Notes from MPUG, June 2012

These are my notes from the Melbourne Python Users Group meeting this month at Inspire 9. Any errors are 99% likely to be mine in the transcribing or the understanding, rather than the speaker’s.

Tennessee Leeuwenburg – Udacity and Coursera: online courses

  • Online tertiary-level courses, spun out of places like Stanford,  subjects cover computer science, science, statistics, etc
  • Udacity
    • Courses are 7 weeks long, ~ 10 courses on offer, less than Coursera
    • Perhaps “friendlier” than Coursera, more “cool”?
    • Tennessee has done the AI course; loved it
  • Coursera
    • Stanford, UPenn, Princeton, etc
    • Getting 100% “is the new pass”
    • Has a wider range of non-CS courses
  • Courses start on designated dates, rather than on-demand
  • 60 – 90 minutes of video per week? and 1 – 5 hours of work per week

Ed Schofield – What’s new in Python 3.3

  • A straw poll of the room showed that, out of well over 20 people, no-one has done serious work with Python 3!
  • Python 3.3 is in alpha at moment, aiming for a 25 Aug 2012 release date
  • Some key changes:
    • Unicode: u'Hello' is back: PEP 414, helps with porting from Python 2
    • Space efficient Unicode: PEP 393
    • New packaging module: deprecates distutils, replaces pip, distutil2, etc
    • venv module: virtualenv-like support
    • lzma – new, compression algorithm
    • decimal module: faster, rewritten in C
    • bz2: rewritten, more flexible
    • mock: Mock objects for testing; now in the standard library
    • os module: lots of POSIX fixes
    • OSError: PEP 3151
    • Finer granularity in exceptions, with lots of subclassed exceptions
  • Read the “what’s new in 3.3” release notes
  • Significant libraries and their Python 3 compatibility status:
    • Django 1.5 is due in spring 2012 with experimental Python 3.3 support
    • Numpy supports Python 3 (has since v.1.5.0, Aug 2010)
    • matplotlib-py3k branch on GitHub, ported late 2011
  • Plenty of hold-outs: boto, Fabric, South, gunicorn, Werkzeug, oauthlib, Flask & Jinja…
  • The Who’s on Python 3? website tracks the top 50 Python projects and their Python 3 compatibility
  • “6” – compatibility library for Python 2 and Python 3

Rhyd Olwin – Python in a hostile environment

  • 550 users, but outside of IT, there are only 4 developers & no dev culture or environment
  • How do you develop in a Windows shop with locked down PCs and no admin privileges?
  • No exe’s can be downloaded/installed, but can use to download source code and build

Richard Jones – LightTable

  • Different paradigm for IDE/coding
  • On Kickstarter, has funded Python support as well as Clojure and SQL
  • Have a look halfway through the promo video at the Flask demo

The next meeting is July 2 at 6pm.

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