In praise of the Python annalists

by Uche Ogbuji

In a recent entry I was prompted by Brett Cannon's complaints about how the loud and persistent community furore over Python decorators made it hard to maintain his weekly summaries of the python-dev mailing list. I disagreed with the idea that the community should just bite its tongue and go with what Python's BDFL says, but I do want to express my appreciation of the work Cannon and other Python chroniclers perform. Here are the resources I use to keep abreast of Python developments:

  • I rarely go a day without reading Daily Python-URL, sponsored by PythonWare. It covers a wide range, including journal articles, weblogs, product announcements, and exceptional excerpts from mailing lists.

  • Dr. Dobb's Python-URL! (unrelated, I think to the above) is a weekly collation mostly of quotes and links to notable threads on comp.lang.python. It's also posted weekly to comp.lang.python.announce.

  • The python-dev summary, currently maintained by Brett Cannon, summarizes important threads on the Python developer's list. One thing that makes this resource stand apart is that many of the other annals cherry-pick whetever they find interesting, whereas the python-dev summary clearly puts in an effort to cover all meaningful threads. The new summary is also posted weekly to comp.lang.python.announce.

  • When a Python release is imminent I study Andrew Kuchling's What's New in Python document to figure out what goodies and what wrinkles to expect.

  • I check out Planet Python from time to time. It's a roll-up of Python-related RSS channels. As such it reels in a good deal of non-Python related material, and sometimes it's dominated by bric-a-brac. Then again, the bric-a-brac of Pythoneers is in my experience better than the average.

What resource do you use to keep abreast of Python developments?