Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items tagged python, quora in 2010

Filters: Year: 2010 × python × quora ×

What are the tradeoffs (e.g. development speed, performance, scalability) between using various php frameworks, ruby/rails, or python/django?  Is there any reason to choose one overwhelmingly over another?

At this point, I’d argue that the decision between them comes down to programming language rather than framework—the frameworks have mostly converged on a very similar set of features.

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Who are the top Python programmers on Twitter?

Our site Lanyrd catalogs conference speakers by their Twitter ID, so you could use it to find people who speak at Python conferences—for example:

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Is there a blog that covers open source Python projects?

No, but I wish there was.

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Why does Python load imported modules separately for different files, unlike C or PHP? Isn’t that inefficient in terms of memory usage?

It doesn’t—you’re misunderstanding how Python’s module system works. If two different places have “import os” in them, the os module is only imported and executed once—it’s cached in the sys.modules dictionary so you can see it happen if you want to. The key thing to understand is that “import os” attaches the os module to the “os” symbol within the current file’s scope, loading it only if it hasn’t been loaded already.

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What’s a good book about basic usage techniques and patterns in Python? (a la Effective Java/C++)

Dive into Python 3 is well worth a look:

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What does the key word “yield” in Python do?

The best documentation I’ve seen on generators is this:

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Who are the best Python developers in Los Angeles?

Mahalo is based in Santa Monica, and they have a very talented team of Python/Django people. They also host a regular Django meetup:

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What are some tips for a new Python developer coming from C++/Java?

Read “Python is not Java” from 2004—it has some good tips on how working with the two languages differs.

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Is the complexity of basic Python data structure operations documented?

Python’s C code has some excellent documentation, including detailed write-ups of how Python’s dictionary and sorting algorithms work. They’re a great read.

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What’s the easiest way to take an existing Django view and make it “real time” via long polling?

I’d advocate decoupling your long polling endpoints entirely from the rest of your web app stack. Personally I like Node.js for this, but Tornado would work just fine too (I’ve experimented successfully with Tornado long polling in the past).

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Does SQLAlchemy depend on MySQLdb?

No. SQLAlchemy can talk to all sorts of different DB-API compliant backends, including MySQL Connector/J (Jython only), MySQL Connector/Python, mysql-python (the MySQLdb module) and OurSQL—plus backends for many other databases. See the full list here:

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What is the best way to learn about setting up server software for Python based web apps?

I’m a big fan of Fabric for automated deployment scripts. Start by reading this tutorial:

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What is the highest traffic website built on top of Django?

My best guess would be Disqus. Instagram are pretty enormous these days as well.

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