Tuesday, July 10, 2012

PPUG 2012.7.10

I was so immersed in teaching Python to unseen others, perhaps some of them veiled in Tehran, that I forgot about our Portland Python User Group (PPUG) meeting.

Usually I'd take the 4, but given my already extreme lateness, I hopped in the car, and did Hawthorne, MLK, I-5, Broadway Bridge to the Pearl.  Urban Airship was my destination.

In retrospect, it's probably good I got there late, as the rampage through the pizza boxes was mostly over.  I might have become too much the frenzied pizza eater.  Such a crowd we were.

Case was already deep into his talk on extending Python in C.  He was wading through lots of C code, as the audience stared in quiet attentiveness, with a few raising hands to ask questions.

Wraithan was next up, and did the beginner talk, on iterators and generators.  The way Michelle has it designed, is we'll have talks hitting different tiers, in terms of advanced versus beginner.

That's a good approach, as advanced users benefit from both seeing and communicating the basics, where those just learning the ropes like to see into the distance, into what might be in store for them, if they keep ascending the learning curve.

Iterator syntax has changed slightly in Python 3 in that it has been rationalized somewhat.  Whereas in 2.7 we have an "__iter__" and "next" method protocol for iterators, in Python 3.x it's "__iter__ and "__next__" i.e. both methods are "magic" (__rib__ syntax) with "__next__" being triggered by the builtin function next( ).  I interjected to this effect.

Wraithan kept it low key, good natured, and interactive.  Michelle put him on the spot a few times, and he handled her questions gracefully, keeping it friendly to beginners.  I was impressed.

This was an idyllic summer night and wandering around the Pearl, watching people having fun, was amusing in itself.

I'd lucked out on parking.

New construction is happening.

Portland is still a boom town, another of several jewels on the Pacific Rim, not yet wrecked by tsunami or earthquake, InshaAllah (or knock wood).

I chatted with the author of the Kindle eBook on Python decorators, over on edu-sig.

Joe and I are still hammering away about "axioms" on Math Forum (I'm contributing new curriculum writing for STEM).

I've been discussing my "anti-Anglo chauvinism", as Mirsky calls it, on the Wittgenstein list.

The Physics Learning Research list has been fun, but is harder to access, ditto Wanderers.

Does this all add up to a party platform?

Only in the inner reaches of my "Oval Office" I'm sure.