PyMNtos number 3

Posted in Uncategorized on May 22nd, 2009 by varikin

Last Thursday* was the 3rd PyMNtos meeting.

Kevin Marshall gave a good talk on using Windmill to test through the browser. Windmill makes testing through the browser extremely easy by recording what you do in the browser to Python files. Then you can automate running those tests to ensure all Ajax/Javascript/etc works correctly on different platforms and browsers. If you are not testing through the browser, one way or another, you should.

After that, Matt Westerburg gave a talk on meta classes. Who knew Python was so powerful! For those that don’t know, meta classes allow you specific how a class is created. Not to be confused with __init__ which is how class instances are created. It is all very meta, which is rather suiting.

There are plans for 3 topics at the next meeting.

  • Matt Westerburg will give a more indepth talk on meta classes
  • I (John Shimek) will talk about virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper
  • Nick Bauman will be talking about Pyjamas

There was more talked about, but it is hard to remember everything since I am bad about posting these things on time. It was a great time, and I hope the next meeting will be as well.

*If I would have finished this post on time, last Thursday would have been correct, but I didn’t so it isn’t. In fact, it was May 18, 2009, which is Thursday of last week.

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Starting MinnePy, a Python Users Group

Posted in Uncategorized on February 21st, 2009 by varikin


Over the past year and a half, I have been learning and using Python. I found that I really love Python, but was bemoaning the fact that there is no Python Users Group in the Twin Cities. There had been a Zope/Python group back in 2003/2004, but they are not active and the server with the mailing is down.

Then a couple months ago on Twitter, I saw Ian Bicking is planning to move to Minneapolis. We chatted some about him moving to the area, and he asked about the Zope group. This started gears turning in my head. Maybe, just maybe, I could start up a Python Users Group here in the Twin Cities. I mean, how hard can it be? Get a bunch of people together to talk about the same thing, should be easy.

Then fast forward to early this month at MinneDemo. I talked to Luke Francl who helped organize MinneDemo hoping to get pointers on starting an users group. He then introduced me to Scott Vlaminck who organized GUM. Luke and Scott both gave me great advice. First of all, just get together regularly every month and talk about Python. Even if it is just 3 of us. Then get a mailing list going, Google Groups is the easiest. Third, advertise.

I thought about it, and thought about it, and thought about it. I want this. I want to be part of an active community, and I don’t want to learn Ruby or Groovy (sorry Luke and Scott:). My distaste of Java is rising (after enterprise legacy app that is as agile as a…um…really un-agile thing, I prefer more dynamic languages). So that meant I need to follow through.

The Group

So on February 17, 2009, I created the MinnePy Google Group. Then I invited a few people I know and tweeted it. The response was good. There is now 19 members, plus someone said they started another group last month, but they haven’t met yet. Looks like we will be merging because the more the merrier.

My idea is that the group is open to all Python topics. I myself am Django guy, but I hold nothing against TG, web2py, SqlAlchemey, Py3k, or anything else. The more knowledge the better.  Also, feel free to post any Python related topic to the mailing list.


Currently, we are planning to meet the second Thursday of the month, so the first meeting will be March 12 from  7 to 8 PM. For the first meeting, Luke suggested just having everyone introduce themselves talk about what we like and would want from MinnePy. The Sierra Bravo office has been offered for the meetup, but I want to talk off-line with the kind folks there before making that official.


  • Have first meetup
  • Choose a name (some like PyMNtos, others like MinnePy)
  • Get a website
  • Get a domain
  • Have fun

If you or anyone you know is interested in Python and in the Twin Cities area (or care to come to the Twin Cities area once a month), please join and spread the word!

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Python 2.6 is released!

Posted in Uncategorized on October 1st, 2008 by varikin

I can’t wait to play with it and see what is new! I have been really digging Python lately, and am extremely excited.


Django 1.0 is out in the wild!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 4th, 2008 by varikin

I have been closely following Django as it nears the 1.0 release.  I have been using Django for about 6 months now.  It is the first framework that I have actually grokked.  Before Django, I never understood the idea of frameworks.  I don’t know if Django is the best, but since I really like Python, it suits me.

Also, my favorite changeset is #8862 because I wrote the patch used and I was thanked in the commit message.  It makes me happy:)

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Debugging Django

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1st, 2008 by varikin

I have been wondering good ways to debug Django and stumbled across this, Debugging Django.  It is great!

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Posted in Uncategorized on July 29th, 2008 by varikin

I have recently been working on a new website for my wife,  It is currently a Joomla site, which I originally liked, but then I wanted to upgrade.  Which meant rewriting some customizations.  It was a long tedious thing.  Then I started learning Django, and decided to completely write a new site for her in Django.  So far it is going great, but it is taking time.

The thing I like about Django is complicated piece I think I need to do turns out to be a simple bit if Django.  The ORM is great, the templates have almost everything I need, and the automatic admin site is a blessing!  Why bother writing and designing my own admin section when it can be given to me for free.  I need to override some bits of it, but the bulks done.  That way I can concentrate on the main part of the site.

I have fallen for Django.

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