My first issue of Python Magazine
My first issue of Python Magazine is out!
After two months of being tutored in the arts of magazine publishing by retiring editor Doug Hellmann, March has been my first month in the Editor-in-Chief chair of Python Magazine. It is exciting to have my first issue come out while I am here at PyCon 2009 in Chicago. I am talking with other programmers, meeting new friends, and, of course, eyeing everyone I meet with the question of whether they might be suitable author or technical editor material.
I am especially excited about our cover issue this month! “Commanding Robots with LEGO Mindstorms” shows how simple it is for a Python program to manipulate both a binary on-the-wire protocol and binary calls into a Windows DLL, all without ever having to leave the Python standard library! For me, this is the real magic of Python: that it not only introduced an incomparably clean syntax and tidy language feature set, but that developers of both the standard library and of third-party Python modules are committed to creating vastly simple interfaces for what in other languages can be very difficult problems. The article is a great guide to using best practices and powerful tools when linking Python to other protocols and libraries.
Other articles include “Getting Started with Message Queues” which talks about how to arrange your application around a central queue so that you can distribute expensive work across dozens of machines; “Statically Analyzing Python Code” by the author of PySmell about how Python's built-in code parsing tools can be used to start investigating powerful ideas like type inferencing; and “Using Python for Pedigree Analysis” that is yet another success story from the world of science, about how Python — which began to be adopted very early in its history by working scientists — continues to move into new areas wherever science needs a clean and powerful language to replace the tangle of low-level code and temporary scripts that traditionally characterize systems written by those whose first expertise is not software design.
Throw in our several regular columns and my own monthly editorial, and you have a complete issue. (I think it was while writing the editorial that it really sank in that I am now an Editor-in-Chief!) I hope you will consider subscribing, and I especially hope you will subscribe to the print edition — for only an extra dollar a month, you will receive an actual, physical artifact that you can leave in the breakroom at work, share with a friend who wants to explore Python, or leave at a client's site to expose their own employees to the world of Python and its community. And, say hello to me here at PyCon!