CLEPY – SimpleParse, IPython, and Twill

The February Cleveland Area Python Users Group Meeting was held last night. The guys at BitBacker opened their doors and supplied pizza. It was the best meeting in awhile – 3 talks!

Christian Wyglendowski kicked things off with an overview of SimpleParse. He’s used it in applications from an ini file parser to a parser for an online survey processing language. It looks easy to use. Some time ago I wrote a parser for generating Python code from FLTK’s Fluid GUI builder data files using Spark. A great library, but SimpleParse might have been so much easier – it depends if I could have created or found a grammar for the fluid file format.

Matt Wilson spoke on IPython. I’ve been using IPython for some time and realized I wasn’t making full use of it. Until his talk I didn’t realize how much of IPython I was missing (“You only use 10% of your Ipython’s capabilities….”). Never knew it would assign results to _## where ## is the history line number. That alone will save a lot of time. Matt’s Ipython talk notes are online at his website.

Matt also gave a short talk on Twill. Twill is a domain-specific language used to test websites and web applications. The most interesting part of Twill is its extensibility. He demonstrated how one can add automatic checks as Twill encounters each page in your application – checks for tables-within-tables for example. Matt’s notes contain more information.

These talks gave us a lot to take home and think about.

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