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'[EE] Python experience (was [EE] Language suggesti'
2007\10\08@222155 by Vitaliy

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face
Below is a message I sent to PicList almost a month ago. I didn't realize
that I sent it from the wrong account, and to the wrong e-mail
(spam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTspampiclist.com). Oops. :)

==========

I just wanted to thank everyone who responded to my post about parsing a
text file, and to share my experience.

Since Python was recommended by the majority of responders, I decided to
give it a try. I needed to convert some old PDF bank statements into a QIF
that I could then import into Quicken. Initially, I was simply trying to fix
the lines pasted from the PDF, and fed them to the csv2qif Excel macro:

http://xl2qif.chez-alice.fr/links_en.php

Unfortunately, Quicken did not like the format, but luckily the QIF turned
out to be simple enough where I was able to decipher what the fields meant
by looking at a "proper" QIF file, and writing a couple of lines in Python
to create a simple converter.

It took a bit of trying, but I did it -- and now I think I like Python. I
was even able to add some icing which I wasn't planning for originally, like
strip out unnecessary stuff from the transaction description ("Machine ID
0000000", etc), abbreviate long strings ("Credit Card Purchase" -> "CCP"),
and extract the last four digits of the credit card for easy reference.

I'd like to learn more about the language, can someone recommend a good book
on Python?

Also, are there any RAD tools for Python? If not, is it difficult to call
Python executables (py2exe'd) from other programs?

Vitaliy

2007\10\08@232536 by Peter P.

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Vitaliy <spam <at> maksimov.org> writes:

> Python

There is a good book on Python from O'Reilly, and there are several RADs:
http://wiki.python.org/moin/GuiProgramming

You wrote that 'touching non-rad tools' is not good. I disagree. Some text based
programming tools yield amazing guis without any rad tools (but they can do
rad). tcl/tk comes to mind here, and derivatives that use tk (including Python).
The problem I see with py is that it is a very abstract high level language and
it tries to be Haskell and other things. To understand this statement, one must
look at a few web applications that appear short and nice, but *require* the
Twisted framework, which is ... twisted. 2.5MB of Python source. Twisted has its
own O'Reilly book and there is a picture of a tangle of snakes on the cover.
That is not a coincidence.

(I am not a py person)
Peter P.


2007\10\09@101126 by Timothy J. Weber

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Vitaliy wrote:
> Also, are there any RAD tools for Python?

I've been looking at Boa Constructor and Dabo.  Both are Delphi-like;
Dabo specifically has more of the magic database goodness (and they
would call it Visual FoxPro-like, which I guess is similar).  Boa looks
more mature, though.
--
Timothy J. Weber
http://timothyweber.org

2007\10\09@114639 by Gordon Williams

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I use Boa and like it though there is a learning curve.  It helps if you
know what is going on with wxPython in the first place.

Regards,

Gordon Williams


{Original Message removed}

2007\10\09@193055 by Jake Anderson

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Gordon Williams wrote:
> I use Boa and like it though there is a learning curve.  It helps if you
> know what is going on with wxPython in the first place.
>
> Regards,
>
> Gordon Williams
>
>  
Boa doesn't support sizers as yet though does it? IE dynamically rescale
your GUI to fit whatever screen size your running on?

2007\10\09@201112 by Vitaliy

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Peter P wrote:
> You wrote that 'touching non-rad tools' is not good. I disagree. Some text
> based
> programming tools yield amazing guis without any rad tools (but they can
> do
> rad). tcl/tk comes to mind here, and derivatives that use tk (including
> Python).

I'm sure you can write good GUIs in Assembler, but my point is that the
effort required is less with RAD.

I'm sure some will disagree. That's OK, I know there are lots of people on
this list who prefer a text based interface to point-and-click. I definitely
prefer point-and-click, whenever practical.

Vitaliy

2007\10\10@012439 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 10/10/07, Peter P. <.....plpeter2006KILLspamspam@spam@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I am not sure what bindings the Windows
> edition of Python has (there are several possibilities, including tk).
>

Python-win32 extension has support for Win32 API and COM.
And I believe Python supports quite some GUI framework
under Windows, for example, Gtk+/QT/tk/wxWidget.

Xiaofan

2007\10\10@112110 by Alden Hart

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Vitaly,

I learned Python using Mark Pilgrim's "Dive Into Python" book which was
recommended to me by a long-time Python programmer.

Alden

Vitaliy wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\10\10@135323 by peter green

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> I'm sure you can write good GUIs in Assembler, but my point is that the
> effort required is less with RAD.
>
>  
There is a lot of stuff in between assembler and rad.

my opinion is that rad is great for quick throwaway guis but for doing a
polished gui it doesn't really save you that much work as you end up
doing quite a bit of UI related stuff from code anyway. Also IMO rad
tools tend to encorage an unstructured copy and paste approach while
working from code encorages elimination of duplication.

finally there is the issue of version control, if your form format is
not text based or your builder has a habbit of rearranging the sections
for no good reason it is going to be a PITA to maintain your project
through a version control system.


2007\10\10@150912 by Gerhard Fiedler

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peter green wrote:

>> I'm sure you can write good GUIs in Assembler, but my point is that the
>> effort required is less with RAD.

> finally there is the issue of version control, if your form format is not
> text based or your builder has a habbit of rearranging the sections for
> no good reason it is going to be a PITA to maintain your project through
> a version control system.

This is not only a question of version control, it is also a question of
debugging and making your code work well. If such a tool rearranges lines
for no good reason, then file history and diffs between revisions are
practically meaningless -- which is a huge setback for any product
maintenance efforts and for writing code with low bug counts.

FWIW, I have found VS2003 to play rather "nice" in this regard.

Gerhard

2007\10\10@162924 by Timothy J. Weber

face picon face
peter green wrote:
>> I'm sure you can write good GUIs in Assembler, but my point is that the
>> effort required is less with RAD.
>>
>>  
> There is a lot of stuff in between assembler and rad.
>
> my opinion is that rad is great for quick throwaway guis but for doing a
> polished gui it doesn't really save you that much work as you end up
> doing quite a bit of UI related stuff from code anyway.

I've worked on two large, many-year, professional apps with Delphi and
observed some others.  It certainly doesn't prevent writing code, but
IME it makes creating and evolving the UI much easier than large
commercial apps I've done in (say) C++/MFC.  And much easier to
understand someone else's code, too.

> Also IMO rad
> tools tend to encorage an unstructured copy and paste approach while
> working from code encorages elimination of duplication.

I think programmers who "get" code reuse are happy making reusable
visual components, and those who don't are happy cutting and pasting
vast sections of code.

> finally there is the issue of version control, if your form format is
> not text based or your builder has a habbit of rearranging the sections
> for no good reason it is going to be a PITA to maintain your project
> through a version control system.

These are definitely considerations for any GUI builder, but all-text
forms have been in Delphi for years; I've never seen them rearranged for
no good reason.  I think they're rearranged if you change creation
order, but that's no different than doing the same thing in code.
--
Timothy J. Weber
http://timothyweber.org

2007\10\10@194118 by Jake Anderson
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Core Python Programming for me, was pretty good, a little light on
threading and IPC but not too bad.
Alden Hart wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\10\10@214850 by Don Rahmlow

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In my experience I've found Python to be way cool and wonderfully
cross-platform (i.e., Linux as well as Windows), not to mention free <grin>.
Perfect for real-time PC interaction with PIC via serial port (my favorite,
so quick, easy, cheap, and bulletproof) or USB.

Unfortunately GUI support is not its strength, but I'd recommend wxWindows
(recently renamed "wxWidgets" over tk, although I can't comment on its
(advertised) cross-platform strength, as I use in only on Windows. Works
well, powerful, no major bugs, and free. Only complaint is limited number of
UI widgets and a slightly 'dated' appearance; i.e., looks more like MFC
vintage rather than new .Net stuff. But if this is a serious objection for
you you need to pay Microsoft small fortune for .Net compilers and spend a
few months teaching yourself C# and either Windows Forms or asp.net. And
good luck talking directly to RS232 or USB ports in .net.

Give me Python any day of the week unless you're writing an ERP app!

Don

---------------------------------------------------
Don Rahmlow
TC2 Consulting Services
http://www.tc2.net
"Where business, people, and technology intersect!"
207.553.3000
---------------------------------------------------

{Original Message removed}

2007\10\10@230843 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 10/11/07, Don Rahmlow <EraseMEdrahmlowspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTtc2.net> wrote:
> In my experience I've found Python to be way cool and wonderfully
> cross-platform (i.e., Linux as well as Windows), not to mention free <grin>.
> Perfect for real-time PC interaction with PIC via serial port (my favorite,
> so quick, easy, cheap, and bulletproof) or USB.

pyserial and pyusb are both quite nice. I found a bug in pyusb and did
some tests and the author is so kind to put my name (along with
Mark Rages) in the list of contributors.
pyusb is at http://pyusb.berlios.de/.

The other libusb wrapper is in the BitPim project. Mark Rages is using
that wrapper in pyk (Python based PICkit 2 host application).
http://www.bitpim.org/pyxr/c/projects/bitpim/src/native/usb/

Personally I like pyusb more.

> Unfortunately GUI support is not its strength, but I'd recommend wxWindows
> (recently renamed "wxWidgets" over tk, although I can't comment on its
> (advertised) cross-platform strength, as I use in only on Windows. Works
> well, powerful, no major bugs, and free. Only complaint is limited number of
> UI widgets and a slightly 'dated' appearance; i.e., looks more like MFC
> vintage rather than new .Net stuff.

I briefly looked at wxWidgets and gave up. I actually asked my youngest
brother to write a GUI for me with wxWidgets but he did not liked it either.
He preferred to use ncurse under Unix/Linux. He works for ZTE, a leading
telecom equipment provider in China (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZTE).

> But if this is a serious objection for
> you you need to pay Microsoft small fortune for .Net compilers and spend a
> few months teaching yourself C# and either Windows Forms or asp.net. And
> good luck talking directly to RS232 or USB ports in .net.

Even I am also a fan of Python but you are not correct on C# with RS232
and USB. DotNet 2.0 comes with free components for serial communications.
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/library/30swa673(en-us,vs.80).aspx
You can use the free Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition to use the
serial components.
There are way more examples of USB examples in C#  than in Python.

Just look at http://www.lvr.com and you will know this (usb and serial
communication under dotnet).

If you object, take the challenge to write a Python wrapper for WinUSB. ;-)
Just kidding and you do not need to take the challenge.
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=283064
http://forum.microchip.com/tm.aspx?m=264046

Xiaofan

2007\10\11@080509 by Don Rahmlow

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face
In my experience I've found Python to be way cool and wonderfully
cross-platform (i.e., Linux as well as Windows), not to mention free <grin>.
Perfect for real-time PC interaction with PIC via serial port (my favorite,
so quick, easy, cheap, and bulletproof) or USB.

Unfortunately GUI support is not its strength, but I'd recommend wxWindows
(recently renamed "wxWidgets" over tk, although I can't comment on its
(advertised) cross-platform strength, as I use in only on Windows. Works
well, powerful, no major bugs, and free. Only complaint is limited number of
UI widgets and a slightly 'dated' appearance; i.e., looks more like MFC
vintage rather than new .Net stuff. But if this is a serious objection for
you you need to pay Microsoft small fortune for .Net compilers and spend a
few months teaching yourself C# and either Windows Forms or asp.net. And
good luck talking directly to RS232 or USB ports in .net.

Give me Python any day of the week unless you're writing an ERP app!

Don

---------------------------------------------------
Don Rahmlow
TC2 Consulting Services
http://www.tc2.net
"Where business, people, and technology intersect!" 207.553.3000
---------------------------------------------------

{Original Message removed}

2007\10\11@080613 by Don Rahmlow

flavicon
face
In my experience I've found Python to be way cool and wonderfully
cross-platform (i.e., Linux as well as Windows), not to mention free <grin>.
Perfect for real-time PC interaction with PIC via serial port (my favorite,
so quick, easy, cheap, and bulletproof) or USB.

Unfortunately GUI support is not its strength, but I'd recommend wxWindows
(recently renamed "wxWidgets" over tk, although I can't comment on its
(advertised) cross-platform strength, as I use in only on Windows. Works
well, powerful, no major bugs, and free. Only complaint is limited number of
UI widgets and a slightly 'dated' appearance; i.e., looks more like MFC
vintage rather than new .Net stuff. But if this is a serious objection for
you you need to pay Microsoft small fortune for .Net compilers and spend a
few months teaching yourself C# and either Windows Forms or asp.net. And
good luck talking directly to RS232 or USB ports in .net.

Give me Python any day of the week unless you're writing an ERP app!

Don

---------------------------------------------------
Don Rahmlow
TC2 Consulting Services
http://www.tc2.net
"Where business, people, and technology intersect!" 207.553.3000
---------------------------------------------------

{Original Message removed}

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