Digital books are convenient and useful ways to have easy access to large volumes of information. Unfortunately, keeping track of them all can be difficult as you gain more books from different sources. Keeping your reading device synchronized with the material that you want to read is also challenging. In this episode Kovid Goyal explains how he created the Calibre digital library manager to solve these problems for himself, how it grew to be the most popular application for organizing ebooks, and how it works under the covers. Calibre is an incredibly useful piece of software with a lot of hidden complexity and a great story behind it.
Maintaining the health and well-being of your software is a never-ending responsibility. Automating away as much of it as possible makes that challenge more achievable. In this episode Anthony Sottile describes his work on the pre-commit framework to simplify the process of writing and distributing functions to make sure that you only commit code that meets your definition of clean. He explains how it supports tools and repositories written in multiple languages, enforces team standards, and how you can start using it today to ship better software.
Hosting your own artifact repositories can have a huge impact on the reliability of your production systems. It reduces your reliance on the availability of external services during deployments and ensures that you have access to a consistent set of dependencies with known versions. Many repositories only support one type of package, thereby requiring multiple systems to be maintained, but Pulp is a platform that handles multiple content types and is easily extendable to manage everything you need for running your applications. In this episode maintainers Bihan Zhang and Austin Macdonald explain how the Pulp project works, the exciting new changes coming in version 3, and how you can get it set up to use for your deployments today.
We take it for granted every day, but creating and displaying vivid colors in our digital media is a complicated and often difficult process. There are different ways to represent color, the ways in which they are displayed can cause them to look different, and translating between systems can cause losses of information. To simplify the process of working with color information in code Thomas Mansencal wrote the Colour project. In this episode we discuss his motiviation for creating and sharing his library, how it works to translate and manage color representations, and how it can be used in your projects.
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.
Learning to program is a rewarding pursuit, but is often challenging. One of the roadblocks on the way to proficiency is getting a development environment installed and configured. In order to simplify that process Aivar Annamaa built Thonny, a Python IDE designed for beginning programmers. In this episode he discusses his initial motivations for starting Thonny and how it helps newcomers to Python learn and understand how to write software.
Maintaining a consistent taxonomy for your music library is a challenging and time consuming endeavor. Eventually you end up with a mess of folders and files with inconsistent names and missing metadata. Beets is built to solve this problem by programmatically managing the tags and directory structure for all of your music files and providing a fast lookup when you are trying to find that perfect song to play. Adrian Sampson began the project because he was trying to clean up his own music collection and in this episode he discusses how the project was built, how streaming media is affecting our relationship to digital music, and how he envisions Beets position in the ecosystem in the future.
One of the draws of Python is how dynamic and flexible the language can be. Sometimes, that flexibility can be problematic if the format of variables at various parts of your program is unclear or the descriptions are inaccurate. The growing middle ground is to use type annotations as a way of providing some verification of the format of data as it flows through your application and enforcing gradual typing. To make it simpler to get started with type hinting, Carl Meyer and Matt Page, along with other engineers at Instagram, created MonkeyType to analyze your code as it runs and generate the type annotations. In this episode they explain how that process works, how it has helped them reduce bugs in their code, and how you can start using it today.
Your backups are running every day, right? Are you sure? What about that daily report job? We all have scripts that need to be run on a periodic basis and it is easy to forget about them, assuming that they are working properly. Sometimes they fail and in order to know when that happens you need a tool that will let you know so that you can find and fix the problem. Pēteris Caune wrote Healthchecks to be that tool and made it available both as an open source project and a hosted version. In this episode he discusses his motivation for starting the project, the lessons he has learned while managing the hosting for it, and how you can start using it today.
A majority of projects will eventually need some way of managing periodic or long-running tasks outside of the context of the main application. This is where a distributed task queue becomes useful. For many in the Python community the standard option is Celery, though there are other projects to choose from. This week Bogdan Popa explains why he was dissatisfied with the current landscape of task queues and the features that he decided to focus on while building Dramatiq, a new, opinionated distributed task queue for Python 3. He also describes how it is designed, how you can start using it, and what he has planned for the future.