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PsychoPy with Jonathan Peirce - Episode 76

Summary

We’re delving into the complex workings of your mind this week on Podcast.init with Jonathan Peirce. He tells us about how he started the PsychoPy project and how it has grown in utility and popularity over the years. We discussed the ways that it has been put to use in myriad psychological experiments, the inner workings of how to design and execute those experiments, and what is in store for its future.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable.
  • Hired is sponsoring us this week. If you’re looking for a job as a developer or designer then Hired will bring the opportunities to you. Sign up at hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • Once you land a job you can check out our other sponsor Linode for running your awesome new Python apps. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • You want to make sure your apps are error-free so give our last sponsor, Rollbar, a look. Rollbar is a service for tracking and aggregating your application errors so that you can find and fix the bugs in your application before your users notice they exist. Use the link rollbar.com/podcastinit to get 90 days and 300,000 errors for free on their bootstrap plan.
  • Visit our site to subscribe to our show, sign up for our newsletter, read the show notes, and get in touch.
  • By leaving a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music it becomes easier for other people to find us.
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com to help us grow and connect our wonderful audience.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Jonathan Peirce about PsychoPy, an open source application for the presentation and collection of stimuli for psychological experimentation

Interview with Jonathan Peirce

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • Can you start by telling us what PsychoPy is and how the project got started? – Tobias
  • How does PsychoPy compare feature wise against some of the proprietary alternatives? – Chris
  • In the documentation you mention that this project is useful for the fields of psychophysics, cognitive neuroscience and experimental psychology. Can you provide some insight into how those disciplines differ and what constitutes an experiment? – Tobias
  • Do you find that your users who have no previous formal programming training come up to speed with PsychoPy quickly? What are some of the challenges there? -Chris
  • Can you describe the internal architecture of PsychoPy and how you approached the design? – Tobias
  • How easy is it to extend PsychoPy with new types of stimulus? – Chris
  • What are some interesting challenges you faced when implementing PsychoPy? – Chris
  • I noticed that you support a number of output data formats, including pickle. What are some of the most popular analysis tools for users of PsychoPy? – Tobias
    • Have you investigated the use of the new Feather library? – Tobias
  • How is data input typically managed? Does PsychoPy support automated readings from test equipment or is that the responsibility of those conducting the experiment? – Tobias
  • What are some of the most interesting experiments that you are aware of having been conducted using PsychoPy? – Chris
  • While reading the docs I found the page describing the integration with the OSF (Open Science Framework) for sharing and validating an experiment and the collected data with other members of the field. Can you explain why that is beneficial to the researchers and compare it with other options such as GitHub for use within the sciences? – Tobias
  • Do you have a roadmap of features that you would like to add to PsychoPy or is it largely driven by contributions from practitioners who are extending it to suit their needs? – Tobias

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Sandstorm.io with Asheesh Laroia - Episode 75

Summary

Sandstorm.io is an innovative platform that aims to make self-hosting applications easier and more maintainable for the average individual. This week we spoke with Asheesh Laroia about why running your own services is desirable, how they have made security a first priority, how Sandstorm is architected, and what the installation process looks like.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We are also sponsored by Rollbar. Rollbar is a service for tracking and aggregating your application errors so that you can find and fix the bugs in your application before your users notice they exist. Use the link rollbar.com/podcastinit to get 90 days and 300,000 errors for free on their bootstrap plan.
  • Hired has also returned as a sponsor this week. If you’re looking for a job as a developer or designer then Hired will bring the opportunities to you. Sign up at hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • Visit our site to subscribe to our show, sign up for our newsletter, read the show notes, and get in touch.
  • To help other people find the show you can leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • I would also like to mention that the organizers of PyCon Zimbabwe are looking to the global Python community for help in supporting their event. If you would like to donate the link will be in the show notes.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Asheesh Laroia about Sandstorm.io, a project that is trying to make self-hosted applications easy and secure for everyone.

Interview with Asheesh Laroia

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Tobias
  • Can you start by telling everyone about the Sandstorm project and how you got involved with it? – Tobias
  • What are some of the reasons that an individual would want to self-host their own applications rather than using comparable services available through third parties? – Tobias
  • How does Sandstorm try to make the experience of hosting these various applications simple and enjoyable for the broadest variety of people? – Tobias
  • What does the system architecture for Sandstorm look like? – Tobias
  • I notice that Sandstorm requires a very recent Linux kernel version. What motivated that choice and how does it affect adoption? – Chris
  • One of the notable aspects of Sandstorm is the security model that it uses. Can you explain the capability-based authorization model and how it enables Sandstorm to ensure privacy for your users? – Tobias
  • What are some of the most difficult challenges facing you in terms of software architecture and design? – Tobias
  • What is involved in setting up your own server to run Sandstorm and what kinds of resources are required for different use cases? – Tobias
  • You have a number of different applications available for users to install. What is involved in making a project compatible with the Sandstorm runtime environment? Are there any limitations in terms of languages or application architecture for people who are targeting your platform? – Tobias
  • How much of Sandstorm is written in Python and what other languages does it use? – Tobias

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Python at Zalando - Episode 74

Summary

Open source has proven its value in many ways over the years. In many companies that value is purely in terms of consuming available projects and platforms. In this episode Zalando describes their recent move to creating and releasing a number of their internal projects as open source and how that has benefited their business. We also discussed how they are leveraging Python and a couple of the libraries that they have published.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • Rollbar is also sponsoring us this week. Rollbar is a service for tracking and aggregating your application errors so that you can find and fix the bugs in your application before your users notice they exist. Use the link rollbar.com/podcastinit to get 90 days and 300,000 errors for free on their bootstrap plan.
  • Hired has also returned as a sponsor this week. If you’re looking for a job as a developer or designer then Hired will bring the opportunities to you. Sign up at hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • Visit our site to subscribe to our show, sign up for our newsletter, read the show notes, and get in touch.
  • To help other people find the show you can leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Jie Bao and João Santos about their use of Python at Zalando

Interview with Zalando

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Tobias
  • Can you start by telling us a bit about what Zalando does and some of the technologies that you use? – Tobias
  • What role does Python play in your environment? – Tobias
  • Is the use of Python for a particular project governed by any particular operational guidelines or is it largely a matter of developer choice? – Tobias
  • Given that you have such a variety of platforms to support, how do you architect your systems to keep them easy to maintain and reason about? – Tobias
  • One of the projects that you have open sourced is Connexion. Can you explain a bit about what that is and what it is used for at Zalando? – Tobias
  • What made you choose to standardize on Swagger/OpenAPI vs RAML or some of the other API standards? – Tobias
  • Did Connexion start its life as open source or was it extracted from another project? – Tobias
  • ExpAn is another one of your projects that is written in Python. What do you use that for? – Tobias
  • Can you describe the internal implementation of ExpAn and what it takes to get it set up? – Tobias
  • Given the potential complexity of and the need for statistical significance in the data for proper A/B testing, how did you design ExpAn to satisfy those requirements? – Tobias
  • Given the laws in Germany around digital privacy, were there any special considerations that needed to be made in the collection strategy for the data that gets used in ExpAn? – Tobias

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Alex Martelli - Episode 73

Summary

Alex Martelli has dedicated a large part of his career to teaching others how to work with software. He has the highest number of Python questions answered on Stack Overflow, he has written and co-written a number of books on Python, and presented innumerable times at conferences in multiple countries. We spoke to him about how he got started in software, his work with Google, and the trends in development and design patterns that are shaping modern software engineering.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We also have a returning sponsor this week. Rollbar is a service for tracking and aggregating your application errors so that you can find and fix the bugs in your application before your users notice they exist. Use the link rollbar.com/podcastinit to get 90 days and 300,000 errors for free on their bootstrap plan.
  • Hired is sponsoring us this week. If you’re looking for a job as a developer or designer then Hired will bring the opportunities to you. Sign up at hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • Visit our site to subscribe to our show, sign up for our newsletter, read the show notes, and get in touch.
  • To help other people find the show you can leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, and tell your friends and co-workers.
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Alex Martelli

Interview with Alex Martelli

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • You have achieved a number of honors and recognitions throughout your career for significant technical achievements. What kind of learning strategies do you use to enable you to achieve mastery of technical topics? – Tobias
  • How do you keep the Python In A Nutshell book current as aspects of the core language and its libraries change? – Chris
  • You are known for your prolific contributions to Stack Overflow, particularly on topics pertaining to Python. Was that a specific goal that you had set for yourself or did it happen organically? – Tobias
  • When answering Stack Overflow questions, do you usually already know the answers or do you treat it as a learning opportunity? – Tobias
  • What are some of the most difficult Python questions that you have been faced with? – Tobias
  • You have presented quite a number of times at various Python conferences. What are some of your favorite talks? – Tobias
  • Design patterns and idiomatic code are common themes in a number of your presentations. Why is it important for developers to understand these concepts and what are some of your favorite resources on the topic? – Tobias
  • What do you see as the most influential trends in software development and design, both currently and heading into the future? – Tobias
  • As a long-time computer engineer, are there any features or ideas from other languages that you would like to see incorporated into Python?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Dave Beazley - Episode 72

Summary

Dave Beazley has been using and teaching Python since the early days of the language. He has also been instrumental in spreading the gospel of asynchronous programming and the many ways that it can improve the performance of your programs. This week I had the pleasure of speaking with him about his history with the language and some of his favorite presentations and projects.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We are also sponsored by Sentry this week. Stop hoping your users will report bugs. Sentry’s real-time tracking gives you insight into production deployments and information to reproduce and fix crashes. Check them out at getsentry.com and use the code podcastinit at signup to get a $50 credit!
  • Hired has also returned as a sponsor this week. If you’re looking for a job as a developer or designer then Hired will bring the opportunities to you. Sign up at hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • Visit our site to subscribe to our show, sign up for our newsletter, read the show notes, and get in touch.
  • To help other people find the show you can leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Dave Beazley about his career with Python

Interview with Dave Beazley

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Tobias
  • How has Python and its community helped to shape your career? – Tobias
  • What are some of the major themes that you have focused on in your work? – Tobias
  • One of the things that you are known for is doing live-coding presentations, many of which are fairly advanced. What is it about that format that appeals to you? – Tobias
    • What are some of your favorite stories about a presentation that didn’t quite go as planned? – Tobias
  • You have given a large number of talks at various conferences. What are some of your favorites? – Tobias
  • What impact do you think that asynchronous programming will have on the future of the Python language and ecosystem? – Tobias
  • Are there any features that you see in other languages that you would like to have incorporated in Python? – Tobias
  • On the about page for your website you talk about some of the low-level code and hardware knowledge that you picked up by working with computers as a kid. Do you think that people who are getting started with programming now are missing out by not getting exposed to the kinds of hardware and software that was present before computing became mainstream?
  • You have had the opportunity to work on a large variety of projects, both on a hobby and professional level. What are some of your favorites? – Tobias
  • What is it about Python that has managed to hold your interest for so many years? – Tobias

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

PyCon Canada with Francis Deslauriers and Peter McCormick - Episode 69

Summary

Aside from the national Python conferences such as PyCon US and EuroPyCon there are a number of regional conferences that operate at a smaller scale to service their local communities. This week we interviewed Peter McCormick and Francis Deslauriers about their work organizing PyCon Canada to provide a venue for Canadians to talk about how they are using the language. If you happen to be near Toronto in November then you should get a ticket and help contribute to their success!

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We are also sponsored by Sentry this week. Stop hoping your users will report bugs. Sentry’s real-time tracking gives you insight into production deployments and information to reproduce and fix crashes. Check them out at getsentry.com and use the code podcastinit at signup to get a $50 credit!
  • Hired has also returned as a sponsor this week. If you’re looking for a job as a developer or designer then Hired will bring the opportunities to you. Sign up at hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • Visit our site to subscribe to our show, sign up for our newsletter, read the show notes, and get in touch.
  • To help other people find the show you can leave a review on iTunes, or Google Play Music, and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Peter McCormick and Francis Deslauriers about their experiences organizing PyCon Canada

Interview with Peter McCormick and Francis Deslauriers

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • How did you get involved as an organizer of PyCon Canada? – Tobias
  • How does PyCon Canada, and other regional conferences, differ from PyCon US, both in terms of scale and overall experience? – Tobias
  • How do the audience and presenters differ from the US conferences? Is there perhaps a differen mix of industry versus academia, or maybe different disciplines? Chris
  • Are you thinking of trying to hold the conference in different cities across Canada, similarly to how PyCon US moves venues every two years? – Tobias
  • In addition to the national and regional conferences, there are a number of special interest Python conferences that take place (e.g. SciPy, PyData, etc.). What kind of relationship do you have with organizers of those events and how do they impact the kinds of talk submissions that you are likely to receive? – Tobias
  • There has been a lot of focus in recent years on trying to increase the diversity of conference speakers. What are some of the methods that you have used to encourage speakers of various backgrounds to submit talks? – Tobias
  • Organizing a conference involves a lot of moving parts. How do you structure the process to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for the attendees? – Tobias
  • What are some of the biggest logistical challenges you face as conference organizers? – Chris
  • Given that PyCon Canada is a regional conference, how has that affected your focus in terms of marketing and the general theme? – Tobias
  • Tell our listeners about your favorite PyCon Canada moments. – Chris
  • What has been the most surprising part of organizing the conference? – Tobias

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Test Engineering with Cris Medina - Episode 68

Summary

We all know that testing is an important part of software and systems development. The problem is that as our systems and applications grow, the amount of testing necessary increases at an exponential rate. Cris Medina joins us this week to talk about some of the problems and approaches associated with testing these complex systems and some of the ways that Python can help.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • We are also sponsored by Sentry this week. Stop hoping your users will report bugs. Sentry’s real-time tracking gives you insight into production deployments and information to reproduce and fix crashes. Check them out at getsentry.com
  • Hired has also returned as a sponsor this week. If you’re looking for a job as a developer or designer then Hired will bring the opportunities to you. Sign up at hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • The O’Reilly Velocity conference is coming to New York this September and we have a free ticket to give away. If you would like the chance to win it then just sign up for our newsletter at pythonpodcast.com
  • To help other people find the show you can leave a review on iTunes, and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we’re interviewing Cris Medina about test engineering for large and complex systems.

Interview with Cris Medina

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • To get us started can you share your definition of test engineering and how it differs from the types of testing that your average developer is used to? – Tobias
  • What are some common industries or situations where this kind of test engineering becomes necessary? – Tobias
  • How and where does Python fit into the kind of testing that becomes necessary when dealing with these complex systems? – Tobias
  • How do you determine which areas of a system to test and how can Python help in that discovery process? – Tobias
  • What are some of your favorite tools and libraries for this kind of work? – Tobias
  • What are some of the areas where the existing Python tooling falls short? – Tobias
  • Given the breadth of concerns that are encompassed with testing the various components of these large systems, what are some ways that a test engineer can get a high-level view of the overall state? – Tobias
    • How can that information be distilled for presentation to other areas of the business? – Tobias
    • Could that information be used to provide a compelling business case for the resources required to test properly? – Chris
  • Given the low-level nature of this kind of work I imagine that proper visibility of the work being done can be difficult. How do you make sure that management can properly see and appreciate your efforts? – Tobias

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Pyjion with Dino Viehland and Brett Cannon - Episode 51

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Summary

In an attempt to improve the performance characteristics of the CPython implementation, Dino Viehland began work on a patch to allow for a pluggable interface to a JIT (Just In Time) compiler. His employer, Microsoft, decided to sponsor his efforts and the result is the Pyjion project. In this episode we spoke with Dino Viehland and Brett Cannon about the goals of the project, the progress they have made so far, and the issues they have encountered along the way. We also made an interesting detour to discuss the general state of performance in the Python ecosystem and why the GIL isn’t the bogeyman it’s made out to be.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or RSS
  • Follow us on Twitter or Google+
  • Give us feedback! Leave a review on iTunes, Tweet to us, send us an email or leave us a message on Google+
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • I would also like to thank Hired, a job marketplace for developers and designers, for sponsoring this episode of Podcast.__init__. Use the link hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Open Data Science Conference, Boston MA May 21st – 22nd, use the discount code EP at registration for 20% off
  • Today we are interviewing Brett Cannon and Dino Viehland about their work on Pyjion, a CPython extension that provides an API to allow for plugging a JIT compilation engine into the CPython runtime.

Interview with Brett Cannon and Dino Viehland

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • What was the inspiration for the Pyjion project and what are its goals? – Tobias
  • The FAQ mentions that Pyjion could easily be made cross platform, but this being a Microsoft project it was bootstrapped on Windows. Have any of the discrete tasks required to get Pyjion running under OSX or Linux been laid out even in outline form? – Chris
  • Given that this is a Microsoft backed project it makes sense that the first JIT engine to be implemented is for the CoreCLR. What would an alternative implementation provide and in what ways can a JIT framework be tuned for particular workloads? – Tobias
  • What kinds of use cases and problem domains that were previously impractical will be enabled by this? – Tobias
  • Does Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Xamarin and the Mono project change things for the Pyjion project at all? – Chris
  • What are the challenges associated with your work on Pyjion? Are there certain aspects of the Python language and the CPython implementation that make the work more difficult than it might be otherwise? – Tobias
  • When I think of Microsoft and programming languages I generally think of C++ and C#. Did your team have to go through an approval process in order to utilize Python, and further to open source your work on Pyjion? – Chris
  • How does Pyjion hook into the CPython runtime and what kinds of primitives does it expose to JIT engines for them to be able to work with? – Tobias
  • Would an entire project be run through the JIT engine during runtime or is it possible to target a subset of the code being executed? – Tobias
  • In what ways can a JIT compiler implementation be purpose-built for a given workload and how would someone go about creating one? – Tobias
  • Could a JIT plugin be designed with different trade-offs, like no C API compatibility, but that worked around the GIL to provide real concurrency in Python? – Chris
  • One of the most notable benefits of having a JIT implementation for the CPython runtime is the fact that modules with C extensions can be used, such as NumPy. Does that pose any difficulties in the compilation methods used for optimizing the Python portion of the code? – Tobias
  • What kinds of performance improvements have you seen in your experimentation? – Tobias
  • Which release of Python do you hope to have Pyjion incorporated into? – Tobias
  • Has any thought been given to making Python a first class citizen in Visual Studio Code? – Chris
  • What areas of the project could use some help from our listeners? – Chris

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

Transcrypt with Jacques de Hooge - Episode 50

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Summary

Any programmer who has dealt with a website for any length of time knows that writing JavaScript isn’t always the most enjoyable. Wouldn’t you rather write that code in Python and just have it work on your website? In this episode we learn about Transcrypt with its creator Jacques de Hooge. Transcrypt is a Python to JavaScript transpiler that embraces the JavaScript ecosystem while letting you use the familiar syntax of Python for writing your logic, rather than trying to shoehorn a Python runtime into your browser.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or RSS
  • Follow us on Twitter or Google+
  • Give us feedback! Leave a review on iTunes, Tweet to us, send us an email or leave us a message on Google+
  • Join our community! Visit discourse.pythonpodcast.com for your opportunity to find out about upcoming guests, suggest questions, and propose show ideas.
  • I would like to thank everyone who has donated to the show. Your contributions help us make the show sustainable. For details on how to support the show you can visit our site at pythonpodcast.com
  • Linode is sponsoring us this week. Check them out at linode.com/podcastinit and get a $20 credit to try out their fast and reliable Linux virtual servers for your next project
  • I would also like to thank Hired, a job marketplace for developers and designers, for sponsoring this episode of Podcast.__init__. Use the link hired.com/podcastinit to double your signing bonus.
  • ODSC East in Boston is happening on May 21st – 22nd. Use the discount code EP for 20% off when you register
  • Your host today is Tobias Macey
  • Today I am interviewing Jacques de Hooge about his work on the Transcrypt Project

Interview with Jacques de Hooge

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Tobias
  • What is Transcrypt and what inspired you to create it? – Tobias
  • As you mention in the documentation, there are a number of projects that attempt to shoehorn Python into the browser. What makes Transcrypt different? – Tobias
  • I like that you decided to embrace the web environment by calling into JavaScript libraries. What are some of the challenges that you encountered while creating that functionality? – Tobias
  • How is the transpilation performed and what are some of the methods that you used to get the build size as small as it is? – Tobias
  • Given the nature of JavaScripts prototypical inheritance and differences in class semantics, I imagine that adding support for multiple inheritance and reflecting the structure of Python classes must have been challenging. Can you describe that process and how you arrived at your current solution? – Tobias
  • Which aspects of the language were most difficult to translate to JavaScript? – Tobias
  • Is Transcrypt complete and stable enough to be used in production? – Tobias

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

VPython with Ruth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood - Episode 49

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Summary

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to generate interactive 3D visualizations of physical systems in a declarative manner with Python? In this episode we spoke with Ruth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood about the VPython project which does just that. They tell us about how the use VPython in their classrooms, how the project got started, and the work they have done to bring it into the browser.

Brief Introduction

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
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  • Your hosts as usual are Tobias Macey and Chris Patti
  • Today we are interviewing Ruth Chabay and Bruce Sherwood about their work on VPython

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Chris
  • What is VPython and how did it get started? – Tobias
  • What problems inspired you to create VPython? – Chris
  • How do you design an API that allows for such powerful 3D visualization while still making it accessible to students who are focusing on learning new concepts in mathematics and physics so that they don’t get overwhelmed by the tool? – Tobias
  • I know many schools have embraced the open curriculum idea, have any of your physics courses using VPython been made available to the non matriculating public? – Chris
  • How does VPython perform its rendering? If you were to reimplement it would you do anything differently? – Tobias
  • One of the remarkable points about VPython is its ability to execute the simulations in a browser environment. Can you explain the technologies involved to make that work? – Tobias
  • Given the real-time rendering capabilities in VPython I’m sure that performance is a core concern for the project. What are some of the methods that are used to ensure an appropriate level of speed and does the cross-platform nature of the package pose any additional challenges? – Tobias
  • How does collision detection work in VPython, and does it handle more complex assemblies of component objects? – Chris
  • Can you talk a little bit about VPython’s design, and perhaps walk us through how a simple scene is rendered, say the results of the sphere() call? – Chris

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA