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Chennaipy July Meet Minutes

Wed, 29 Aug 2012

Chennaipy met on the 28th of July. We had about 10 people, participating in the meet. The meet started with an intro into Python, followed by a lightning talk on File I/O by Bala and a short talk on SCons by Vijay Kumar.

File I/O

After the customary introduction to Python, Bala started off with the File I/O talk. He listed out the C API used to access Files in Unix. He then showed how to create a file object using the open() built-in function. He then demonstrated the write(), seek(), read(), and readlines() methods on the file object. He also described the various modes in which a file can be opened.


Vijay gave a brief introduction to build systems. He then showed some of the drawbacks of the Make build system, like portability. Makefiles use shell commands and hence are not portable across Windows and *nix systems, for example. He also listed some of the other problems associated with Reliability and Repeatability.

Vijay demonstrated the Make build system using a PDF document build process. The PDF document is built from a text file written in asciidoc markup. The text file internally refers to some PNG image files. The image files are themselves built from vector dia files. He then demonstrated the same build using SCons. The SConstruct file which is the input to SCons was written using the Command() builder and closely mimicked the Makefile. Vijay then gradually modified the SConstruct file to use environment variables, custom builders, custom scanners, hierarchical builds and build configuration.

That brought us to the end of another wonderful Chennaipy meet. Hope everybody present had a great time. The Chennaipy seems to be gaining momentum with many members frequenting the Chennaipy meet. We can only hope that the trend continues.

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