The June 2009 issue of Python Magazine
The new issue of Python Magazine is out, and it's a technically hefty issue that, while lacking the kind of human-interest “what Python did for me” stories that I often use to balance the articles about programming, does do a really good job of showing the diverse kinds of problems that Python can tackle today.
Before detailing its content, I should apologize that the magazine keeps arriving later and later each month. Alert readers will have noticed that this “June” issue is actually appearing on July 9th. It is late because, in these inexperienced first few months as Editor-in-Chief, I have been treating magazine editing as a serial process, and have not really been starting work on an issue until the previous one is out the door. To fix things, I will start working more like an efficient, modern, pipelined microprocessor, and fetch articles for one issue while a second issue is being edited and yet a third is in layout to be published.
So, watch for a gradually improving schedule over the last half of this year! One reader wrote me to ask whether the late schedule was a sign that the publisher was losing interest in the publication. In fact, it is the person on staff who is most dedicated to Python — myself! — who is at fault, so no lack of interest in the publication is at all implied.
So, what does the “June” issue have to offer?
- It has special effects: an article by Casey Duncan describes his Lepton Particle Engine whose clever and pluggable architecture allows Python to control a highly efficient particle engine to power sophisticated visual effects.
- It has pretty pictures: Eugen Wintersberger tackles the famous Python Imaging Library and puts together some interesting examples of how you can use Python to batch-process images for publication on the web or in a PDF for printing.
- It teaches interesting skills: a research librarian named Mark Matienzo describes how Python has let him tap into one of the largest combined library catalogs in the world, mashing it up with Google Maps to present search results geographically.
- Our regular authors J.C. Cruz and Mark Mruss teach us, respectively, about generating random numbers, and using the Python pickle module for persisting your own Python objects.
To wrap things up, Steve Holden writes an unusually technical column — he actually offers code samples this time! — as he illustrates how easy Python made access to an Amazon API. Finally, I myself introduce the issue by making the guess that even the Python community still has a lot to discover about writing good Python code. I believe that the powerful concept of “Pythonic” is still in its youth, and has a long way to go before we have really learned all of the glories still to come about how the language can be used effectively.
You can get an online-only subscription and save a few dollars, but why not get a print subscription instead, and share the print copy with your friends, co-workers, and boss? Show them that Python attracts a community of professional programmers who have a lot to share about their favorite language — and that the innovation is not about to slow down!