Swaroop C H

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First Bangalore Python meetup

22 Jan 2005

As I had announced yesterday, we had a Python meetup at Ebony Restaurant today evening -- Ten Pythonistas arrived and we had a rockin' time :)

I knew only Pradeep and Premshree before, I met the other 7 just today - Anand Pillai, Sundar, Owen, Suresh, Anish, Ramdas and Gurpreet.

We met up at 7.30 and just started talking away! We eventually got around to giving our formal introductions. It was interesting to listen to the stories of how each of us became interested in Python and how we have come to like it so much. There were equal number of newbies, Python users and experienced guys amongst us. Most of us use Python 'unofficially' for our own purposes except for Pradeep and Gurpreet who use Python professionally in their respective companies.

BaPy photo 1 BaPy photo 2 BaPy photo 3 BaPy photo 4

After the introductions, we soon ordered the drinks and snacks. The conversations veered off in all kinds of directions from Linux Bangalore/2004 to Ruby on Rails (no, we don't bash other languages, its just that we simply love Python) to the writing habit in us - Premshree, Anand and Pradeep have written various Python-related articles in many magazines, including the respected DeveloperIQ magazine whose publisher and editor is Ramdas ; and relatedly I have written a popular free book on Python.

Then came the topic of organizing ourselves into a tribe of snake-charmers. Oops, I meant a group of Python users ;) . We decided to create a yahoo group for ourselves but we soon got brainstorming and debating about a suitable name. For obvious reasons, we were trying to come up with names which involved 'Python' and 'Bangalore' ... some of the names that came up were BagPython, BangPython (!), BaPy, PyBang, .... we finally decided ad-hoc on the name 'BaPy' but we'll still probably have a poll for it (and no, 'Bang-athon' is not a suitable name ;) ). We can call ourselves as 'bapys' (try pronouncing it like 'hippies' :D )

Then, there was a suggestion to take on a project that all of us could take part in. It would be so cool if a group of Pythonistas from Bangalore, India could contribute to the Python community (and yes, anybody is welcome to help in the project, not just Bangaloreans)

I gave the suggestion of a CPAN equivalent for Python. This idea came out of a question I've had for quite a long time. If you're a Perl user, you would know how CPAN allows super-easy installation and upgradation for Perl modules ; but Python does not have any equivalent. Ruby, which is much newer than Python has Ruby Gems! So, it was surprising to me that Python does not have any equivalent, even though there are many modules and packages available for it, many of which are listed in the Python Package Index (PyPI). Note that PyPI is only a listing of packages, it is not a central repository.

I was happy to note that everybody agreed that it was a viable idea, something do-able, something of interest to everybody and useful to the community at the same time. Premshree pointed out that it is not a difficult thing to implement but the more important thing to watch out for is to do it the right way. Ramdas volunteered to provide the webspace hosting and bandwidth for the project as well.

All of us are excited that we would get to work on a cool project we could hack on. However this is just our first meetup and we didn't want to jump in right away with this. Fortunately or unfortunately, I was unanimously elected to be the lead for this project! :shock:

BaPy photo 5 BaPy photo 6 BaPy photo 7 BaPy photo 8

Our conversations continued and we got to know about the kind of work that each of us are into in their respective companies which were Yahoo!, Thoughtworks, ZeOmega, DeveloperIQ, Infosys, Computer Associates, Textual Analytics India. We inevitably got into a vim-versus-emacs discussion, how can a meetup be complete without it ;) and then later we had a VIM-and-emacs-versus-IDE discussion.

Somewhere in-between, we managed to gulp in some food as well. We had a great time and lots of discussions, the reason why I coudn't click more photos as well :)

Thanks to Anand Pillai for taking up the initiative to organize this meetup. I'm looking forward to the list/yahoo group that we are going to create and more exciting discussions that will take place on the list. If you are interested, please feel free to join the group as well. Anand will setup the group in the next few days and I will announce the same on my blog.

Update : As Richard mentions, there are discussions on catalog-sig regarding the 'CPAN for Python' project (I am reading the archives of the list).

Comments

Swaroop C H says:

Anand: *BangPypers* sounds cool! I just changed my vote :mrgreen:

Kiran says:

Cool guys!! Wishing you all the best and hoping to see a lot of cool stuff being done.

Regards
Kiran

Anand says:

In fact we have a poll open at the meetup site for choosing a name. The current favorite is BaPy. Some how I like the name 'BangPypers' also since it has a nice ring to it (Reminds me of the 'BagPiper'). The symbology can be that we are Pipers (Pypers in fact!) in Bangalore singing the virtues of Python!

To vote in the poll, go to http://python.meetup.com/158/ . You need to be a member to vote.

hash-bang-slash-python - Too long, isn't it ? :-)

Richard Jones says:

A *lot* of thought has been put into "CPAN for Python". See the catalog-sig (via python.org). I'm going to organise a Sprint for pre-pycon (or perhaps sooner) in which I hope to get a simple repository going on python.org, alongside PyPI. There has been a discussion on the catalog-sig about that, and from there you'll see the one thing that usually stops this kind of effort in its tracks - consensus ;)

I got PyPI going because I just wanted to get the ball rolling. I chose a very simple subset and just did it. I'm now looking to chew off a new little bit of the problem (central repository for source package uploads) and just do that. Nothing more. No dependency handling, no automatic downloads. Just the repository.

François Granger says:

As stated by Richard, this is a hot subject. Apart of this, there is a nice initiative, Mac only at this time, but wich can serve as a basis since MacOS is a Unix:

http://www.pythonmac.org/wiki/PackageManager

This and PyPi http://www.python.org/pypi can even probably merge.

Good luck for your team and your project !

Surjo Das says:

Nice to see such FOSS technology enthusiasts meet up and have fun. Keep it going Swaroop !!!

Ian Bicking says:

Hey, the Chicago Python group was planning on doing the same thing! Well, I don't know about 'doing', but at least working towards that goal (hopefully adding some satellite services to PyPI).

sathya says:

fyi we formed bzpug which stands for bangalore zope and python users group years ago circa 2001
bzpug has been active with meetings once every 3 months or so. we should be able to have more with your participation

Anand Pillai says:

We know about the bzpug group Sathya. However, we wanted to have a Python group in Bangalore which is not focused on a particular technology like Zope. It has to be more generic. To me and many members of the group Python comes before any technology that implements it (like Zope).

However, as you said, it will be great to co-operate and conduct joint events as we move forward. Let us hear some of your ideas.

-Anand

Swaroop C H says:

Richard, Francois, Ian : thanks for telling us about the previous discussions, its great to hear that. I think we can join forces and get things going :mrgreen:

Premshree Pillai says:

François Granger: Yes, merging with PyPi was what even we thought of. Since there's already discussion regarding these, things look good.

Swaroop: you beat me to the post! :)

Swaroop C H says:

Philip: Interesting idea but I don't want people to shorten it to hash-bangers! :lol:

Philip says:

How about hash-bang-slash-python@yahoogroups.com

vasundhar says:

Hi!
Its nice to know the news ! and event success but where on earth it happened if atall its not virtual kind of meets ?
Please do mention the venue if U want some more to be present I missed it when you announced on bang_linux.tech

Finally what should we call ourselves if we are doing python?
Snake charmers is old what about indian style of the same word "pythias" Just kidding but If you are sure we are mad about python its not a bad Idea either !
;)
vasundhar

sathya says:

I believe we can hold joint meetings of bzpug and python. we can announce these meetings to both communities and get larger audiences to participate (being as it is the python community in M$ and J2EE crazy bangalore is in its infancy)

Saravana says:

Great!! Wish you all the best

Regards
Saravana

partha says:

It's always nice to find these type of initiatives with a real spirit and vision.
Keep it up.

Pradip Rabindranath says:

Swaroop, Culd you pls contact me, I need some good python trainers for my clients. Pradip (9341052417)

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