New Year’s Python Meme

Here’s a short, 5 questions, 2009 Python meme. Copy-paste the questions, and blog your answers !

1. What’s the coolest Python application, framework or library you have discovered in 2009 ?

Nothing particularly stands out this year as a cool discovery, but the multiprocessing package, IronPython and GeoDjango all deserve a mention.

2. What new programming technique did you learn in 2009 ?

I’ve been dabbling more with metaprogramming and concurrency this year. Wise people are correct in that most of the time you don’t need metaprogramming, but it’s handy to understand for those rare occasions you do need to use it. As for concurrency, well it’s a very important subject these days and difficult to avoid now. I started looking at Erlang as a way to understand the issues and begin training my mind, and found Russel Winder’s “The GIL isn’t Evil” talk at EuroPython to be very helpful.

3. What’s the name of the open source project you contributed the most in 2009 ? What did you do ?

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t contributed much at all to open source this year. My sole contribution was a tiny patch to PyODBC for SQL Server XML datatype support. I’m going to make amends and contribute more in 2010 – I just haven’t found the right project to scratch my itch.

4. What was the Python blog or website you read the most in 2009 ?

Planet Python aggregator has been very useful. Michael Foord, Simon Willison, Ned Batchelder and Thomas Vander Stichele seem to have the most saved entries in my RSS reader so they deserve a mention but there are some excellent bloggers I’ve missed out!

5. What are the three top things you want to learn in 2010 ?

For Python: learn the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK), make a serious effort with Twisted, and use Python with XMPP.

In general: learn a new language (LISP or Clojure is looking like the most likely), have a go at one of the non-relational databases like CouchDB, keep learning to be a better mentor to other developers.

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