The Sydney Python Meetup last night was great. I was initially expecting to meet with four or five others, but in the end we had fourteen. There was a good mix of experienced Python programmers, hobbyists and newbies and the “show-and-tell” was of a very high standard too.
A quick rundown on the presentations:
Casey couldn’t come, because he is teaching at a computer science camp. He sent along this paragraph to read out:
Sorry I can’t make it tonight, I hope you are all having fun. I am spending the week helping my group of twenty year-11 students, generally bright but with little or no programming background at all, build an entire search engine in Python. That’s a spider, an indexer, a search engine, a query engine, and a website, in four days and about 30 hours of lab time. They’re on schedule! I can’t think of another language that you could throw at students of this level and see any results at all, let alone something of this scale. Go Python, go!
Fascinating. I’m hoping Casey will post some more details on his blog.
Owen gave us a run-down on his RailXML project, which will make the entire Sydney train timetable available in XML format. The data is extracted from the CityRail timetable web pages, which is quite a feat. Andrew suggested the Beautiful Soup parser might be helpful. It will be interesting to see how RailXML evolves, and what uses the data might be put to, once available in this easy-to-use form.
Finally, Ben Decker presented his work on the DOS port of Python, PythonD. It turns out that DOS alive and well on the PC and is used in various embedded controllers too. Ben’s DOS port includes support for networking, OpenGL, threading (on DOS!), Ncurses, and more. I am impressed.
Thanks to everyone who came along – it was an interesting evening. A big thankyou to those presented. The next meetup will be in March or April. If you’re in Sydney, hope to see you there.