August Meet Minutes

The August edition of the ChennaiPy meetup had around 103 members RSVP for participation in the Meetup page. Vijaykumar kickstarted the proceedings by welcoming everyone and outlining the agenda for the evening.

Introduction to GeoJson and GeoDjango

Shrinidhi Kulkarni

Shrinidhi Kulkarni started his talk by providing an outline of how maps are organized and the three major components that make up any Geo application - a Map provider, a JS library and a Geo-aware database. He went onto demonstrate various features of the Leaflet JS library that includes initializing a map, adding various shapes, tagging, filtering properties, etc. The server side was written using GeoDjango and he managed to provide a quick walk through of some key features such as the models. PointField and the ability to query geo fields. He closed the talk by listing some practical problems faced in building his project and workarounds for the same. Though the talk ran over the allotted time, it was well received by the audience judging by the follow-up discussions during the break.

Paho Python client for MQTT

Shakthi Kannan

The next talk was by Shakthi Kannan, a Free Software enthusiast and a well-known face in the Chennai opensource space. Though the talk was originally scheduled for the next edition of the meetup, a last minute reorg helped the team to sneak in this talk in the current edition itself (to everyone's delight, if I may add!). Even though Shakthi started with requesting everyone to read the MQTT protocol docs for the details, he provided a good overview of the protocol and its high-level architecture thus providing a good background that made the rest of his talk easier to follow. He went onto explain the steps involved in installing and testing an open-source MQTT broker - Mosquitto. Finally the same tests were demonstrated using the Paho python client. He closed his talk with lot of references for further reading.

The tea break, with refreshments sponsored by Zilogic Systems, was abuzz with lot of small groups busy in spontaneous discussions.

Break 1 Break 2 Break 3

Introduction to Google App Engine

Krithika Vembu

Krithika Vembu, inspired from the previous meetups, gave her first-ever talk in the meetup. She gave an overview of Cloud-based architecture, its advantages and the distinguishing aspects of a specific provider - the Google App Engine. Though she was apologetic about not having live demos, her enthusiasm to participate in the community and coming forward to speak in front of an audience was applauded by everyone. Here is to more talks from her in the future!

Towards probabilistic programming in Python

Prof. Ronojoy Adhikari

This talk by Prof. Ronojoy Adhikari introduced everyone to a new way of dealing with the complexity of implementing large scale inference engines by making use of first-class abstractions about the randomness. There was a live demo of Lea, a blackbox inference engine, showcasing ways in which the randomness was modeled in popular problems such as throwing a dice, flipping a coin, etc. (The program could have done a better job of predicting rains in Chennai though, as it was raining on the morning of the meetup! :) ) One came away with lot of motivation to explore the area further.

Vijaykumar concluded the meeting with announcements on the preparations for the PyCon Chennai conference and by thanking the participants, speakers, volunteers, IMSc and the sponsors. Overall an evening well spent!

Meeting minutes contributed by Ananth.

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