Simon Willison’s Weblog

Entries tagged python, quora in 2013

Filters: Type: entry × Year: 2013 × python × quora ×


What are some good resources to learn how to cleanse data using Python?

http://gnosis.cx/TPiP/ “Text Processing in Python” is a free online book that covers a bunch of useful topics related to data cleanup. It’s over 10 years old now but is still mostly relevant—the chapter on regular expressions is particularly good.

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Is it better to create your own framework, or would it be best to just use Django or something like that?

You should absolutely use an existing framework such as Django rather than writing your own.

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For a Django application, deployed on Heroku, what are my options for storing user-uploaded media files?

S3 is really a no-brainer for this, it’s extremely inexpensive, very easy to integrate with and unbelievably reliable. It’s so cheap that it will be practically free for testing purposes (expect to spend pennies a month on it).

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Web app: what programming knowledge do I need to create a goings on app?

For this kind of application a much more important question than "how can I build it? is "where will I get the data from?"—If you don’t have a good answer for that building the app is a waste of your time. The world is littered with local events listings apps that no one uses because they don’t have good data.

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How do I choose between asynchronous web frameworks? My tech group is fairly language agnostic and we’re trying to standardize on some technologies.

Since they are all pretty close to each other and it sounds like your tech group’s skills would support any of them, I would suggest having your tram build a simple prototype in all three so you can compare them for your own particular team and situation.

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Which companies in London are using Python?

We use Python/Django for http://lanyrd.com/—we’re based in London.

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What advice would Simon Willison give to a beginner Python/Django developer?

Build something and put it on the internet. Make sure you have an easy way to deploy new versions (Heroku is a good bet if you don’t want to figure out Fabric). Pick a project that’s useful to you—a simple blogging engine is often a good bet, or maybe something that aggregates together your posts from Twitter and Instagram and so on. Or come up with something a bit more creative!

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Why does Python not have any data structures that store data in sorted order?

The bisect module provides functions for achieving this using a python list as the underlying data structure: http://docs.python.org/2/library...

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What is the best way to deploy Django?

These days a popular and reliable method is to run gunicorn behind nginx. This tutorial includes notes on using upstart for process management which is handy if you are on Ubuntu: http://lincolnloop.com/django-be...

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Do Flask and Django have a GUI interface like web2py?

No. The web2py GUI is something of an oddity in the Python world.

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Which should I learn: Python or PHP?

Python will teach you more about programming than PHP—and you’ll be able to learn PHP easily if you learn Python first.

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What are some hidden features of Python?

Generators and Iterators are pretty amazing. These two tutorials will really open your eyes as to how powerful they can be:

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How do I learn Python fast?

Learn how to use the Python interactive prompt and start solving problems with it. The official Python tutorial is an excellent place to start: http://docs.python.org/2/tutorial/

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