Apr
25
2009

Python and the Google AppEngine at the CodeFest

On the first of april the first Devnology CodeFest took place. An interesting group of 16 enthousiastic developers gathered at the Sogyo farm to make an implementation of the Game of Life, the famous cellulair automaton, devised by Conway.

My goal for that night was to make an implementation of the Game of Life in Python and to host this in the Google AppEngine. A nice challenge, since my knowledge of Python did not go much further than that it is a whitespace-significant scripting language that prominently feautures the keyword def and that the language is developed by Guido van Rossom. Oh and of course that the language has now been quite popular for a few years at Google, probably not completely coincidentally about the same period of time that Guido has been working there.

Ok, so I had about one and a half hour to get to know Python, the Google AppEngine and to implement the Game of Life in it. And it worked out beautifully. (See game-of-life.appspot.com). This to me seems to be quite an achievement of the engineers at Google who made the Google AppEngine SDK. There are two important stages of development in developing an application for the AppEngine: test it and upload it. En indeed, you only have to know two commands (dev_appserver.py and appcfg.py) to be able to do that. And it just works: very nice! Python took a bit of getting used to, but actually wasn’t that hard either. It might have helped that I have several years of experience op developing in PHP. Although they have quite a lot of dissimilarities, both are dynamic scripting languages and that should help to get used to one of them with knowledge of the other.

So, personally, the evening was quite successful, but not only that, certainly also for the whole group. Everybody was enjoying themselves quite clearly and probably some where learning some new things at the same time too. It was very interesting to see what everybody made of it. A 3D version, a (very short) Erlang version, one in Flex, an OS version in Cosmos, you name it, we had it. With live comments of the creator, of course. Hopefully everybody will be there next time too.

Written by Rick | Tags: , , , , , |

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