The command line is a powerful and resilient interface for getting work done, but the user experience is often lacking. This can be especially pronounced in database clients because of the amount of information being transferred and examined. To help improve the utility of these interfaces Amjith Ramanujam built PGCLI, quickly followed by MyCLI with the Prompt Toolkit library. In this episode he describes his motivation for building these projects, how their popularity led him to create even more clients, and how these tools can help you in your command line adventures.
Pandas is a swiss army knife for data processing in Python but it has long been difficult to customize. In the latest release there is now an extension interface for adding custom data types with namespaced APIs. This allows for building and combining domain specific use cases and alternative storage mechanisms. In this episode Tom Augspurger describes how the new ExtensionArray works, how it came to be, and how you can start building your own extensions today.
One of the biggest issues facing us is the availability of sustainable energy sources. As individuals and energy consumers it is often difficult to understand how we can make informed choices about energy use to reduce our impact on the environment. Electricity Map is a project that provides up to date and historical information about the balance of how the energy we are using is being produced. In this episode Olivier Corradi discusses his motivation for creating Electricity Map, how it is built, and his goals for the project and his other work at Tomorrow Co.
Determining the best way to manage the capacity and flow of goods through a system is a complicated issue and can be exceedingly expensive to get wrong. Rather than experimenting with the physical objects to determine the optimal algorithm for managing the logistics of everything from global shipping lanes to your local bank, it is better to do that analysis in a simulation. Ruud van der Ham has been working in this area for the majority of his professional life at the Dutch port of Rotterdam. Using his acquired domain knowledge he wrote Salabim as a library to assist others in writing detailed simulations of their own and make logistical analysis of real world systems accessible to anyone with a Python interpreter.
Using a rendering library can be a difficult task due to dependency issues and complicated APIs. Rohit Pandey wrote PyRay to address these issues in a pure Python library. In this episode he explains how he uses it to gain a more thorough understanding of mathematical models, how it compares to other options, and how you can use it for creating your own videos and GIFs.
Learning how to read is one of the most important steps in empowering someone to build a successful future. In developing nations, access to teachers and classrooms is not universally available so the Global Learning XPRIZE serves to incentivize the creation of technology that provides children with the tools necessary to teach themselves literacy. Kjell Wooding helped create Learn Leap Fly in order to participate in the competition and used Python and Kivy to build a platform for children to develop their reading skills in a fun and engaging environment. In this episode he discusses his experience participating in the XPRIZE competition, how he and his team built what is now Kasuku Stories, and how Python and its ecosystem helped make it possible.
Data mining and visualization are important skills to have in the modern era, regardless of your job responsibilities. In order to make it easier to learn and use these techniques and technologies Blaž Zupan and Janez Demšar, along with many others, have created Orange. In this episode they explain how they built a visual programming interface for creating data analysis and machine learning workflows to simplify the work of gaining insights from the myriad data sources that are available. They discuss the history of the project, how it is built, the challenges that they have faced, and how they plan on growing and improving it in the future.
Analyzing and interpreting data is a large portion of the work involved in scientific research. Getting to that point can be a lot of work on its own because of all of the steps required to download, clean, and organize the data prior to analysis. This week Henry Senyondo talks about the work he is doing with Data Retriever to make data preparation as easy as “retriever install” .
Access to affordable and consistent electricity is one of the big challenges facing our modern society. Nuclear energy is one answer because of its reliable output and carbon-free operation. To make this energy accessible to a larger portion of the global population further reasearch and innovation in reactor design and fuel sources is necessary, and that is where Python can help. This week Dr. Katy Huff talks about the research that she is doing, the problems facing the nuclear industry, and how she uses Python to make it happen.
What’s the weather tomorrow? That’s the question that meteorologists are always trying to get better at answering. This week the developers of MetPy discuss how their project is used in that quest and the challenges that are inherent in atmospheric and weather research. It is a fascinating look at dealing with uncertainty and using messy, multidimensional data to model a massively complex system.