Tuesday, October 09, 2007

PPUG @ CubeSpace

Sitting right at the same table, Matt McCredie emailed these three cool Python modules from his hard drive to mine: ap.py (classic screen saver), die.py (mouse rolls and drags 'em) and rot.py (rotating squares), all showcasing Python's ability to talk to Tk.

I'll be sure to mention on 'em on edu-sig, Dr. Zelle's hangout. He's a Python/Tk graphics guru of sorts, author of a top selling teaching book, other resources (like graphics.py -- easier than Tkinter).

Jeff Schwaber ran the meeting, per his experimental formatting suggestions, then flogged us through his brainchild, pretty effectively I'd say (more background in the archives). He told us our table should read and write code and discuss the Standard Library, which we dutifully did (e.g. we looked at Matt's shlex-based RPN calculator).

I stayed in the back, close to a power outlet, running Ubuntu on Dell, blogging in real time.

Jeff: "eXtreme Programming (XP) is an agile methodology..."

Our Beginners group was ironically probably the most advanced. Tom, new in Portland from Pittsburgh by way of Tuscon, is focusing on making GUIs more accessible, e.g. to vision impaired Python coders.

Accessibility remains a gaping hole in many open source projects (maybe Wayne could branch out in this area?). Microsoft has been pioneering in this regard, setting a bar for others to reach and perhaps eventually surpass (but how long will it take?).

Dwight had some good PyQt-based eye candy to share, competing with Tk's for attention.

Although we talked wxPython, none of us showcased it directly.

I was glad to see Tim Bauman in attendance at another table (he's no beginner, but then neither am I).

Other tables: ReportLab, Web Frameworks, Mercurial.

Jason talked about O'Reilly needing reviewers, and about a sample book he'd left at home (title again?).

CubeSpace was hopping tonight. Lots of meetings in parallel.

This business model is definitely a success. Alexia was thinking it'd fly in Clarksville and/or Nashville. The concept could be franchised and/or rebranded.

Maybe I'll ask at the front desk if they get inquiries from other cities (like Gresham, Lake Oswego?). No time for carousing tonight. Lots on my plate back at the office.

Relevant follow-up on edu-sig: Curriculum Fine Tuning (Fri Oct 12 21:13:57 CEST 2007)