Python 3.0 & GAE/J on April 8th

Thanks again to Paul Masquelier, we have this Picasa web album to share with pictures from the April SV-GTUG meeting:

We also recorded the April meeting and it will be available soon on YouTube. When it is ready, I will update this blog post to include a link to the video. By the way, we have a dedicated Google Technology User Groups Channel on YouTube now. This is not just for the Silicon Valley GTUG, but, the videos in the channel so far are mostly from past SV-GTUG meetings.

After the demos of various OpenSocial applications to start the evening, Alex Martelli gave a fairly detailed overview of the changes in Python 3.0. I was impressed that in many cases the changes were simplifications rather than additions to the language. The better support for Unicode in Python 3.0 was enough by itself to convince me to upgrade. Alex was kind enough to share his slides in PDF format.

Jeff Scudder was up next to talk about Google App Engine. The original plan was for him to talk about the Python runtime. However, that was before the Campfire One Announcement just 24 hours earlier about the early access release of the new Java runtime for GAE. So, Jeff took advantage of the timing to spend much of his time talking about and taking questions with respect to the new Java runtime for GAE. He also discussed some of the new general features of GAE like cron job support and data import support.

If you are interested in trying the new Java runtime, you had better hurry. The early access is being capped at the first 10K developers to sign up. If you were following the SV-GTUG Twitter Feed, you would have heard about the early access program along with link to register on the night the announcement was made. This is exactly the kind of time sensitive information that will be going out first on our group twitter feed from now on.

We concluded the evening with a short talk by Dave Westwood, founder of BuddyPoke and GAE Developer. BuddyPoke is the poster child for the scalability claims of GAE. In just one year, they have had 40 million installs of their OpenSocial application for Orkut/MySpace and GAE scaled to the challenge as advertised.

Our next meeting will be covering the Android Platform on Wednesday, May 6th. Please be sure to sign up early. This could easily be another sold out event. We will also be raffling off one more Google I/O Free Pass on May 6th. Sam Gu was the lucky raffle winner for a Google I/O Free Pass at the April 8th meeting.

Our meeting timing has been excellent so far this year. Kevin Nilson and I are not Google employees. We really do not have Google insider information. It was pure dumb luck on our part to schedule a GAE meeting for the day after GAE/J was publicly launched. Similarly, we had no idea that the early release of the Android 1.5 SDK would be this month. We should have more details soon for the May 6th meeting, but, I think it is a safe bet that Dan Morrill will be devoting a fair amount of his talk in May to the new 1.5 SDK release for the Android Platform.

That’s All Folks!