Notes from MPUG, March 2013

The March Melbourne Python Users Group meeting had three speakers and a whole of interesting chats over pizza and beer afterwards.

Stewart Hines is the author of Picklets. The Picklet Builder app uses Django with a Google AppEngine backend on managing Picklet file distribution via Dropbox and the Dropbox/Python API. Stewart walked us through what’s involved in using Dropbox with Python.

Loki Davison gave an introduction to Boo (aka “Boo! Not Python but almost…”).


  • Targets the CLI/.NET platform
  • Has a very Pythonic syntax (many of the examples will work in either language)
  • Has static typing with optional duck typing
  • Syntactic macros
  • Type inference (for implicit type declarations)

One issue is the lack of good libraries, compared with Python’s rich set of standard and third party libraries.

Andrew Walker is working in an environment where the computer systems can be locked down, making it difficult to use standard tools to install Python packages. This led to him exploring “how many ways are there to install a Python package?”.

Some of the packaging options Andrew walked us through were:

  1. Your O/S package manager (eg. apt-get or yum)
  2. easy_install
  3. setuptools and distribute
  4. pip
    • Maximum flexibility
    • Can uninstall packages
    • Can work with multiple source types, including source, tarballs, Github and PyPI
A key recommendation: if you can, use pip + virtualenv.

Finally, some housekeeping: 

  • The PyCon AU 2013 call for proposals is open and closes on April 5.
  • There is no April MPUG meeting. The next meeting will be Monday, 6 May at 6pm at Inspire 9.
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