Call for participation : three projects to help python grow

Thomas Weholt thomas at
Tue May 29 14:22:09 CEST 2001


I'm thinking of starting a few projects that could help newbies become
productive faster and give a trick or two to more experienced programmers as

My initial thoughts are:

1. Python and Linux : what distrobution to use, what packages to install,
how to configure etc. How about making a package for each distro especially
for python-programmers? The problem now is that different distros have
different versions of Python and modules installed. Mandrake 8.0 has python
2.0, python-modes in Emacs and support in VIM, database-modules for Postgres
and MySQL. RedHat has an older version ( haven't check which ) etc. What if
we could organize a group of important packages ( PIL, PyNumeric, mx*,
database-modules etc. ), nice documentation and the latest version of Python
in a package available for each distro, or in a distro/platform-manner.
Another problem is that alot of packages are either released as RPMs or
source. The RPM-format is used differently on Mandrake/RedHat and Suse
 AFAIK ), and compiling from source isn't all that newbie-friendly. This
makes people either use Windows or RedHat-compitable distros. A survey of
python-friendly distros, what they offer and how to enhance them, could be a
start. Information about other *nix are certainly also interesting. The
Windows-environment is pretty updated due to ActiveStates efforts, but could
probably use something like this too. Windows isn't that haunted with
compilated errors etc. either.

2. How to develop a productive development environment: how can you become a
better python-programmer, what tools can you use etc. I like Emacs, some
like VIM, some IDLE etc. Tips on each environment, pros/cons, enhancements.
What development models fit python and python-developers? What tools can aid
in the development process ( I've asked about visual programming and python
earlier, in regards to making python source from Dia UML-models) ? Provide
exentsive tutorials in use of PyUnit, happydoc/pythondoc, use of debugger
and distutils etc. Some info about source-control; CVS/RCS would also fit
into this category. How to organize code in folders, naming conventions,
packaging etc. To sum up; a collection of documents explaining in
newbie-terms how to become a better python programmer; develop solid,
understandable, tested and documented code. ( Update/revise Guido's
StyleGuide ? It would fit into this category too. ) has some
information like this, but it should be organized better and available in
printable/searchable form.

3. The dark secrets of python; serious hacking of python code. It would be
cool to have a extensive look at how to use __getattr__, __setattr__ to
hide/control access to methods and attributes, dive into the inner workings
of python-classes to use them to control your objects. That's alot of stuff
inside a python object I don't understand and probably alot of ways to use
it to do nice stuff. Python has so much potential that's hard to notice
being a newbie. A better overview from a practial stand-point would be great
( From the contents : "How to control your objects","Simulate events and
properties ( read-only/writable)" saw this on a google post some days ago.
Need to clean up code like this and organize it.  ) Focus on practical

I'm not saying I want to lead these projects. I'll start collecting info
about these things, but I'm not the project-leader/coordinator guy, nor do I
have time to do it all myself. I just think something like this would help
the python-community alot. If you look at comp.lang.python the last few
weeks, these issues are pretty frequent.

Any information, code examples, general interest etc. will be appreciated.

Best regards,

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