[Chennaipy] August meetup - Minutes

AnanthRK ananthrk at gmail.com
Wed Aug 26 06:53:05 CEST 2015

The August edition of the ChennaiPy meetup had around 103 members RSVP for
participation in the Meetup page. Vijaykumar kickstarted the proceedings by
welcoming everyone and outlining the agenda for the evening.

*Introduction to GeoJson and GeoDjango*

Shrinidhi Kulkarni started his talk by providing an outline of how maps are
organized and the three major components that make up any Geo application -
a Map provider, a JS library and a Geo-aware database. He went onto
demonstrate various features of the Leaflet JS library that includes
initializing a map, adding various shapes, tagging, filtering properties,
etc. The server side was written using GeoDjango and he managed to provide
a quick walk through of some key features such as the models.PointField and
the ability to query geo fields. He closed the talk by listing some
practical problems faced in building his project and workarounds for the
same. Though the talk ran over the allotted time, it was well received by
the audience judging by the follow-up discussions during the break.

*Paho Python client for MQQT*

The next talk was by Shakthi Kannan, a Free Software enthusiast and a
well-known face in the Chennai opensource space. Though the talk was
originally scheduled for the next edition of the meetup, a last minute
reorg helped the team to sneak in this talk in the current edition itself
(to everyone's delight, if I may add!). Even though Shakthi started with
requesting everyone to read the MQQT protocol docs for the details, he
provided a good overview of the protocol and its high-level architecture
thus providing a good background that made the rest of his talk easier to
follow. He went onto explain the steps involved in installing and testing
an open-source MQQT broker - Mosquitto. Finally the same tests were
demonstrated using the Paho python client. He closed his talk with lot of
references for further reading.

The tea break, with refreshments sponsored by Zilogic Systems, was abuzz
with lot of small groups busy in spontaneous discussions.

*Introduction to Google App Engine*

Krithika Vembu, inspired from the previous meetups, gave her first-ever
talk in the meetup. She gave an overview of Cloud-based architecture, its
advantages and the distinguishing aspects of a specific provider - the
Google App Engine. Though she was apologetic about not having live demos,
her enthusiasm to participate in the community and coming forward to speak
in front of an audience was applauded by everyone. Here is to more talks
from her in the future!

*Towards probabilistic programming in Python*

This talk by Prof. Ronojoy Adhikari introduced everyone to a new way of
dealing with the complexity of implementing large scale inference engines
by making use of first-class abstractions about the randomness. There was a
live demo of Lea, a blackbox inference engine, showcasing ways in which the
randomness was modeled in popular problems such as throwing a dice,
flipping a coin, etc. (The program could have done a better job of
predicting rains in Chennai though, as it was raining on the morning of the
meetup! :) ) One came away with lot of motivation to explore the area

Vijaykumar concluded the meeting with announcements on the preparations for
the PyCon Chennai conference and by thanking the participants, speakers,
volunteers, IMSc and the sponsors. Overall an evening well spent!

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