Python-URL! - weekly Python news and links (Mar 9)

Cameron Laird claird.netnews at
Thu Apr 22 00:16:41 CEST 2010

QOTW:  "I used to think anonymous functions (AKA blocks, etc...) would
be a
nice feature for Python.

Then I looked at a stack trace from a different programming language
lots of anonymous functions. (I believe it was perl.)

I became enlightened." - Jonathan Gardner, apparently echoing Guido's
criterion of debuggability in language design

Editor Cameron Laird apologizes for the following three entries, which
appeared in the last installment only in an unusably garbled form:
   There is no module in the standard library to handle filesystem
   in an OO way - but why?

   A "History Channel" special: how the way a TAB key was interpreted
   changed over time

   After a false start, finally we get our first "Is it Call-By-Value
   Call-By-Reference?" thread of the year!
Back in the present,
   Three new preliminary Python versions are now available for
   Python 2.7 alpha 4
   Python 3.1.2 release candidate
   Python 2.6.5 release candidate 1

   Forget those Java recipes when implementing the Singleton pattern:

   How to obtain a module docstring without actually importing it:

   Do something only if a certain module is already in use by the

   Functions, bound methods, unbound ones: what are their differences?

   Automatically adding global names to a module: how to do that, and
   alternatives to use when it's not a good idea:

   Raymond Hettinger on the rationale behind the collections.Counter

   How Tk 8.5 + ttk (the version that ships with Python 2.6) compares
   other GUI toolkits:

   The actual behavior of slicing like L[n::-1] is not properly

   Documenting a function with #comments instead of a proper docstring
   silly, isn't it? How does that affect source code quality?
   historical disgression going back to the PDP-8, the Altair and even

   Coming from Perl, one has to unlearn (bad?) habits and embrace
   "rigid flexibility":

   And for those perl-like oneliner fans, here is dos2unix:

   Perl has CPAN. Python has PyPI + easy_install, but they lack many
   important features. How could we improve that?

   The pysandbox project provides a sandbox where untrusted code
   modify its environment; now looking for someone to find holes in

Everything Python-related you want is probably one or two clicks away
these pages:'s Python Language Website is the traditional
   center of Pythonia
   Notice especially the master FAQ

   PythonWare complements the digest you're reading with the
   marvelous daily python url

   Just beginning with Python?  This page is a great place to start:

   The Python Papers aims to publish "the efforts of Python
   The Python Magazine is a technical monthly devoted to Python:

   Readers have recommended the "Planet" site:

   comp.lang.python.announce announces new Python software.  Be
   sure to scan this newsgroup weekly.

   Python411 indexes "podcasts ... to help people learn Python ..."
   Updates appear more-than-weekly:

   The Python Package Index catalogues packages.

   Much of Python's real work takes place on Special-Interest Group
   mailing lists

   Python Success Stories--from air-traffic control to on-line
   match-making--can inspire you or decision-makers to whom you're
   subject with a vision of what the language makes practical.

   The Python Software Foundation (PSF) has replaced the Python
   Consortium as an independent nexus of activity.  It has official
   responsibility for Python's development and maintenance.
   Among the ways you can support PSF is with a donation.

   The Summary of Python Tracker Issues is an automatically generated
   report summarizing new bugs, closed ones, and patch submissions.

   nullege is an interesting search Web application, with the
   to distinguish between Python code and comments.  It provides what
   appear to be relevant results, and demands neither Java nor CSS be

   Although unmaintained since 2002, the Cetus collection of Python
   hyperlinks retains a few gems.

   Python FAQTS

   The Cookbook is a collaborative effort to capture useful and
   interesting recipes.

   Many Python conferences around the world are in preparation.
   Watch this space for links to them.

   Among several Python-oriented RSS/RDF feeds available, see:
   For more, see:
   The old Python "To-Do List" now lives principally in a
   SourceForge reincarnation. presents an intriguing approach to reference
   It already aggregates quite a bit of Python intelligence.

   Enjoy the *Python Magazine*.

   *Py: the Journal of the Python Language*

   Dr.Dobb's Portal is another source of Python news and articles:
   and Python articles regularly appear at IBM DeveloperWorks:

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