Notes from MPUG, September 2013

The Melbourne Python Users Group had about 25 people turn up to the September meeting to hear three great talks.

Richard Jones gave a reprise of his PyCon AU 2013 talk: “Don’t do this”. If you haven’t seen the talk, check out the PyCon AU video, “in which Richard will tell you about some things you should never (probably ever) do to or in Python. Warranties may be voided.”

Lars Yencken spoke on The Great Language Game, in which you play a web-based game to see if you can distinguish between 78 different languages, based on an audio snippet. Each audio snippet is accompanied with a choice between two languages. Not surprisingly, French is the most easily guessed language.

Ryan Kelly spoke about PyPy.js: if Javascript is the web platform, can Python be ported to Javascript? There have been previous attempts, such as pyjs, skuplt, brython, etc. Combining PyPy and asm.js, the aim is to have PyPy (or more correctly speaking, the RPython toolchain) generate C code which is then compiled into Javascript.

So far, it works with CPython rebuilt using Emscripten, but is about an order of magnitude slower. The JIT version is almost working, with 5 – 10% of opcodes still to be implemented. The end game is to be able to write Python apps for Firefox OS (Ryan works for Mozilla).

The next MPUG meeting is October 7 at Inspire 9, with talks on using Python for bioinformatics and Salt.

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