule.

September 20, 2008

The Photo Meme

Instructions: Take a picture of yourself right now. Don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair - just take a picture. Post that picture with NO editing. Post these instructions with the picture.

From a post by Jeremy Hylton.

September 12, 2008

Python 2.6 First Release Candidate Due Today

To maintain the fairly aggressive release schedule Barry Warsaw and the Python developers have decided to decouple the 2.6 and 3.0 releases, so 3.0 will now be slightly delayed - maybe by a couple of weeks. This gives them the freedom to bring out 2.6rc1 today, with the intention of brings 2.6rc2 out on Wednesday September 17 as originally planned, and hitting the October 1 final release date.

Since 3.0 isn't intended for production work I think this decision is the right one. There are still a few release-blocking issues on the 3.0 code, and there's little point trying to release it before quality is acceptable.

It will be great to see the next new release of Python. If you have any chance at all to test the release candidates you too can help to improve the quality of the eventual release.