The new Python.org website.
I'll hold off commenting on it for a couple of weeks - after I see how effective the new process is in integrating user contributions.
I happened to look at the new beta.python.org today - 'what an improvement!' I thought - impressed with the new look and feel of the site. I was all fired up and ready to contribute - to start moving and creating content. Watch out pydotorg, here I come...
Until I realized I couldn't !
I don't know YAML. I found no samples. The Redesign Site is full of teasers about how much good stuff is in svn.python.org, and how you can build it with Pyramid. Except for one small thing - you don't have access to the content source. That's right - there are a bunch of things to be done but no direction on how to go about doing it! This left me even more exasperated than last week - when I tried to install Pyramid, found that I needed 5 different things (2 of which I never heard of and needed to be compiled) - finally giving up after realizing I'm not comfortable installing Python 2.4 on my Mac OSX just for this.
So this drove me to effbot's efforts. A standard wiki for editing, combined with a front end rendering system - how nice - I can sure write wiki markup! Until I realized there no wiki yet. It's hidden, maybe because the 'HT2HTML-to-MoinMoin converter is about 80% ready'? Aha! at least I can contribute to that code - oh wait, that's hidden too.
My enthusiasm is all gone now - anyone know where the bazaar is?
Some PyCon 2006 sponsors:
I was creating a bulleted list in Word and using indentation to demarcate a sub-list, when a thought crossed my mind - what would it be like to use delimiter, instead of indentation?
Eek! And yet, while writing programs, we work harder to appease the machine, than to help the human readers. Perhaps we have been working with machines so much, we have lost our ability to recognize human-friendliness?
Yes, you heard that right, and here's why:
Because it offers more proof that dynamically typed, loosely coupled languages can more productive in creating robust solutions than statically typed, stricter languages with deeply nested class hierarchies. Java and C# essentially lead us through the same path for tackling problems. One may be a better version of the other (I like C# more) but the methodology is very similar. In fact the release of C# only validated the Java-style methodology by emulating it (albeit offering a more productive way to follow it).
Enter Python or Ruby, both different from the Java/C# style. Both producing 'enlightening' expreriences in ever growing list of seasoned, fairly well known static-style developers (Bruce Eckel, Bruce Tate, Martin Fowler...). As the knowledge spreads, it pokes holes in the strong Java/C# meme in peoples minds. Then people start to explore and experiment, and discover the Python (or Ruby) productivity gain. Some may prefer one, some the other. Ruby, in the end, validates the fact that Java/C# style methods may not be the best for everything, something the Python advocates have been saying for quite some time.
New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.
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If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!