pyAtl January Meeting

I attended the Atlanta Python meeting tonight and discovered a few new things to help me out.

KeyJnote is a fancy way to display slides during a presentation. It uses smooth transitions to create some nice effects. It uses OpenGL hardware acceleration support for the cool effects. The program is actually one file, and written in Python. I had some issues getting it to work on my laptop at first. My current version of pdftoppm would not convert the pdf pages to images. So after a bit of searching, I found if you edit the file, there are configuration settings at the top of the file. Simply setting UseGhostScript to True, resolve my issue.

I had to export a Open Office presentation to a PDF document. Then KeyJnote actually converts each page in the PDF document to an image and renders it nicely.

Virtual Python Environment builder…do I have to say anything else? I mean how many times have you wanted to isolate a development environment without moving libs around, re-linking, etc. The first thought that came to mind is I can now isolate customer1’s environment on my development pc separate from customer2.

Wow, after seeing virtualenv, I thought I was all set. Then we were shown buildout, what it is, what it can do for you, etc. Think of it this way. You specify what your product environment contains, and it ensures you have what you claim you should have. This includes libraries and source code. You can set this up, and hop on another machine, like a production machine and quickly update the buildout there knowing everything will just work. The required libraries are there, and so are all of your product source files.

While the latter two are Python specific. I can’t wonder how much pain it would have saved us before and would save us even today in other development worlds to have tools similar to these. I’ve seen many times what it takes to set up a new development laptop project environment. I’m not talking the tools, I’m speaking of making sure 3rd party libraries, source code and .NET libs are all installed. buildout offers a nice snapshot solution.

Of course some of us are still content with just storing things in subversion and checking them out. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as you don’t forget about that pdf library and image conversion library you needed to install. Did I mention you needed a specific version too? Sound familiar? Yah…we’ve all seen it.

All in all it was a good night. Then I struck up several conversations about Linux, developing and stuck around until midnight…crap I need to be back here in a few short hours. Time to bolt.

*One small note.  hash -r clears the memorized program locations in bash.  It caught me tonight, and luckily Bernard was there to kindly point me in the right direction!


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