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 * Mary Haley will present "Python Frameworks for Geoscience Visualization and Analysis". PyNGL and PyNIO are Python interfaces to a widely popular software package called the NCAR Command Language (NCL), a scripting language developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for the access, analysis, and high-quality quantitative visualization of geoscientific data.

 NCL has had a significant impact on scientific research worldwide. Mary will briefly discuss NCL’s history, and then segue into why Python was chosen for developing the next generation framework tools for file input/output, analysis and visualization. She will show an animation from a new high resolution Community Climate System Model (CCSM) run computed on a T341 grid (1024 points in longitude by 512 points in latitude) that was created using our Python interfaces to NCL and other post production utilities.

 There will be a focus on some of the current projects we are working on: adding support for new scientific data formats, developing interfaces to a suite of specialized climate analysis-related functions (that need to deal with missing data), and handling large files. On the less scientific side, there will be a quick mention of issues NCAR has with supporting both Numeric and NumPy users, dealing with different versions of Python, building on multiple computer platforms, and finally, training users on this software.

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 * Participants:

   0. Brian Granger
   0. Eric Dobbs
   0. Fernando Perez
   0. Ian Kelly
   0. Jim Baker
   0. Justin Larrabee
   0. Ken Kinder
   0. Kip Lehman
   0. Matt Boersma
   0. Robert Kern
   0. Steve Rogers

About Us

The Front Range Pythoneers is an active Python users group in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Activities

We hold a regular monthly meeting every third Wednesday. But perhaps the best part about our group is that we don't just talk about how to use Python, we also do things together. We share our stories on what works and what doesn't at our meetings. Our presentations often have a hands-on component. And to truly make it hands-on, we sprint together almost every month, usually the first Saturday. The next sprint is on IPython1.

We also have adopted [http://code.djangoproject.com/wiki/OracleBranch Oracle support in Django] as an ongoing project of the FRP. This builds on an earlier BoulderSprint.

Future possibilities include holding an occasional BoulderJam to play with an exciting new technology together, and helping pair mentors with aspiring Pythoneers.

Mailing List

You can subscribe to our [http://lists.community.tummy.com/mailman/listinfo/frpythoneers mailing list]. We also have a [http://lists.community.tummy.com/pipermail/frpythoneers/ mail archive].

Meetings and Sprints

We just happen to have the friendliest bunch of Python people coming to our meetings. So why not come too?

Sprints are usually held the 1st Saturday of each month, also at bivio.

Next Meeting: May 16, 2007, 6-8 PM

Weather research with Python:

  • Location: [http://www.bivio.biz/ bivio Software, Inc.]

  • Joe VanAndel will present how his group programs weather balloons with Python.

  • Mary Haley will present "Python Frameworks for Geoscience Visualization and Analysis". PyNGL and PyNIO are Python interfaces to a widely popular software package called the NCAR Command Language (NCL), a scripting language developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for the access, analysis, and high-quality quantitative visualization of geoscientific data. NCL has had a significant impact on scientific research worldwide. Mary will briefly discuss NCL’s history, and then segue into why Python was chosen for developing the next generation framework tools for file input/output, analysis and visualization. She will show an animation from a new high resolution Community Climate System Model (CCSM) run computed on a T341 grid (1024 points in longitude by 512 points in latitude) that was created using our Python interfaces to NCL and other post production utilities.

    There will be a focus on some of the current projects we are working on: adding support for new scientific data formats, developing interfaces to a suite of specialized climate analysis-related functions (that need to deal with missing data), and handling large files. On the less scientific side, there will be a quick mention of issues NCAR has with supporting both Numeric and NumPy users, dealing with different versions of Python, building on multiple computer platforms, and finally, training users on this software.

IPython1 Sprint: April 28, 2007

The date has been finalized to April 28th.

Previous Events

Meeting: April 18, 2007, 6-8 PM

  • Location: [http://www.bivio.biz/ bivio Software, Inc.]

  • Discover [http://oubiwann.blogspot.com/2007/03/python-will-rule-world.html how Python will rule the world]. In a good way, of course! Matt Boersma presented a short introduction to the One Laptop per Child project, and then allowed people to play with the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Laptop_per_Child green XO laptop] at their leisure. He also led us through installing and using it our own laptops. The foundation of this project is Sugar, which is programmed in Python. As local Pythoneer DuncanMcGreggor [http://oubiwann.blogspot.com/2007/03/python-will-rule-world.html points out], there's an amazing potential in children discovering the "mutability of [their] universe]" and "view source", whether it was in Basic for a certain generation, on the web, or now in the OLPC effort.

  • Lightning talks on testing. In an influential article, Bruce Eckel advocated for [http://www.mindview.net/WebLog/log-0025 strong testing instead of strong (declarative) typing]. What are you doing to test your Python code? And how does that fit into a test-driven culture? At the last meeting, there was a strong interest in anecdotes, so please feel free to share, with slides, at the white board, or just in informal discussion.

  • BoulderSprint. The next sprint will be Saturday, April 28 on the [http://ipython.scipy.org/moin/Developer_Zone/Sprint IPython1 Beta]. Fernando Perez and Brian Granger will be coaching. This would be an excellent opportunity to learn about decorators, Twisted, distributed unit testing, and other advanced Python concepts while helping getting this amazing shell to beta status.

Meeting: March 21, 2007, 6-8 PM

  • Matt Boersma presented "Write Less Code with XRC for wxPython": an easier way to do GUI layout using wxPython's XML-based resource system. [http://us.pycon.org/common/talkdata/PyCon2007/079/xrc4wxpy.tgz Slides , demo code, and useful base classes].

  • Sean Reifschneider presented "Python and vim: Two great tastes that go great together". The vim editor includes extensive abilities for customization and scripting. In addition to its own simple macro language, vim also supports calling Python code. This Python code has access back into vim for manipulating the edit buffer as well as running normal vim commands. Examples demonstrated in this talk will include automatically detecting indentation style (tabs/N spaces), automatic update of DNS "serial" numbers when editing DNS zone files, mail alias tab-expansion, and a time tracking application using a "domain specific vim" as the user interface. [http://www.tummy.com/Community/Presentations/ Slides]

PyCon: February 23-25, 2007

Audio and other presentation materials can be found [http://us.pycon.org/apps07/schedule/ here].

Meeting: February 21, 2007

  • Location: [http://www.bivio.biz/ bivio Software, Inc.]

  • Fernando Perez presented his joint talk with Brian Granger (not present), "IPython: Getting the most out of working interactively in Python": IPython (if you do not know it yet) is an enhanced interactive shell for Python. It provides a large number of features not found in the default shell that make interactive work in Python more seamless and convenient. [http://us.pycon.org/common/talkdata/PyCon2007/058/ipython_pycon_2007.pdf Slides].

  • Jim Baker presented "Iterators in Action": Using iterators well can make your code lean and your programming fun. We will distill current best practice by investigating some (mostly) useful examples of iterators in action. With the help of itertools and various cookbook recipes, we'll look at such examples as computing Six Sigma stats, parsing/collating lots of log files, and performing fast prefix lookups of the data your users most want to see (assuming you have a good relevancy scorer, of course). We will even see why Raymond Hettinger must say no so often :) [http://us.pycon.org/common/talkdata/PyCon2007/028/IteratorsInActionWithNotes.pdf Slides].

Other items we talked about:

  • BoulderSprint. We had a great JythonSprint, focusing on getting IPython to work on it. The next sprint will be in April, also on IPython.

  • Google Summer of Code. One of our missions is to mentor Pythoneers. Does it make sense to add a local component to GSoC 2007 that could take advantage of the universities here?

Sprint: February 3, 2007

  • JythonSprint. Part of our BoulderSprint series. We sprinted on getting IPython to run on Jython (two birds here?), as well as spent time on looking at compiler updates. More will be posted soon here.

  • Location: [http://www.bivio.biz/ bivio Software, Inc.].

Meeting: January 17, 2007

Topics and people attending include the following:

  • BoulderSprint. We had a great JythonSprint, focusing on design. Momentum is really building, Jython might actually get the love that Charles Oliver Nutter of !JRuby proposed. More interestingly, there's a chance for people in the dynamic language community to work together on JVM implementations.

  • Tom Churchill and Vinny Fiano will demo Churchill Navigation's earth-rendering engine (which looks like Google Earth, only apparently even better and faster ;) ). Vinny (their main Python guy) will explain how they built the glue logic (and why they decided against SWIG) and perhaps some of the implications of using Python as a scripting language in a real-time (60 fps) environment, and the techniques we employed to keep the graphics pipeline from stalling when making an expensive call into their engine from Python.

  • Brian Granger from [http://txcorp.com/ Tech-X] will help us think more deeply about concurrent Python programming, especially as seen in a new version of [http://ipython.scipy.org/moin/IPython1 IPython]. [http://us.pycon.org/common/talkdata/PyCon2007/061/ipython1_pycon_2007.pdf Slides].

Sprint: January 6, 2007

  • JythonSprint. We talked about rethinking the existing compiler to converge on !CPython 2.5/trunk.

Meeting: December 20, 2006

Canceled! We were going to plan the JythonSprint and see some demos. But a blizzard intervened. Fortunately, we should be able to do all of that instead in January.

Meeting: November 15, 2006

This was a fun meeting! Even if Jill's has increasingly been high decibel. But we really can't complain about the success of our venue.

Meeting: October 18, 2006

  • Discussed possible proposals for PyCon2007. The basic consensus was that it was a great idea that for PyCon "we're especially interested in presentations that will teach conference-goers something new and useful." In particular, we all would like to see talks with more useful takeaway code, not just talks saying, hey we are doing great things with Python. Trust us :) .

  • Began planning of BoulderSprint, which apparently has been a burning desire for JimBaker for a while.

Guide to Front Range Pythoneering

People

Please help expand this local guide! (Also feel free to remove yourself from this list, if that makes sense personally.)

Groups

There are some other great groups in the area that we interact with on a periodic basis. Shared membership helps here!

Please add your favorite group here if it seems relevant to local Pythoneering.

Projects

We (collectively) are the maintainers of Django's Oracle support. Matt Boersma is the driving force of this support.

Acknowledgments

Thanks to [http://tummy.com tummy.com, ltd.] and their principals, SeanReifschneider and Evelyn Mitchell, for generously hosting our web site and mailing list.


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