PyWM PUG Technical Meeting

Today I attended my second technical meeting of the Python West Midlands user group hosted again by John Pinner at his Clocksoft offices.

The first part of the day was a talk from John about using distutils to package up your python modules for distribution. This looked pretty straight forward though John did highlight some of the drawbacks of the rather simplistic way distutils works. Not the least of which is that it does not provide an uninstall mechanism. We had a little detour into how rpm and deb files works as well and, as John pointed out, they are not nearly so scary as people make out they are.

The rest of the day was spent with us looking at python options for a gallery for the PyWM pycon UK conference that we could then hack on to replace the existing gallery (which is PHP!) . We found two main options for providing the gallery in python. One was GallerPy which is using Python under CGI for apache. The other was stockphoto a Django based approach. I also looked at some interfaces to the FlickrAPI in python namely flickr.py and flickerAPI.py but didn’t get too far with them mainly because I didn’t understand how the flickr authentication worked.

We split into two teams to look at the gallery options. Colin and Alex lead the efforts on the Django based system whilst Zeth and I looked at the CGI Apache one. Quentin and David were chipping in with various ideas from the background.

The Django boys had a bit of a hard time getting things going. We managed to get GallerPy working in a couple of hours but it turned out to be more of a Apache hacking session than a python hacking session. That said we have a working gallery at the temporary url of gallery3.pyconuk.org and a “specification” for what we want to do next.

It was an enjoyable day and although we didn’t get too much python stuff done it was good fun to work with people on technical problems.

Thanks to everyone who came and especially to John and Sheila for hosting.

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