Phil Hassey - game dev blog
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Archive for May, 2008

Dear lazyweb: tell me about python telephony ..

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

I’m looking at doing some telephony work in the next half year.  I’ve read a bit about asterisk and it looks like it has come a long way in the past few years.  I notice that there are quite a few ways to integrate it with python AGI, etc.

Anyone care to spout some opinions?  How good is python support?  Is one of these packages way better?  Got any tips on how to get started playing with this stuff as quickly as possible?  Any dire warnings you care to pass on?  Are there any alternatives to asterisk I should also be considering?  Are there any reasons why I would want to use a language other than python for my telephony work?  Tell me everything!

Thanks lazyweb!

meta-methods: python vs tinypy

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Man, could I have even thought of a title that sounds dustier? It just screams “Get ready for the boring lecture of the year folks.” I should totally re-name this post to something like “putting your brain through a blender .. FOR FUN!” Or maybe I should have gone the pretentious route and named it something like “Analysis of modern programming meta-method paradigms.” Actually, that sounds even dustier than my original title. At least my original one falsely implies that there is some competition going on in this post by my use of the “vs”.

Here’s how python does it:

class X:
    def __get__(self,k): return “OK”

Here’s how tinypy does it:

class MetaX:
    def __get__(self,k): return “OK”
class X:
    def __init__(self): setmeta(self,MetaX)

Okay .. so .. the python way is WAY more readable. Nice 🙂 So let me remember if there was a good reason for doing it a different way in tinypy … I think the answer is “maybe” ? Here’s what I can come up with:

  • In tinypy dict == object, which means a.x == a[‘x’]. (I’m not sure how that’s relevant, but it does mean that I have no need for a __getattr__.)
  • lua does it that way! (I have copied many other lua design decisions, so why not copy another!)
  • It’s faster? (In a sort of, if only tinypy were as fast as python is to begin with kind of way.)
  • It was easier to hack together in an afternoon! (Well, actually .. looking at the python code, I think the python way might have been easier.)

So what did I gain by going the lua route instead of the python route? I’m not entirely sure .. but it sure seemed like a good idea at the time.

A few days later …

With a bit of effort, I’ve come up with a few more reasons why I did this in tinypy:

  • Not only are dicts objects but they can also be classes. This is done by having a __call__ meta, so if you have class X: .. X() calls getmeta(X).__call__. This is relevant because if the class itself had a __call__ method, how would you define your class so that it knows to create your object with a __call__ method? (Probably by having a __new__ method that isn’t copied to the object.)
  • The one way the previous point is relevant, is that the object __new__ would probably have to be smarter than how I create objects currently. It would have to realize that __new__ methods don’t get copied into objects.
  • Also, I would probably have to internally track what is a class vs what is an object. So I know when I do something like X.test(self) .. and my class X has the unbound method of __get__, it knows not to try any meta magic.

Okay .. those aren’t great reasons. The nice thing about tinypy being .. tinypy .. is that if this continues to bother me for the rest of the day, I can probably try out the implementation in a couple hours. If you want to see the current meta implementation, it’s in subversion.

Anyone care to comment on the whole lua vs python style meta-methods stuff? I’m pretty sure I’m not sure at all what I think about them!

tinypy 1.1 – math, VS, bug fixes, and more!

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Here it is:

tinypy is a minimalist implementation of python in 64k of code.  If you want to get involved, be sure to join the mailing list!

Thanks loads to everyone (allefant, Seth, Krzy, Rockins, Dean) who helped get this release together 🙂

The highlights are:

– works in VS now
– math module
– better
– a million bug fixes


Phil’s pyGame Utilities (pgu) project up for grabs!

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Well, I developed pgu several years ago .. and I’ve sort of moved onto other things.  And now I really feel like I’m not doing a great job maintaining pgu anymore.  I get occasional contributions which I don’t handle and I don’t really have any direction I want to take pgu, so I think it’s time for me to step down as maintainer of that project.

I’ve got a project page on that has a pretty good description of what it does.  I’ve also got a project page on sourceforge that has the mailing list.  Really, it would probably do better all hosted with google code and google groups.   (tinypy has been doing *great* with those!)

Anyway, it’s been fun, but it’s time for me to let someone else take the torch!  Good luck to whoever that ends up being!  I guess I’m sort of taking applications here, so .. tell me why you’d be the best maintainer for pgu 🙂

The corndog diet delivers again!

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

A notable draw-back to sitting in front of a screen all day is that I get bloated after a while.  Thus, I’ve built the corndog diet for when I wish to drop a few pounds.

  • Breakfast: yogurt + 1 cup grape juice
  • Lunch: one corndog + 1 cup water
  • Afternoon: 20 minute workout *
  • Dinner: something modest + 1 cup milk

Drops around 1/2 lb per day if I actually do it.  I usually don’t exactly do that, so I’m probably at a 1/4 lb rate right now.  At any rate, 10 down, 5 to go.  Gotta keep my body at least moderately comparable to my blog pics.

For fun, see the Corndog Patrol Flag.

* Usually about 150 jumping jacks, 7 pull-ups, 45 push-ups, and 120 sit-ups.  At a separate time Nan and I walk Cuzco the goat around the lake.