MichiPUG meeting on Thursday, 10/2

Our regularly scheduled MichiPUG meeting is coming on Thursday, October 2nd. The meeting will be at its usual time (7 PM) and at the usual place (SRT Solutions).

This month meeting topic is Python 2.6. A few months ago, we discussed Python 3.0 and all the new features that had to offer. It seems to make more sense to focus on Python 2.6, because it’s a release that we can likely use sometime soon. Coincidentally, Python 2.6 final is due out tomorrow.

So check out what’s new in Python 2.6 and come to the meeting with your choices of favorite new features.

Quick and dirty hack to get syntax coloring in Keynote

I figured I’d toss this out in the event that someone has a better solution in hand. I tossed this together quickly and it works. It requires that you have Pygments installed and pygmentize on your path (which is silly, because I could have just imported pygments as a library…) It also requires that Safari is running. But, hey, it works.

import os
import sys

def go():
    if len(sys.argv) != 2:
        print "Usage: %s <filename>" % sys.argv[0]
    output_fn, ext = os.path.splitext(sys.argv[1])
    output_fn += '.html'
    print "Generating %s" % (output_fn)
    os.system("pygmentize -O full -o %s %s" % (output_fn, sys.argv[1]))
    print "Copying to clipboard..."
    fullpath = os.path.abspath(output_fn)
tell application "Safari"
        make new document at end of documents
        set url of document 1 to "file://%s"
end tell

tell application "System Events"
        tell process "Safari"
                click menu item "Select All" of menu "Edit" of menu bar 1
                click menu item "Copy" of menu "Edit" of menu bar 1
                click menu item "Close Window" of menu "File" of menu bar 1
        end tell
end tell
""" % (fullpath))
if __name__ == "__main__":

McCain can’t win on the issues

George W. Bush’s approval rating is just a shade above EPIC FAIL. As much as he’d like to claim to be an agent of change, McCain’s policies are much, much closer to GWB’s than he’d like to admit. If this election was all about the issues, McCain would lose, of that I have no doubt.

So, rather than campaigning on the issues, John McCain has thrown all integrity out the window. He’s building a campaign on lies and stupid non-issues. He’s chosen a running mate based on political motivations rather than ability to lead this country should something happen to him. (Actuaries would certainly argue that something is more likely to happen to McCain than to Obama.)

For his part, Obama has exaggerated a bit and used negative campaigning. From what I have seen Obama has not stooped to outright lying, and I sincerely hope he doesn’t start. Thank goodness for FactCheck.org, because that site really helps keep things on the level. I wish all voters would follow that site.

Obama is not a perfect candidate, nor is he running on a perfect platform. But, to me, McCain/Palin sounds every bit as bad as Bush/Cheney. Earlier this year, I didn’t think so. I thought that McCain was a man of honor and would be a step up from GWB. After a week of lies and lipstick, McCain has shown what he’s truly made of. A vote for McCain/Palin is a vote for FAIL.

For people not in swing states, it’s worth checking out what Ron Paul and Bob Barr are up to. Ron Paul has real reform in mind, rather than “change” as a slogan. If you are in a swing state (as I am), vote Obama for a chance at something better than we’ve had for the past 8 years.

Let’s meet up in Atlanta at PyWorks!


This year has seemed like a big year for Python conference activity in the US. Of course, there was PyCon in March, which topped 1,000 attendees. I’ve also seen announcements for a bunch of regional Python gatherings (like PyOhio, which was close by but I couldn’t attend).

This year, we also get PyWorks, which is joined at the hip with php|works in Atlanta in November. This is the first year for PyWorks, and they’ve got a good lineup going. There’s a day of tutorials and two days of talks, so this is more like a PyCon than it is like those regional conferences.

In addition to attending talks myself, I’m hoping to meet some more good Python and/or JavaScript folks in the “hallway track”. I’m sure there will be lots of Dojo users mixed in with the Python and PHP people, so we should get together.

I have four speaking slots (one of which isn’t listed yet) over the two conference days (gadzooks!). I’ll be doing a revised and expanded version of my PyCon talk “Rich Client Web Applications with TurboGears 2 and Dojo”. I’ll also be giving an updated version of the “Easy build and deployment automation with Paver” talk that Mark Ramm gave in my stead at PyOhio. Paver really puts the “scripting” back in “Python scripting language” (Python certainly does a lot more than “scripting”!)

I’ll also be giving a talk called “ZODB: The Most Underappreciated Library in Python”. The ZODB is great. More people should use it. This is a talk I gave a couple months back at MichiPUG, so it’s only been seen by a small group at this point.

My fourth talk is one I haven’t given anywhere before: “Beyond the Source: Growing Your Community”. I’m going to talk in concrete terms about things you can do to grow an open source community. Open source projects really need to get to a certain level of use before they become viable open source projects, and there are many, many ways in which people interested in a project can help it get there.

I hope to see you there!