[portland] June Python meeting recap!

michelle rowley michelle at pdxpython.org
Wed Jun 24 09:34:40 CEST 2009

Hey Pythoneers!

Although it's somewhat late in coming, I wanted to send a recap of the
last Portland Python Users' Group meeting. We had a great turnout of
about 40ish peeps, with roughly 25 joining us afterward at Produce Row
for drinks, discussion and whatnot. This was our final meeting at
CubeSpace PDX, who has been generous enough to share their space with
us for the last two years. Thanks David, Eva and everyone at CubeSpace
for supporting us! You will be missed by our community and many others
in Portland. We're doing our best to find a new home, and we'll get
the word out as soon as we have a plan for next month.

To kick off the June meeting, Michel P. did his own Monthly Module,
giving us an overview of itertools. When you're iterating over large
sets, use itertools to cut down on processing power. Conserve your
cycles (thanks, C!). Since then I've seen several positive mentions of
itertools on the Freenode IRC channel (#pdxpython), so it seems like
this info has increased our per capita usage of this module!

Next, Joel Bernstein gave us an overview of quite a few screen
scraping tools he's worked with, including Beautiful Soup
(http://www.crummy.com/software/BeautifulSoup/), lxml
(http://codespeak.net/lxml/), htmllib5
(http://pydoc.org/2.5.1/htmllib.html ??), SAX Events
(http://www.saxproject.org/event.html), mechanize (Perl -
http://wwwsearch.sourceforge.net/mechanize/), and templatemaker
(Python - http://code.google.com/p/templatemaker/). He's done up an
excellent example with BeautifulSoup that I'm sure he'd be willing to
share if you didn't catch it at the meeting.

We finished off the evening with lightning talks:

Kevin Turner shared a Glimpse of Glashammer (http://glashammer.org/),
a Python web framework. It aims to "reinvent zero wheels", and uses
Werkzeug, Jinja, and WTForms. It even has a "start a new Google App
Engine app" starter script! Kevin has a branch of Glashammer on
bitbucket that includes a patch he wrote for it, and he'd love you to
review it, so go check it out.

Jeff Schwaber got a discussion going about development environments.
He's been trying out virtual environments on his laptop using Xen and
VServer, both of which had their own issues. Igal mentioned that he
uses virtualbox.

Michael Schurter shared the recent work he's been doing with Cython
(http://www.cython.org/). Who needs to know C when we have Cython?! He
tried Pyrex, but found that it gave bad error messages that made it
hard to use.

Michael Bunsen gave us a tour of his site Urban Edibles
(http://urbanedibles.org), which he is looking to rewrite in Python.
It's pretty sweet, it's sort of a shared map of edible plants that you
can find in public! Take a look and let Michael know if you have any
ideas you'd like to share about his project, or if you're interested
in getting involved (there's contact info on the site).

Igal showed a quick XMLRPC client-server example. Check out the
SimpleXMLRPCServer Python module

Reid closed up the meeting with an excellent tip -- you can use
SimpleHTTPServer to serve your current directory over HTTP in a snap
by running: python -m SimpleHTTPServer!

Aaand, then there was beer. :)

Thanks to everyone who joined us this month, and to everyone who
shared some knowledge. You guys rock. If you're inspired to share
something with the group, let us know!

See you next month,

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