Podcast.__init__: Hardware Hacking Made Easy With CircuitPython

Summary

Learning to program can be a frustrating process, because even the simplest code relies on a complex stack of other moving pieces to function. When working with a microcontroller you are in full control of everything so there are fewer concepts that need to be understood in order to build a functioning project. CircuitPython is a platform for beginner developers that provides easy to use abstractions for working with hardware devices. In this episode Scott Shawcroft explains how the project got started, how it relates to MicroPython, some of the cool ways that it is being used, and how you can get started with it today. If you are interested in playing with low cost devices without having to learn and use C then give this a listen and start tinkering!

Announcements

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • When you’re ready to launch your next app or want to try a project you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so take a look at our friends over at Linode. With 200 Gbit/s private networking, scalable shared block storage, node balancers, and a 40 Gbit/s public network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. And for your tasks that need fast computation, such as training machine learning models, they just launched dedicated CPU instances. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode to get a $ 20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • You listen to this show to learn and stay up to date with the ways that Python is being used, including the latest in machine learning and data analysis. For even more opportunities to meet, listen, and learn from your peers you don’t want to miss out on this year’s conference season. We have partnered with organizations such as O’Reilly Media, Dataversity, and the Open Data Science Conference. Go to pythonpodcast.com/conferences to learn more and take advantage of our partner discounts when you register.
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email hosts@podcastinit.com)
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at pythonpodcast.com/chat
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Scott Shawcroft about CircuitPython, the easiest way to program microcontrollers

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by explaining what CircuitPython is and how the project got started?
    • I understand that you work at Adafruit and I know that a number of their products support CircuitPython. What other runtimes do you support?
  • Microcontrollers have typically been the domain of C because of the resource and performance constraints. What are the benefits of using Python to program hardware devices?
  • With the wide availability of powerful computing platforms, what are the benefits of experimenting with microcontrollers and their peripherals?
  • I understand that CircuitPython is a friendly fork of MicroPython. What have you changed in your version?
    • How do you structure your development to avoid conflicts with the upstream project?
    • What are some changes that you have contributed back to MicroPython?
  • What are some of the features of CircuitPython that make it easier for users to interact with sensors, motors, etc.?
  • CircuitPython provides an easy on-ramp for experimenting with hardware projects. Is there a point where a user will outgrow it and need to move to a different language or framework?
  • What are some of the most interesting/innovative/unexpected projects that you have seen people build using CircuitPython?
    • Are there any cases of someone building and shipping a production grade project in CircuitPython?
  • What have been some of the most interesting/challenging/unexpected aspects of building and maintaining CircuitPython?
  • What is in store for the future of the project?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA


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Podcast.__init__: Hacking The Government With The USDS

The U.S. government has a vast quantity of software projects across the various agencies, and many of them would benefit from a modern approach to development and deployment. The U.S. Digital Services Agency has been tasked with making that happen. In this episode the current director of engineering for the USDS, David Holmes, explains how the agency operates, how they are using Python in their efforts to provide the greatest good to the largest number of people, and why you might want to get involved. Even if you don’t live in the U.S.A. this conversation is worth listening to so you can see an interesting model of how to improve government services for everyone.

Summary

The U.S. government has a vast quantity of software projects across the various agencies, and many of them would benefit from a modern approach to development and deployment. The U.S. Digital Services Agency has been tasked with making that happen. In this episode the current director of engineering for the USDS, David Holmes, explains how the agency operates, how they are using Python in their efforts to provide the greatest good to the largest number of people, and why you might want to get involved. Even if you don’t live in the U.S.A. this conversation is worth listening to so you can see an interesting model of how to improve government services for everyone.

Announcements

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • When you’re ready to launch your next app or want to try a project you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so take a look at our friends over at Linode. With 200 Gbit/s private networking, scalable shared block storage, node balancers, and a 40 Gbit/s public network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. And for your tasks that need fast computation, such as training machine learning models, they just launched dedicated CPU instances. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode to get a $ 20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • Bots and automation are taking over whole categories of online interaction. Discover.bot is an online community designed to serve as a platform-agnostic digital space for bot developers and enthusiasts of all skill levels to learn from one another, share their stories, and move the conversation forward together. They regularly publish guides and resources to help you learn about topics such as bot development, using them for business, and the latest in chatbot news. For newcomers to the space they have the Beginners Guide To Bots that will teach you the basics of how bots work, what they can do, and where they are developed and published. To help you choose the right framework and avoid the confusion about which NLU features and platform APIs you will need they have compiled a list of the major options and how they compare. Go to pythonpodcast.com/discoverbot today to get started and thank them for their support of the show.
  • You listen to this show to learn and stay up to date with the ways that Python is being used, including the latest in machine learning and data analysis. For even more opportunities to meet, listen, and learn from your peers you don’t want to miss out on this year’s conference season. We have partnered with organizations such as O’Reilly Media, Dataversity, and the Open Data Science Conference. Go to pythonpodcast.com/conferences to learn more and take advantage of our partner discounts when you register.
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email hosts@podcastinit.com)
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at pythonpodcast.com/chat
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing David Holmes about his work at the US Digital Services organization

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by explaining what the USDS is and how you got involved with it?
  • The terminology that is used around "Tours of Service" is interesting. Can you explain what that entails?
    • relocation
    • what if you have a house and career?
  • Can you explain the model of how the USDS works?
    • What is involved in staffing a new project?
    • What is your typical toolkit, and how does that vary with the specific departments that you are working with?
  • What are some of the most interesting projects that you and the team at USDS have worked on?
  • What are some of the most challenging projects that you have been involved with?
  • What are some projects that you hope to be asked to work on?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA


Planet Python

Podcast.__init__: Exploring Python’s Internals By Rewriting Them In Rust

The CPython interpreter has been the primary implementation of the Python runtime for over 20 years. In that time other options have been made available for different use cases. The most recent entry to that list is RustPython, written in the memory safe language Rust. One of the added benefits is the option to compile to WebAssembly, offering a browser-native Python runtime. In this episode core maintainers Windel Bouwman and Adam Kelly explain how the project got started, their experience working on it, and the plans for the future. Definitely worth a listen if you are curious about the inner workings of Python and how you can get involved in a relatively new project that is contributing to new options for running your code.

Summary

The CPython interpreter has been the primary implementation of the Python runtime for over 20 years. In that time other options have been made available for different use cases. The most recent entry to that list is RustPython, written in the memory safe language Rust. One of the added benefits is the option to compile to WebAssembly, offering a browser-native Python runtime. In this episode core maintainers Windel Bouwman and Adam Kelly explain how the project got started, their experience working on it, and the plans for the future. Definitely worth a listen if you are curious about the inner workings of Python and how you can get involved in a relatively new project that is contributing to new options for running your code.

Announcements

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • When you’re ready to launch your next app or want to try a project you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so take a look at our friends over at Linode. With 200 Gbit/s private networking, scalable shared block storage, node balancers, and a 40 Gbit/s public network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. And for your tasks that need fast computation, such as training machine learning models, they just launched dedicated CPU instances. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode to get a $ 20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • You listen to this show to learn and stay up to date with the ways that Python is being used, including the latest in machine learning and data analysis. For even more opportunities to meet, listen, and learn from your peers you don’t want to miss out on this year’s conference season. We have partnered with organizations such as O’Reilly Media, Dataversity, and the Open Data Science Conference. Go to pythonpodcast.com/conferences to learn more and take advantage of our partner discounts when you register.
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email hosts@podcastinit.com)
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at pythonpodcast.com/chat
  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Adam Kelly and Windel Bouwman about RusPython, a project to implement a new Python interpreter in Rust

Interview

  • Introduction
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by explaining what Rust is for anyone who isn’t familiar with it?
  • How did RustPython got started and what are your goals for the project?
  • Can you discuss what is involved in implementing a fully compliant Python interpreter?
  • What are some of the challenges that you face in replicating the capabilities of the CPython interpreter?
    • Are you attempting to maintain bug parity?
    • How much of the stdlib needs to be reimplemented?
    • Can you compare and contrast the benefits of Rust vs C?
    • Will the end result be compatible with libraries that rely on C extensions such as NumPy?
  • What is the current state of the project?
    • What are some of the notable missing features?
  • Can you talk through your vision of how the WebAssembly support will manifest and the types of applications that it will enable?
    • How much effort have you put into size optimization for the webassembly target to reduce client-side load time?
    • Are there any existing options for minification of Python code so that it can be delivered to users with less bandwidth?
  • What have been some of the most interesting/challenging/unexpected aspects of implementing a Python runtime?
  • What do you have planned for the future of the project?
  • What are the risks that you anticipate which could derail the project before it becomes production ready?

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The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA


Planet Python

Podcast.__init__: Building Scalable Ecommerce Sites On Saleor

Ecommerce is an industry that has largely faded into the background due to its ubiquity in recent years. Despite that, there are new trends emerging and room for innovation, which is what the team at Mirumee focuses on. To support their efforts, they build and maintain the open source Saleor framework for Django as a way to make the core concerns of online sales easy and painless. In this episode Mirek Mencel and Patryk Zawadzki discuss the projects that they work on, the current state of the ecommerce industry, how Saleor fits with their technical and business strategy, and their predictions for the near future of digital sales.

Summary

Ecommerce is an industry that has largely faded into the background due to its ubiquity in recent years. Despite that, there are new trends emerging and room for innovation, which is what the team at Mirumee focuses on. To support their efforts, they build and maintain the open source Saleor framework for Django as a way to make the core concerns of online sales easy and painless. In this episode Mirek Mencel and Patryk Zawadzki discuss the projects that they work on, the current state of the ecommerce industry, how Saleor fits with their technical and business strategy, and their predictions for the near future of digital sales.

Announcements

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • When you’re ready to launch your next app or want to try a project you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so take a look at our friends over at Linode. With 200 Gbit/s private networking, scalable shared block storage, node balancers, and a 40 Gbit/s public network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. And for your tasks that need fast computation, such as training machine learning models, they just launched dedicated CPU instances. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode to get a $ 20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email hosts@podcastinit.com)
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at pythonpodcast.com/chat
  • Check out the Practical AI podcast from our friends at Changelog Media to learn and stay up to date with what’s happening in AI
  • You listen to this show to learn and stay up to date with what’s happening in databases, streaming platforms, big data, and everything else you need to know about modern data management. For even more opportunities to meet, listen, and learn from your peers you don’t want to miss out on this year’s conference season. We have partnered with organizations such as O’Reilly Media, Dataversity, and the Open Data Science Conference. Go to pythonpodcast.com/conferences to learn more and take advantage of our partner discounts when you register.
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Mirek Mencel and Patryk Zawadzki about their work at Mirumee, building ecommerce applications in Python, based on their open source framework Saleor

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by describing the types of projects that you work on at Mirumee and how the company got started?
  • There are a number of libraries and frameworks that you build and maintain. What is your motivation for providing these components freely and how does that play into your overall business strategy?
  • The most substantial project that you maintain is Saleor. Can you describe what it is and the story behind its creation?
    • How does it compare to other ecommerce implementations in the Python space?
    • If someone is agnostic to language and web framework, what would make them choose Saleor over other options that would be available to them?
  • What are some of the most challenging aspects of building a successful ecommerce platform?
    • How do the technical needs of an ecommerce site differ as it grows from small to medium and large scale?
  • Which components of an online store are often overlooked?
  • One of the common features of ecommerce sites that can drive substantial revenue is a well-built recommender system. What are some best practice strategies that you have discovered during your client work?
  • What are some projects that you have seen built with Saleor that were particular interesting, innovative, or unexpected?
  • What are your predictions for the future of the ecommerce industry?
  • What do you have planned for the future of the Saleor framework and the Mirumee business?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA


Planet Python

Podcast.__init__: – Episode

Summary

Any time that your program needs to interact with other systems it will have to deal with serializing and deserializing data. To prevent duplicate code and provide validation of the data structures that your application is consuming Steven Loria created the Marshmallow library. In this episode he explains how it is built, how to use it for rendering data objects to various serialization formats, and some of the interesting and unique ways that it is incorporated into other projects.

Announcements

  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
  • When you’re ready to launch your next app or want to try a project you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so take a look at our friends over at Linode. With 200 Gbit/s private networking, scalable shared block storage, node balancers, and a 40 Gbit/s public network, all controlled by a brand new API you’ve got everything you need to scale up. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode to get a $ 20 credit and launch a new server in under a minute. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • And to keep track of how your team is progressing on building new features and squashing bugs, you need a project management system designed by software engineers, for software engineers. Clubhouse lets you craft a workflow that fits your style, including per-team tasks, cross-project epics, a large suite of pre-built integrations, and a simple API for crafting your own. Podcast.__init__ listeners get 2 months free on any plan by going to pythonpodcast.com/clubhouse today and signing up for a trial.
  • Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the newsletter, and read the show notes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions I would love to hear them. You can reach me on Twitter at @Podcast__init__ or email hosts@podcastinit.com)
  • To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes and tell your friends and co-workers
  • Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at pythonpodcast.com/chat
  • You listen to this show to learn and stay up to date with the ways that Python is being used, including the latest in machine learning and data analysis. For even more opportunities to meet, listen, and learn from your peers you don’t want to miss the Strata conference in San Francisco on March 25th and the Artificial Intelligence conference in NYC on April 15th, both run by our friends at O’Reilly Media. Go to pythonpodcast.com/stratacon and pythonpodcast.com/stratacon to register today and get 20% off
  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Steven Loria about Marshmallow, a Python serialization library that is agnostic to your framework and object mapper of choice

Interview

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by describing what Marshmallow is and the history of the project?
    • What are some of the capabilities that make it unique from other similar projects in the Python ecosystem?
  • What are some of the main use cases for schematized serialization and deserialization?
  • Can you walk through how a user would get started with Marshmallow, particularly for complex or nested schemas?
  • Can you describe how Marshmallow is implemented?
    • How has that design evolved since you first began working on it?
    • How have the changes in the Python language and ecosystem impacted the requirements and use cases for Marshmallow?
  • What are some of the most interesting or unexpected ways that you have seen Marshmallow used?
  • What have been some of the most interesting, complex, or challenging aspects of building the Marshmallow project and community?
    • What are lessons you’ve learned from maintaining marshmallow?
  • What have been some of the benefits and drawbacks of keeping Marshmallow agnostic to any frameworks or object mappers?
  • What are some of the edge cases that users of Marshmallow should be aware of?
  • What are some of the little-known features of Marshmallow that you find most useful?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Marshmallow?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA


Planet Python