Slices of Py
Bits from the world of the Python programming language.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005
The Hand of FuManChu PUTs POST in perspective

Referrer inspired communication is nifty. brought me this gem regarding semantics of HTTP's PUT vs. POST.

My recent encounter with this while digging about REST is the article "How to create a REST protocol" and the comments at the bottom.

It's neet to see weblogs in motion, with referrer references (logs,, aggregators ..)  as a sole means of passive communication. Sam Ruby wants to use this to garner more iTune's attention to this, while this post gives you a recap of the general flavor of the blogging culture around a year (or two?) and some monts ago. I chuckled at how personality could not be subdued. It's currently at 66 posts, and I haven't caught up, or saw if Dave Winer has chimed in.

1:30:15 AM    , comment []

Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Go Seige

In getting to know more about Twisted, I came across Go Seige, the implementation of the game of Go into a "massively multiplayer game"  which is built in Python and Twisted.

I wonder what David Goodger (of Go Utils and many others) thinks of it, or will blog about it.

11:59:32 PM    , comment []
Python assisted Segway clone builder makes an electric unicycle

That was a long title for The Electric Unicycle, of which I have not confirmed whether the Python and BSD tools he used in designing the Balancing Scooter applied.

Someday I'll come up with a good name for that category of life-goals including "riding a unicycle", "flipping your shoes like Mister Rogers'", and "writing a palendromic haiku."  A callous observer is quick to quip something about an abundance of opposably thumbed time, to which I change the subject and ask them what's on TV tonight.

This post in honor of my 6 year old's achievement of riding his bike without trailing wheels on my country's independance day.

11:25:09 PM    , comment []

Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Current state of blogging

A day after Jon Udell summarizes this, Don Box spouts that

This entries Commentary replaced with the following editorial:

I've not been in a mood to write lately.  When I've tried it's accompanied with a grievance to have researched and experimented more, noted mostly by including way more rhetorical questions than I'm willing to commit for discussion or let stand as an empiricless opine. I've been in my current locale long enough to notice enough recurring tedium and will save you from that, even though I may be able to make my day to day non-profesional interests amusing. (Wish we could have lunch. Blogging has thankfully satisfied this gap for many years now.) Other topics such as Soylent Green Is Embreos and arm-chair Project Management Methodology notes are also lacking in either real world experience or willingness to dialogue cc:World. Perhaps I haven't the guts, but I've no ambition to alude to my current employer's industry activities. There's also the matter of getting all the appropriate hyperlinks in place and checking for blogosphere and Daily Planet's redundancies. And as I've said before, noting annoyances gets annoying fast. Stay courteous and enjoy the coming weekend.

1:05:15 AM    , comment []

Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Slices of SPAM
>> [self.amuse() for slice in SPAM[crazy:tasty]]
Traceback (most recent call last):
File", line 1, in ?
ComprehensionError: comprehension underflow--THAT'S got SPAM in it!

Sorry folks, the consumerism is just a red herring.

11:31:22 PM    , comment []

Friday, February 04, 2005
Consistency, refined.

Consistency, although taken for granted, smells like morning fresh something that smells good when fresh in the morning. 

I pretty much committed to buying a piano today. I've wanted one in the house since we had 2 kids.  I'm giddy with consumerism and a sunny melting snow Friday afternoon. Moving it 1 mile across town tomorow's challange.

Zwiki BugDay seemed to go well. First one, to boot! I was at work then had unexpected company so didn't contribute more than the usual wiki gnoming.

Some thoughts on WikiWords:  They are odd, but seem to extract an extra amount of mindshare (kind of like TLA's). Don't overuse them, but they have their place. When trying to name something, they seem to require effort, but when you're stuck in a meeting and topics and buzzwords are flying around reminding you that you haven't got a handle on them, they seem very easy to come up with. Write them down.  Look up or create a page. (I wonder if a wiki can serve like the blank pile of paper used in Getting Things Done)  My literary educated wife tells me we name things to feel in order to feel control over them. Makes sense. God told us to have dominion over the beasts and what-not and to name them. If knowing is half the battle, naming is the be filled in later, along with links. Suggestions and thoughts, as always, welcome.    ...consistent naming is another matter.

Greetings Python world. You've grown since I last blogged in your direction. So much that when if I sit on a topic more than 3 days, you've got it spread throughout the land.  Jarno, doing well? Consistency factors keep me from adding to this fun driving analogy.  Although I still think Apple is following the Volkswagen history, analogically speaking.

11:36:25 PM    , comment []

Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Advanced Python books

Where does one go to learn Python Idioms? One of the top referred resources is the Python Cookbook, found in living and book form. Jonathon Gennick has put out an request to submit entries to the Python 2.4 version of the cookbook.

O'Reilly's "Hardcore Java" caught my eye yesterday in looking, but failing to find the Zopista's Plone book in Borders yesterday. Would a similar Python book be useful? Necessary? Perhaps it's smarter to hold out for a Developer's Notebook covering XML or Twisted.

My perspective on advanced Python books is rather narrow, and so is the Python Wiki AdvancedBooks page.

12:03:51 AM    , comment []

Friday, August 13, 2004
P.G. O'Meme, Round II...

Paul Graham's earlier work pissed off a lotta product pushers. His latest clarifies, and thus I can enter this meme on the after schock.

Eric Sink duly noted, (to paraphrase liberally), that it's probably a bad idea to hire a zealout. Yes, I said zealout, he didn't. He said hire a profesional, and I think the moral of the story is, when remotely possible, to hire a hacker who is a professional. Hopefull those who read his article will read more than the last paragraph, and thus not conclude that hackers cannot be professionals.

Then what is a profesional hacker? (cue music) Passionate, but not militant. Expressive, but not zealous. Aggressive, yet adaptive. Smart, yet empathetic. Able to type-cast, yet dynamic. Can follow procedures, yet functional. Uses source control and bug trackers but makes it PERTy only when necessary. Results and collaboration. And finally: Proud, and not condescending.

Yes, I lean towards Eric's perspective yet have been influenced by more respectable (and just plain cool) hackers in my life to let potential short-sighted conclusions go unnoticed. Tact is a necesity and will go a long way. I've met as many tactless hacker consultants as I have smug "GPL is leprosy!" bandwagoners (sometimes both!) and since they both negate each other out of existance I'm (profesionally!) content with a product-shop wife with a hacker mistress.* I admit to having read the Great Hackers through nolstalgic eyes and generally feel most product-shops miss the point in regards to leveraging the hacker identity. My guesstimate would be that they only go as far as ThinkGeek, or worse, Frankly I find the term hacker about as saturated and misused as engineer. Funny how both hackers and shop-grinders like to be recognized for what they contributed to the community. 1:46AM. I digress.

*Wish I could remember the Pythonista who said "Java is my wife, Python is my mistress" in some comment it isValues of Cool, indeed.

Perhaps I should add a link to the Slashdot comments, but I've found Slashdot's Read More... considerabley harmful.

For those wondering about the title, I enjoyed this book. Not that it exemplifies tact, and too bad G and J are only phonetically similar, but I'll stick with it. I wonder if Vonnegut is required reading for Comp. Sci. majors. It would likely get read, but would it help?

1:57:05 AM    , comment []

Thursday, June 24, 2004
Wiki pages of note in no particular scale

ZopeWiki:ZopeCredits Add credit where credit's due. are stale. Will this page offer a new light? Heck..somebody make that page a blog and put a person and there contribution in a weekly spotlight.

WikiWiki:ElizabethWiethoff is spreading Python goodwill and gardening throughout Ward's wiki.

MeatBallWiki:CommunityMarketing Marketing isn't just about gaining MindShare. Another set of interesting marketing devotionals can be at Eric Sink's "22 Laws of Immutable Marketing". Look Ma, Agile!

Scrum(Docs)Wiki:PigsAndChickens -- Don't throw the joke out with the metaphor. (Metaphor definition suggestion: Pigs are bound, Chickens are gagged. A scrum list replacement metaphor: Players and Spectators--I can't think of anything more accurate and personally look forward to bbq'ing the pig and chicken metaphor.) is an implementation of Scrum management tools in a wiki. I couldn't find an appropriate page here other than the FrontPage.

..and now for something subtle:

Fragment Highlighting. Yum. Why was I expecting a Purple highlight?

nicely laid out wiki.

Wikipedia:WisconsinIdea ... TheReformSociety

And finally, a succinct definition on the difference between a weblog and a wiki. via --and be sure to catch Tom Hoffman's 1 2.

10:58:03 PM    , comment []
conferences-discuss list is dead.

..or at least that's what 10 months of spam is telling me.

There is this unanswered entry.

I wonder if none of the readers noticed as SpamBayes filtered it all out. :-P  Let OSCON come and go with nary a signal and let's mothball it and move the discussions to the wiki.

2:09:33 AM    , comment []

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Planet Categories, blogging runoff...

Planet Python and Planet Zope have been announced this week.

My "Slices of Py" made the Planet Zope list, yet not Planet Python one. *shrug*, email sent.

I concur with Roberto Alsino that these groups need to define whether they're about a community or a topic. Many bloggers (/feeds) contain many "off topic" entries. Some of these bloggers have sub-category methods to narrow the feed, others don't. Those that don't and rarely post a topic based entry should be pruned from the list or re-trench with a blogging engine or scraper that does. Those that do, please email the admin with your focused feed. Examples upon request.

11:09:06 PM    , comment []

Saturday, May 29, 2004
Ben via Live Journal, and a decent sized Python list

I think I came to "10:00 am - A Hundred Musts And A Should Or Two" via Artima Buzz. It rings with the dischord I've heard throughout my career, and find the Scrum folks testifying freedom from at the unshackled organ. Great writing, Ben.  Windows users might also want to catch the ActivePython notes regarding process interrupting and version upkeep. The LiveJournal python-dev group holds quite a list. Have I overlooked an aggregated view?

<snip>rant on similar usage of "would be nice", "that'd be good", and other apparent un-documentables, followed by disenchanted baffle over Scrum (yearly redemption required) certification.  Maybe more on that later.  Criticize in private...wait for a reply...</snip>

And for what it's worth, the Google News Alert I subscribed to has yielded very few results, and removing the Google News button on the googlebar is a worthy measure in reducing information addiction.  Did you have any different results, Jarno? ...and even though your blog has MOVED, it was fun digging up that link searching for various items entitled "Python owns object."

1:48:58 AM    , comment []

Friday, May 28, 2004
Computer Language Fireworks

Very fun thread on the Python Firework.

A few submissions from my history:

  • COBOL: A fully automatic cap gun. Does it's job, quite understandable, pain to load, tedium makes it quickly uninteresting.
  • Old School BASIC: Simple fountains. POKE them in the side to make it interesting, or gibberish and quite sporatic.
  • dBase: Snap-Pops. Works fine. Sure, you can tie a bunch together to make a somewhat powerful app, kind of like putting them under a toilet seat (tee-hee), but it's sure a pain in the
  • DOS Batch: Jumping jacks. Quick fix, tied together you should probably be ready to run, and expect a few duds.

Modern languages have already been covered....wait....there is one:

  • XML: Static pictures drawn from colored fireworks. Pretty, looks way customizable, everyone likes it, but IT"S NOT A FIREWORK--there's no BANG, It's not a Language...sorry, got a bit carried away. Kinda like kids who wrote ANSI-Mations and claimed it was programming. Not something to rant about, but one does make mistakes.


1:23:13 AM    , comment []

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Zoom Zoom Zoom....Putt-Putt-Putt

I wish I could remember where I clicked this from, but I saved it due to this line:

The golden rule of programming has always been that clarity and correctness matter much more than the utmost speed. Very few people will argue with that. And yet do we really believe it? If we did, then 99% of all programs would be written in something like Python. - James Hague

Such is reality.  Now to learn how to build mental callousness to the reality of coded cleverness, grand organizational and pattern schemes pilfered with 3 line functions, all embodied in auto-typed documentation headers reading completely as "Summary of ClassName".

I can't buy a micro-sized economy car for fear of the 4 wheel-drive gargantuans zinging around central Wisconsin and into my family. But today, to spite them all, I drove my face-in-the-windshield speed-limit-cruising designed for simplicty 1973 Volkswagen Bus to work. :-)

"When a box-on-wheels is the basic need, a box-on-wheels is the perfect answer." - Heinrich Nordhoff

10:02:43 PM    , comment []

Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Useless Python bids farewell

Egads! Useless Python has retired!

I encountered this site first coming to Python and the humility and community spirit surrounding it struck a pleasant chord with me. Rob noted that the Python Cookbook fills the majority of the need.  Perhaps, but it's rather hard to see the fun in a site this polished. Rob: Thank you for this peice of Python history. I hope your endeavors are a little less clouded with Useless Python basking in a Floridian sun. Here's looking forward to your next Pythonic venture.

Why did I go searching for something at Useless Python? In digging for some example twisted code to fire up a simple proxy server then add interesting stuff (ref. Jon Udell), I intended to head over to Useless Python and find my starting point. Most of the stuff I had currently come across was beyond the first stage I was looking for, or required spelunking the remaining twisted API basics. I felt rather like this.  In digging at the proxy doc's I see I'll have to go digging at the basics as making an HTTPFactory a listener on a port 'as usual', is quite unusable for this n00b.

If you were to suggest to Jon Udell he post his proxy+mxTidy twisted recipe somewhere...where would you suggest? His blog, Twisted, Python Cookbook, Vaults of Parnassus...?

10:41:18 PM    , comment []

Thursday, October 30, 2003
Zope Opera

The biggest thread I've seen at ZopeZen has been followed up by an open letter from Zope corporate.  It's interesting in light of the fishbowl, and what happens when a walled garden grows in that fishbowl.  Nice to see a (big) Zope name I didn't recognize follow-up to this related blog entry.

Meanwhile, Zope credits remain to be updated...

10:26:02 PM    , comment []

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