Tuesday, October 19, 2004


PythonCard 0.8.1

PythonCard is a GUI construction kit for building cross-platform desktop applications on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The latest release of PythonCard includes over 50 sample applications and tools to help users edit and build applications in Python, plus many useful programs like the slideshow sample that you might want to use without ever bothering to do any coding. Check out the sample pages for screenshots and info about the samples. The more applications page has some info and screenshots on applications users have built with PythonCard.

New samples include floatCanvasTest, flock, gravity, testNotebook, and testSplitter. There is a new version of the codeEditor that uses tabs and will eventually replace the existing codeEditor. There is also an experimental reStructuredText and HTML editor in the codeEditor directory called restEditor.

PythonCard requires Python 2.3 or higher and wxPython 2.5.2.8 or higher.

The documentation page has links to installation instructions for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows that covers installing Python, wxPython, and PythonCard. The Linux instructions will be updated soon, but we're waiting for the RPMs to be built, so for now Linux users can just download and install from the tar.gz source archive. The documentation includes some walkthroughs, screenshots and info on using PythonCard and some of its tools such as the codeEditor, resourceEditor (layout tool), findfiles, and runtime shell.

There are many changes from the earlier PythonCardPrototype packages. See the migration_guide.txt file if you are upgrading from an earlier release. Check the changelog for a complete list of changes for release 0.8.1.

If you would like to contribute to PythonCard, the first step is joining the mailing list.


2:17:09 PM    comment []

  Wednesday, August 18, 2004


PythonCard 0.8

PythonCard is a GUI construction kit for building cross-platform desktop applications on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The latest release of PythonCard includes over 50 sample applications and tools to help users edit and build applications in Python, plus many useful programs like the slideshow sample that you might want to use without ever bothering to do any coding. Check out the sample pages for screenshots and info about the samples. The more applications page has some info and screenshots on applications users have built with PythonCard.

New samples include ataxx, lsystem, moderator, montyhall, mp3player, reversi, and twistedEchoClient. There is also an experimental reStructuredText and HTML editor in the codeEditor directory called restEditor.

PythonCard requires Python 2.3 or higher and wxPython 2.5.2.7 or higher.

The documentation page has links to installation instructions for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows that covers installing Python, wxPython, and PythonCard. The Linux instructions will be updated soon, but we're waiting for the RPMs to be built, so for now Linux users can just download and install from the tar.gz source archive. The documentation includes some walkthroughs, screenshots and info on using PythonCard and some of its tools such as the codeEditor, resourceEditor (layout tool), findfiles, and runtime shell.

There are many changes from the earlier PythonCardPrototype packages. See the migration_guide.txt file if you are upgrading from an earlier release. Check the changelog for a complete list of changes for release 0.8.

This is the first release targeted at resolving issues for a 1.0 release. If all goes well, PythonCard 1.0 will be out this winter after wxPython 2.6 is released.

If you would like to contribute to PythonCard, the first step is joining the mailing list.


12:48:30 PM    comment []

  Monday, August 16, 2004


At long last, wxPython 2.5.2.7 has been released. PythonCard release 0.8, which is dependent on 2.5.2.7 will be out shortly. Head over to the wxPython site or just follow the links below. If you are a Mac OS X user you should be particularly happy. I've been using wxPython 2.5.2.x on my PowerBook as my primary Python development platform for the last few months and it definitely looks and works well enough that I don't feel cheated anymore compared to wxPython on Windows. Kudos to Stefan Csomor, Kevin Ollivier, Robin Dunn and everyone else that have whipped WXMAC into shape.

wxPython 2.5.2.7 has been released, all users of 2.5.1.5 are strongly encouraged to upgrade. Please read the Recent Changes and Migration Guide for details.

A snapshot of the new style wxPython reference docs is available here. While most of the content is not yet present, the docs are still usable, and in fact helpful since they already accurately document what classes and methods are present in wxPython and what the parameter names are.

Robin's OSCON 2004 tutorial and presentation slides are available.


10:48:34 AM    comment []

  Saturday, July 31, 2004


OSCON 2004 is over. I had a lot of fun along with the rest of the crowd; there were over 2000 attendees this year. Obviously I haven't blogged in a long time, but I'm sure other bloggers did a good job of covering events and sessions.

I'm off to the Python VanPy Workshop '04 in Vancouver, British Columbia where I'll be giving a talk on PythonCard Monday morning. The keynotes and sessions for the conference are looking good.

When I get back I expect to start posting a little more regularly. I've been working on release 0.8 of PythonCard and in particular paying attention to any issues I find on Mac OS X that need to be tweaked. I expect to make a release soon after Robin releases wxPython 2.5.2.x


9:25:37 AM    comment []

  Monday, April 12, 2004


O'Reilly Open Source Convention 2004

The OSCON 2004 site is live, so you can register; be sure to take advantage of the many discounts available. Also, don't forget to check the schedule for the Python 12 presentations and tutorials. OSCON is being held July 26 - 30 at the Portland Marriott Downtown in Portland, Oregon.

There is a plan to have sprints after the main conference is over, starting Friday afternoon and lasting through Monday morning, but the details haven't been worked out yet. If you are planning to attend OSCON and think you might be interested in doing some coding over the weekend, then you might want to hold off on finalizing your flights.


10:42:07 AM    comment []

  Wednesday, March 24, 2004


BitTorrent

Congratulations to Bram Cohen on his Wired Rave Award for BitTorrent!

According to Wired, there are an estimated 10 million machines running BitTorrent. The SourceForge downloads alone are around 1.3 - 1.5 million per month and several of the most active Python projects on SourceForge are alternative clients for BitTorrent. That means that BitTorrent is probably the most popular program ever written in Python and one of the most popular Open Source projects as well.

[via Dave Winer]


3:42:23 PM    comment []

  Tuesday, March 23, 2004


HyperCard: 1987 - 2004

Well it finally happened, Apple removed the HyperCard sub-directory from the main Apple site and you can no longer buy HyperCard from the Apple store. Of course, HyperCard was never updated for Mac OS X and I'm pretty sure the last update to HyperCard was version 2.4.1 back in 1998. But the removal of the product from the Apple site is the final nail in the coffin.

If you want to upgrade your old HyperCard stacks and use an xTalk-style language, then your best bet is probably Runtime Revolution. If you want more info on HyperCard, then you might want to check out the HyperCard wiki page.

Meanwhile, the Open Source PythonCard project will continue to plug away at a worthy successor using the Python programming language that will run on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. We're finally going to make a 1.0 release later this spring and I plan to get back to work on a more integrated HyperCard-like environment for PythonCard. If you would like to help make that happen, I invite you to email me and join the project.

Rest In Peace HyperCard. You are not forgotten and your children live on...


11:22:40 AM    comment []

  Monday, March 22, 2004


Do we need a Jython JSR?

Last May I made a blog entry on Jython that covers a lot of background material, including the idea of embedding Jython in Eclipse and web servers. BEA WebLogic already supports Jython. AFAIK, nobody has added Jython support to the main JBoss distribution yet, but someone should as Jython is being used with JBoss.

After reading about JSR 241: The Groovy Programming Language last week, I had to wonder why the authors didn't just embrace Jython instead? According to one of the advisors, the developers are certainly aware of Python and Jython, because "Python is a strong inspiration for Groovy", but the developers "wanted to re-invent".

Jython is a mature production quality language running in the JVM so it has full access to the J2SE platform and J2EE. Jython programs compile to Java class files, but you can also use the Jython interpreter to interactively manipulate Java classes at runtime. Besides Java, Jython is arguably the most popular language running in the JVM. What other dynamic language running in the JVM has several books written about it?

Sean Gallagher has written two articles on why now is such an important time for a language like Python or Jython: Java, meet Python. Python, meet Java and So what about Jython? The first article also appeared in LinuxWorld.

James Strachan, one of the spec leads for JSR 241, addresses some of the concerns over the Groovy JSR.

After reading these articles and comments I doubt we need a JSR for Jython, because Jython doesn't need to be re-specified or re-implemented, but perhaps how Jython relates to Java needs better definition within the JCP? Certainly Jython could use additional developers to keep it up-to-date with the latest implementation of Python. What Jython really needs is more recognition from Sun and IBM and some resources to keep Jython development active. Those companies should also be bundling Jython with their products, providing support through code examples and articles, and evangelizing Jython to their customers.

Related links:


11:24:26 AM    comment []

  Thursday, March 18, 2004


Python Scripting for C/C++ Applications

Applications can and are written in Python, but people are slow to change, so the vast majority are still done using C/C++ on Linux and Windows and a combination of C++ and Objective-C on Mac OS X. I've noticed a growing trend of using Python to provide user automation or scripting, sometimes called macros, for C/C++ applications. This makes a lot of sense:

  • developers don't have to waste time and money inventing their own scripting language and users don't have to learn a new automation language for every application they use
  • Python is an Open Source solution and can be embedded and distributed for free so there are no royalty payments or licensing hassles
  • Python is simple to learn, yet Python and its standard libraries are much more powerful than a proprietary language like VBScript
  • Python is cross-platform
  • tools like SWIG make it easy to expose part or all of the application programming interface (API)
  • Python scripting can be added to legacy projects just as well as new ones so developers don't have to abandon their old C/C++ code libraries
  • On the Windows platform, Python has an excellent interface to COM (also known as ActiveX) and can be used to interface to almost any COM program (such as the MS-Office suite). Again, Python scripting can be added to enhance a project without change to the existing COM components.
  • PyObjC can be used to add scripting to any Cocoa app on Mac OS X

For many of the same reasons, Python is often used as the "glue" language for a project. In the Java world, people are using Jython as the glue and scripting language.

I started a wiki page on python.org to help track C/C++ applications that support Python for scripting. If you know of an application that wasn't written in Python, but supports Python or Jython for scripting or as a glue language feel free to update the wiki page.


12:43:37 PM    comment []

  Sunday, March 14, 2004


When I need to serve up a few files for friends or try out some CGIs, XML-RPC, etc. I generally just fire up the PythonCard webserver sample. However, I find the following single line at a command prompt to be quite appealing for an instant web server.

    python -c "import SimpleHTTPServer;SimpleHTTPServer.test()"

It works on any OS where you have Python installed and since you can cd (change directory) to the dir you want to serve files from before running the command you don't have to mess with config files or moving files before serving them up. If you alias the command or make a batch file you won't have to remember the whole line. Here's an example run on my Mac.

[solo:~/] altis% python -c "import SimpleHTTPServer;SimpleHTTPServer.test()"
Serving HTTP on 0.0.0.0 port 8000 ...
localhost - - [14/Mar/2004 09:27:09] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 -
localhost - - [14/Mar/2004 09:27:28] "GET /gingerbread.py HTTP/1.1" 200 -

[via insom.me.uk]

Note that this blog entry was revised after a discussion on Simon Brunning's blog.


10:03:59 AM    comment []

  Thursday, March 11, 2004


Mailman is the SourceForge Project of the Month for March 2004.

Congratulations to Barry and crew!


12:40:22 PM    comment []

  Friday, March 05, 2004


Donate to the Python Software Foundation (PSF)

A donation to the PSF would not only demonstrate your appreciation of Python, but also help to advance the development of Python and other Python-based open source tools in the future. You may like to read the PSF Mission Statement for more details.

The PSF is a non-profit organization devoted to advancing the Python programming language. The PSF is a public charity under US tax law, and all donations made by US residents are tax deductible (see the PSF donations page for details).

To donate now using PayPal, simply click here

If you have problems donating through PayPal, or prefer to donate via check then you can send your donations to:

Python Software Foundation
c/o Neal Norwitz
1707 Sinclair Lane
Crownsville, MD 21032-1925
USA

Make checks payable to the Python Software Foundation.

Thank you for your support!


11:55:28 AM    comment []

  Monday, February 09, 2004


Proposals Due Today for the Python 12 Conference at OSCON

Today, Monday, February 9th, is the final day you can submit a proposal for the Python 12 conference at OSCON 2004!

O'Reilly Open Source Convention.


8:29:36 AM    comment []

  Wednesday, February 04, 2004


The deadline for submitting a proposal to Python 12/OSCON 2004 is Monday, February 9th!

O'Reilly Open Source Convention.


1:06:56 PM    comment []

  Saturday, August 09, 2003


Mark Hammond has announced the release of version 007 of the SpamBayes Outlook Plugin.

Computerworld has published two articles on spam that highlight the effectiveness of SpamBayes.

If you use Outlook, I highly recommend you try the SpamBayes Outlook plugin and thank the team accordingly. You will be glad you did. Note that you can still use SpamBayes even if you aren't an Outlook user.


5:44:59 PM    comment []

  Thursday, August 07, 2003


Boa Constructor has been picked as the SourceForge Project of the Month [link via the Daily Python-URL]

Congratulations to Riaan Booysen and the rest of the Boa team.


10:31:35 AM    comment []

SpamBayes I Thank Thee

Every day I get over sixty SPAM messages, but thanks to SpamBayes I don't have to read any of them or even look at the subject line and sender to figure out which messages are SPAM. They are all automatically moved from of my Outlook Inbox into a SPAM folder as they arrive and after three months I am confident that SpamBayes won't mistakenly move a real message into the SPAM folder. When it isn't sure if a message is SPAM, it simply goes into another folder I've defined which is easy to scan; generally the only things that go into the "Unsure" folder are a few electronic sales receipts and HTML newsletters.

Jon Udell wrote about how SpamBayes rocks on his weblog and an InfoWorld article last May.

Now there is a way to give back to the SpamBayes project. They've set up a donations page where you can make a contribution via PayPal to the Python Software Foundation (PSF). It's like tax-deductible shareware, so give generously. 


9:51:37 AM    comment []

  Friday, August 01, 2003


The Chronicle of Higher Education is hosting a chat today (August 1st) on Open-Source Software: The Risk and Rewards starting at 2 p.m. U.S. Eastern time. There is a related article titled Sharing the Code.

There will be a transcript available afterwards.

Cameron Laird says:

The Chronicle of Higher Education, which is more-or-less authoritative for US university administrations, is sponsoring a discussion on the place of open-source in universities ("... are such choices too risky for colleges...?"), starting in about an hour.  Bluntly, I think it's time to rally 'round the flag.


9:49:49 AM    comment []

  Wednesday, July 30, 2003


Python 2.3

Python 2.3 is done and available for download. The quotes in the press release are great, so go check them out along with the highlights, and complete release notes. In particular, this is the beginning of Python playing a much larger role at Apple and in Mac OS X development.

"The combination of the open source Unix-based core of Mac OS X running on PowerBook G4 high-performance portables has attracted a large number of developers using open source scripting languages like Python," said Bud Tribble, Apple's vice president of Software Technology. "Python 2.3 provides greatly improved support for existing Mac OS X users, and with the upcoming release of Panther, Apple will provide Python 2.3 developers direct access to APIs for the PDF-based Quartz graphics engine and QuickTime image formats."

Congratulations to everyone involved!


8:50:40 AM    comment []

  Friday, July 18, 2003


PyUno

This is probably the announcement that will finally get me to try OpenOffice.

PyUNO is a generic bridge between python and OpenOffice.org's component model UNO (Universal Network Objects).

The bridge enables python programmers to script a running OpenOffice.org -instance from the python executable via the UNO interprocess bridge. Additionally it allows to implement UNO components in python, which e.g. can be loaded directly into the OpenOffice.org process.

OpenOffice.org1.1rc ships with a nearly complete prebuilt python-2.2.2 runtime. This is necessary, because python 2.2.x does not yet build a shared library by default and the python executable is linked vs. the system's stdc++ library, which in general is incompatible to OpenOffice's stdc++ library.

In theory, PyUNO can also be used only with the core libraries of OpenOffice.org in order to use low-level-features like an interprocess bridge, C++ vs. Java vs. Python bridge, etc.

See http://udk.openoffice.org/python/python-bridge.html for a more detailed description of pyuno.


2:54:02 PM    comment []

  Tuesday, July 08, 2003


OSCAMP - Open Source Camp

The big event for me this week is OSCAMP, being held today between 1 and 6 pm USA west coast time. OSCAMP is a free, non-technical program for Oregon IT leaders, developers and the curious.

Agenda
1:00 Registration
1:30 The Economics of Open Source (Stormy Peters)
2:00 Linux in the Enterprise - An IBM Perspective (Dan Frye)
2:30 Legal Framework for Open Source (Larry Rosen)
3:30 Oregon Case Examples (12 speakers)
4:30 Oregon's Future in Open Source (Discussion)
5:15 Reception
6:00 Finish

I started work on OSCAMP back in April along with a group of other people interested in exploring how Open Source can benefit Oregon. Unlike the rest of the OSCON program, our target audience are business people instead of techies: CxOs, IT decision makers in business and government and the press.

I think Open Source is in the same education phase as the web circa 1994, so there is still a lot of educating to do before the general public and business leaders understand the pros and cons of Open Source. OSCAMP is intended to help that process along. Back in 1994, if I tried to explain what I was doing with the web, I ended up spending the rest of the conversation explaining what the Internet is and why it is important. Today the general public knows what the web is and uses it every day; we have not reached that same level of understanding and comfort with Open Source, but inevitably we will.

Many people are getting interested in Open Source because of the low cost (try it for free), but they are sticking with it because of the extroardinary amount of control Open Source gives an organization that you simply can't get with proprietary software. This is causing dramatic changes in the software industry, but more importantly it is changing attitudes about software and how it is used in an organization.

Originally, we were shooting for around 50-75 attendees at OSCAMP. As of yesterday, we have 230 confirmed attendees and though we were able to switch to a larger venue in the same building, we had to cut off registration. I guess we struck a nerve.

There is supposed to be wireless at the event, so I might be able to blog a bit while I'm handling the time keeping for the speakers.


11:00:35 AM    comment []

If you're attending OSCON 2003 in Portland, Oregon this week you'll definitely want to make use of the "The Semi-Un-Official OSCON 2003 Wiki Site":

http://oscon.kwiki.org/

If you aren't attending OSCON, but want to follow the action, your best bet is to follow some of the weblogs and journals. Monday and Tuesday are tutorial days, so the main presentations don't start until tomorrow.


10:09:42 AM    comment []

  Monday, June 09, 2003


Here is some info for those of you attending OSCON 2003, July 7-11 in Portland, Oregon. The main page of Robert Spier's site contains a nice shot of downtown Portland and the Marriott hotel. His About Portland page contains links to some good Portland info sites as well as my "tour of Portland" which Robert put together based on posts I've made to the OSCON mailing list.

O'Reilly has provided pages for Hotel and Travel, Restaurants, and things to See & Do. O'Reilly is not providing a food tent at OSCON this year. Instead, they have an hour and a half lunch break, so attendees may want to make reservations in the morning for lunch at a nearby restaurant. The pages above contain links to many of the restaurants within walking distance.

If you have some other pages you want to highlight, just post a comment below.

See you in July!


11:08:28 AM    comment []

  Thursday, May 22, 2003


The deadline for Python 11 - OSCON 2003 early bird registration is May 23rd, 2003. If you're planning to attend, save yourself some money and register today!

You can save up to $400 when you register by May 23rd for the Python 11/OSCON 2003 conference. All of the discounts listed at the bottom of the registration page are in addition to the early bird discount. The early bird discount is (obviously) time-limited, but the others are not.

  http://conferences.oreillynet.com/pub/w/23/register.html

The conference will be held July 7-11, 2003 in Portland, Oregon, USA.

  http://conferences.oreillynet.com/os2003/

I've started a wiki page that has direct links to all the Python pages on the OSCON site.

  http://www.python.org/cgi-bin/moinmoin/Python11


11:38:33 AM    comment []

  Wednesday, April 23, 2003


The deadline for Python 11 - OSCON 2003 early bird registration is May 23rd, 2003. The conference will be held July 7-11, 2003 in Portland, Oregon, USA.

  http://conferences.oreillynet.com/os2003/

  http://conferences.oreillynet.com/pub/w/23/register.html

Save up to $400 when you register by May 23rd. Additional discounts are available. Please see the registration page for details. All of the discounts listed at the bottom of the registration page are in addition to the early bird discount. The early bird discount is (obviously) time-limited, but the others are not.


11:54:52 AM    comment []

The first MOSS meeting of Open Source developers and advocates in Oregon will happen on May 3rd, 2003 from 2-5 pm at the Lucky Lab in Portland, OR. More information on the event is available at http://moss.freepan.org/

If you plan to attend, please add yourself to the attendees list.


11:43:40 AM    comment []

  Friday, April 18, 2003


Stiff opposition derails open-source measure [The Oregonian]
9:07:49 AM    comment []

  Thursday, April 17, 2003


Sigh. First we had to say dot NYET and now Microsoft has renamed their server platform. Why don't they just get it over with and permanently rename it the Windows Insecure Server Platform (WISP)?

My primary desktop platform is Windows 2000 and I'm quite happy with it; the security issues that popup with desktops are easily managed and things like SPAM are a far greater daily annoyance. I also have a Mac OS X box. I don't have Linux running at home because I used to be a Unix admin and I have no desire to be one again at home. But I can assure you given the MS track record, I would be very reluctant to use an MS server product and would use some flavor of Unix simply to avoid the security nightmare that is the MS Server Platform.


10:31:57 AM    comment []