Sunday, October 28, 2007

Review of Collective Intelligence

I was quite excited to get a copy of Collective Intelligence to review for the PyAtl Bookclub, as I am extremely interested in Artificial Intelligence. I was also extremely pleased to learn that Collective Intelligence used Python, exclusively, throughout the book to explain the author's ideas. There is a certain like minding thinking that Python Programmers share and it certainly comes through in this book by Toby Segaran.

With these high expectations on the table, it would have been easy for me to be disappointed, but the book met the expectations that I had, and in certain situations, exceeded them. One of the great aspects of Python, is that is so pragmatic. In a trivial amount of code, this book explained how to apply unsupervised learning techniques to RSS feeds. I had been meaning for quite some time to write some code that parsed RSS feeds and determined relevant information for me automatically. In Chapter 2, the book jumps right into using the "feedparser" module, to do just that! There are also great examples of using, "urllib2", and SQLite, in that same chapter.

Throughout, the rest of the book, Toby explores various other AI techniques, and explains clearly, how to implement them in Python. One nice touch at the end of the book, was to include a reference to modules used in the book, and to include small usage examples. I was quite pleased by Collective Intelligence, and I would recommend the book to any intermediate to advanced programmer who wants to learn more about AI, and also web specific applications of AI theory.

-Noah Gift

Monday, October 22, 2007

Nov. 8th meeting: GUI Showdown

The next meeting is November 8th at 7:30 at Turner. This month's theme is graphical user interface toolkits. The presenters will be offering a series of 10 minute Lightning talks so we have a good overview of a variety of toolkits.

7:15-7:30 Meet at Turner Lobby.

7:30-7:45 Opening Remarks and setup.

7:45-~9:00 Series of 10 Minute Lightning talks on GUI toolkits:

Door Prize For Best Presentation! There will be a Door Prize for the best presentation, by way of vote. The door prize will be a copy of, Making Things Talk, thanks to O'Reilly.

9:00-? General Discussion & Coding Sessions

Make sure you head over to the page and RSVP if you're coming, so your name is added to the security list for Turner.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

PyAtl Meeting Notes, Thursday, Oct. 11th: Zope Technologies

First Presentation:

Derek Richardson gave a presentation on Plone 3. He talked about some of the features of Plone 3 and how to correctly configure a new Plone 3 site. We also briefly talked about moving the PyAtl website to Plone.

Second Presentation:

Drew Smathers gave a talk on the Zope 3 Component Architecture, and also talked about Grok

Nov Meeting Plans:

Toby Ho suggested a GUI showdown, and everyone liked the idea. The format for the November
meeting will be:

Small Roundtable Discussion depending on the number of GUI Presenters.
Multiple, 10 Minute Lightening Talks, as many as we can squeeze in and get out by 9PM.

Here is a list of Python GUIs, from the Python wiki:

Presenters So Far:

Cary Hull: Pyglet
Jeremy Jones: PyGTK 2.0
Noah Gift: Cocoa/Python/Leopard

We probably have room for 3-5 more 10 minute presentations, here are my suggestions

Suggestions for potential presenters:

Toby since you brought it up, are you going to volunteer?

TkInter: Bernard?
Jython: Howard?

Miscellaneous Happenings:

LinkedIn Group:

Thanks to another great suggestion by Doug Hellmann, we now have a Linked In PyAtl Group. Please feel free to invite yourself and I will approve the queue:

Here is the invitation link:

PyAtl Blog:

I will be making a few changes on the main website as we prepare to eventually move to Plone, but in the meantime, in the spirit of "something is better than nothing". We have a blogger account that any and all members of PyAtl can contribute to.

PyAtl Community Blog

Recommended Use:

1. Email me, Noah Gift, at noahdotgiftatgmaildotcom, and request an invite to edit the blog.
2. Try to use tags when you post. For example, I am posting this under "Meeting Notes, Next Meeting Organization, Announce, Community Blog. It is best if you can use previous tags that another person has created.
3. Don't be evil, not that I really need to mention it, as I am sure we will all be fine.
4. Please contribute, if you have more detailed notes about a meeting, feel free to append my post, or add a new one.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

First Post for PyAtl Community Blog

This post is to announce we now have a community blog that anyone can edit. We will be using the human test in giving out access. If you meet me in a meeting, then you are approved.