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Leipzig Python User Group - Archive 2013

Seventy Ninth Meeting, Tuesday January 8, 2013

We started the new year with a discussion about recent events in he Python community. Furthermore, we planned our booth at the at Chemnitzer Linux Tage 2013.

We will intensify our work on our project Python macht Schule and discussed a few design principles.

The next meeting will be on February 12, 2013.

Eightieth Meeting, Tuesday February 12, 2013

Mike Müller talked about IPython and especially the new IPython notebook using an interactive style. IPython is a greatly enhanced alternative to the interactive Python prompt. The notebook allows to create interactive documents in a browser with markdown, Python code and matplotlib graphics. Even though IPython is traditionally only widely used among scientists, it offers interesting opportunities for all Python users.

We discussed advantages and disadvantages of using the notebook. It looks like it can be especially useful for system administration. The user has to take care of security susses by herself.

This meeting marks the seventh university of our User Group.

The next meeting will be on March 12, 2013.

Eighty first Meeting, Tuesday March 12, 2013

This meeting was at a different venue, the BIC at Karl-Heine-Straße in Leipzig. In addition to many common faces, several new people interested in Python showed up. Max Brauer gave a talk about development with curses in Python and common problems are associated with it. The following discussion covered a variety of topics.

The next meeting will be on April 9, 2013.

Eighty second Meeting, Tuesday April 9, 2013

Mike Müller reported about PyCon US, the largest Python conference that brings 2500 people together. Two days with 32 tutorials and three days with six parallel talks plus many other event before, after and in parallel are really impressive. Being in the heart of Silicon Valley, many sponsors were present. And most of them looked for Python developers. The motto really nils it: "You come for the features but stay for the community."

The next meeting will be on May 14, 2013.

Eighty third Meeting, Tuesday May 14, 2013

We had a few new participants. Accordingly, there were many questions about Python and how to solve certain problems with it. This shows quickly that a Python solutions exists for nearly all tasks that can be solved with software. And in most cases it works well. After three hours, everybody took something newly learned home. The first-timers much more though.

The next meeting will be on June 11, 2013.

Eighty fourth Meeting, Tuesday June 11, 2013

We had two talks at this meeting.

Martin Czygan introduced Pandas and showed how easy it is to analyze data with Python. Pandas is an important tool for Big Data and High Performance Computing. The basic data structures Series and DataFrame offer man possibilities to group, sort and analyze data by all kinds of criteria. Especially the simple handling of missing values in data makes Pandas a very effective tool. Another amazing feature is the creation of plots with sensible default formatting with line of code.

Stefan Schwarzer reported about his experiences porting the library ftputil from Python 2 to Python 3.He decided to go with a single code base for Python 2.6, 2.7 and 3.3. The unicode-only strings are, as expected by far the biggest problem. Stefan presented good solutions for all problems.

The next meeting will be on July 9, 2013.

Eighty fifth Meeting, Tuesday July 9, 2013

Mike Müller gave a talk about the "Use of meta-programming for everyday use".

Meta-programming can be complicated but can be really useful. After a short overview over the technical aspect especially meta-classes the talked focused on what to with it.

Because writing of frameworks and development of domain-specific languages is not part of the daily work of many programmers, this legitimate use cases were not the topic of this talk. It presented some techniques that are useful to investigate, with relatively little effort, what is going in existing applications. Examples are the counting the number of classes defined, how many times methods are allowed and how long it took to execute them as well as checking for existence and length of doc strings. There seems to be no limit for creative uses.

The next meeting will be on August 13, 2013.

Eighty sixth Meeting, Tuesday August 13, 2013

We tackled two small problems. First, with the help of Pandas, we re-wrote a program that analyses car acceleration data. Only three lines, one for reading the data, one for the needed calculations, and one for the plot solved the problem. The previous solution had several dozens of lines of Python.

After this, we developed a small parser for a file with geometric data about point coordinates and triangles and quadrilaterals constisting of these points. Storing the data in dictionaries turned out to be most efficient solution.

Everybody learned something new. We will use this kind of collaborative programming more often in the future.

The next meeting will be on September 10, 2013.

Eighty seventh Meeting, Tuesday September 10, 2013

This we had a look at the source of PyTables. PyTables offers access to files in the HDF5-Format. The project has some features that makes it interesting for us:

  • The code base is pretty big. How to organize larger projects efficiently?
  • The underlying C library for HDF5 access is wrapped with Cython. This makes a good example for the use of Cython.
  • There are many tests. The call tables.test() executes about 5400 tests. We like to get an overview over the tests.
  • The last release of PyTables is PEP8 compliant. For backward compatibility reasons it still supports the old mixedCase naming. We will look at this approach.
  • PyTables is now available for Python 3. We will investigate the porting strategy.

The next meeting will be on October 8, 2013.

Eighty eighth Meeting, Tuesday October 8, 2013

Topics included computer art and map-reduce as well as astronomy software. Map-reduce is an interesting topic and we plan to talk more about it in future meetings.

Another topic was which approach should be used for new projects with strong performance requirements Cython or PyPy. Conclusion: It depends on the concrete project.

The next meeting will be on November 12, 2013.

Eighty eighth Meeting, Tuesday November 12, 2013

Our topic for this meeting was Functional Programming Python Style. We analyzed this interesting Blog entry and discused alternative solutions. Conclusion: Even functional programming is pythonic.

The next meeting will be on December 10, 2013.

Ninetieth Meeting, Tuesday December 10, 2013

We had several rather different topics. We talked about virtualenv and about the possibilities to convert different representation of time objects in Python.

Other topics were fuzzy logic as well as shell injection

The next meeting will be on January 14, 2014.

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