Meeting Notes: 16th September 2010
As expected, yesterday's meeting was a quiet and relaxed affair, a couple of excellent jars of ale beside a warming fire and a smattering of Python goodness. In attendance were Simon and Safe!
It was noted that several people had mentioned on the list that the third Thursday of the month might not be suitable for them. Simon suggested we might use Doodle (http://www.doodle.com/) to poll everyone for a suitable next meeting date. Although Doodle is used by several geek groups, we wondered if there were any open source alternatives, and speculated as to why there might not be.
This led to discussions about Electronic Voting in Government elections. Safe mentioned that he was aware of open source Python software which implements several voting methods including the Single Tranferable Vote. The software is http://www.openstv.org/ and it implements more voting methods than you can shake a stick at (the methods make for interesting reading in themselves).
- There was a detour into discussing the merits or otherwise of XSQL, a combination of XML and SQL which provides a language independent means of querying a database and returning XML. Simon mentioned he had a workable Python implementation which he considered uploading to PyPI.
We moved onto discussing Paramiko (http://www.lag.net/paramiko/), a pure Python SSH2 implementation. Simon is looking for a good Python rsync implementation to work alongside this. Talk of security and encryption led Simon to mention that the Cryptographic Hash Algorithm Competition (http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/ST/hash/sha-3/index.html), an open contest to find a new SHA-3 algorithm to replace the aging SHA-1 and SHA-2, was well underway with documentation and presumably implementations available to see. The winner is scheduled to be announced in 2012.
- We discussed the good and the bad of Python's lambda and whether anonymous functions supporting statements would be a good addition to the language. This led Safe to bring up the topic of Python 3's function annotations and to note some concern about the potential ugliness (and unreadability) of a function definition fully loaded with annotations:
Simon talked about the embedding of Perl in Python (http://search.cpan.org/~gaas/pyperl-1.0/perlmodule.pod ?) and Safe talked about the embedding of Java in Python (http://blog.meresco.org/2010/03/11/integrating-java-in-python-with-jtool/).
And finally, all who attended this month's meeting were Vim users ...