Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Python Users Group, July 2010

I met with another Python teacher today after the user group meeting.

He's doing a class for the Art Insitute, whereas I'm teaching for Saturday Academy.

We're both using IDLE on Windows, which DARPA-funded, initially Guido-programmed shell is under fire for being far behind the state of the art these days, and therefore perhaps more of a liability than an asset.

IDLE barely works on some versions of Apple software.

But what would we use in its place that might likewise be included within the standard Python distro?

Another Python guy wanted to talk hyper-geometry, had been watching the math-dimensions videos and was planning a talk in August.

I told him about our recent contest for "most primitive space-filler", with D.M.Y. Sommerville nailing four candidates back in 1923. Fuller had circled one of these four as the Mite, and I've been championing this decision, though the four quads of the Rite also meet Sommerville's criteria. The other two are Mite-fillable. The heart of the Rite may be graphed using Mites, but they won't fill the four quads.

Judging from traffic on the Polylist, there's still a contingent favoring the "characteristic tetrahedron" instead (Mite-fillable). This shape is not one of Sommerville's candidates for the obvious reason that it comes in left and right flavors -- not properly congruent. Hand-waving about symmetry ensues.

On the other hand, Fuller is adamant that the Mite is also "flavored" even though it's outwardly always the same shape. I compiled a list of pointers into Synergetics Dictionary on this topic, admittedly somewhat esoteric.

Aristotle was right, remember the Mite.

What about those troops and ships moving into Central America? Rumors are flying.

Speaking of esoteric, the presentations during the Python meeting were somewhat on the abstruse side, especially the one by Dan Colish on constructing a context free grammar parser. This was pure computer science.

I've not been invited to OSCON this year (proposal not accepted), so I won't be weighing down these blogs with my usual techno-babble. Plenty of others to fill in those gaps. OSCON is somewhat expensive and I don't have sponsors who think I need to be there. However, a number of free events around the edges will give me some opportunities to compare notes with peers.