[kwlug-disc] Python

Steve Izma sizma at golden.net
Sun Jan 8 17:12:15 EST 2012

On Sun, Jan 08, 2012 at 09:31:25AM -0500, Gordon Dey wrote:
> Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] Python
> On 12-01-08 03:33 AM, Bob Jonkman wrote:
> >Charles McColm and I were recently bitten by the
> [edited]
> >Is there interest in learning Python within the ranks of KWLUG? All we
> >need is a project to work on... The KWPUG group seems to be defunct, but
> >we can strike out on our own.
> There was a time when I worked in python. Been a while; "use it or
> lose it." It'd be fun to pitch in and help with a project,
> relearning in the process!

I learned what I needed to get started using Python in about two
days cloistered in a cheap hotel in France (between conferences)
with O'Reilly's "Learning Python", about a dozen years ago. Eric
S. Raymond claims he learned it in an afternoon.

I now use python almost daily at work, mostly for XML and other
text-handling tasks. Having a project certainly makes a
difference in the learning curve, but I frequently find myself
writing short scripts (or modifying old ones) to handle one-off

Many people might find it useful as a way of manipulating
spreadsheet data, since so many office workers use spreadsheets
as data-organizing tools but use tedious methods to input and
arrange the data. Python's built-in list and dictionary types
make these manipulations very straight-forward.

I also very frequently use python to read a spreadsheet and pipe
the data to groff (and it's table-formatting facilities) to
create far more efficient and readalbe reports than what you can
get from the any spreadsheet's internal formatting tools.

	-- Steve

Steve Izma
Home: 35 Locust St., Kitchener N2H 1W6    p:519-745-1313
Work: Wilfrid Laurier University Press    p:519-884-0710 ext. 6125
E-mail: sizma at golden.net or steve at press.wlu.ca

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
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