Favourite Python Talks: David Beazley’s Back Catalogue
The Python community
One of the best things I have found about the python developer community is the willingness to selflessly give back to it. One of these avenues are the talks of its premier conference PyCon and its many offshoots.
These talks are uploaded to YouTube and provide a great insight into the breadth of use of python. There are talks aimed at beginners, outsiders, professional users and more. They range from 3 hour long tutorials on aspects of python like prominent libraries to short but detailed investigations of the internal workings of the CPython implementation
One of the best presenters I have discovered on the PyCon and related YouTube channels is David Beazley. A teacher, developer and book author he always seems to focus on a simple presentation with the risky and impressive use of live coding often thrown in for good measure. His talks are often quirky or bleeding edge and I have collected a small sample here of my favourites.
A trip down memory lane ensues when David Beazley realises that his old Superboard II from 1978 (with 8K of RAM) is still operational, and in true David Beazley style his first thought is cool, what can I do with this. And his answer, of course, is to connect it to the cloud.
What then ensues is a step by step process of using primarily python 3 to connect:
* A cassette interface
* Which uses an audio stream
* A python3 ported PyAudio package to do audio encoding/decoding
* To link to TCP socket – and onto a client.
This is then used as a launching platform to primarily discuss ZeroMQ(ØMQ) and redis, two fantastically useful projects as well as discussing python3’s usefulness (this talk was given in 2011), experiences with porting code and a 6502 emulator written in python.
A fascinating journey into the depths of legal hell. A patent infringement case lands David Beazley in a deep pile of reams of paper, unlabelled hard drives in a locked vault after being called in as a technical expert.
Like a lifeline thrown in at the last second, the fortuitous discovery of an old version of python on the only machine (running Windows XP) leads to a solution to sort through the mess.
Rebuilding Linux command line utilities like find and diff and using the power of the python built-in’s and standard library helps him sort through this, but the biggest takeaway from this talk is a peek into an area of the legal side of things that most developers will never see.
This much more recent talk investigates the bleeding edge of python development, with a look at the
await additions to the python specification.
He gives some standard and out there examples of their use, their roots in coroutines and generators and some caveats with using them successfully.
If you are interested in the future of python and asynchronous programming then this is a good short introduction that will give you a taste of what’s possible, what may be possible and what may possibly just blow your mind.
Other talks to watch for
There is a fairly large collection of talks available with some more on the GIL, generators and coroutines and python built-ins accessible from my YouTube playlist, as well as more pdf’s and screencasts from David’s own site