[buug] BayPIGgies meeting Thursday August 14, 2008: Scons by Steven Knight

jim jim at well.com
Tue Aug 12 17:14:45 PDT 2008

BayPIGgies meeting Thursday August 14, 2008: Scons by Steven Knight 

SCons is a next-generation software build tool (that is, a replacement
for Make) written in Python, with build configuration written as a
Python API.  Since the SCons Project was founded in 2001, it's grown
into a successful project with about 7000 downloads / month and an
especially strong following among software developers and build
engineers working on large-scale, enterprise-quality software projects,
including production use at VMware, Intel, Oracle, id Software, and

This talk will give a summary of the history and growth of the SCons
project and an overview of SCons configuration.  It will also discuss
some of the more interesting aspects of SCons as a Python-based project,
including why (and how) SCons still runs on Python 1.5.2, its rather
distinctive approach to stringent software testing, and some of its
ad-hoc solutions to the problem of trying to ship a stand-alone
application that happens to be written in Python (as opposed to the
distutils-installed-module model of most Python software).  The talk
will also include some frank discussion of SCons' limitations and
problem areas, and what you (yes, you!) can do to help.

About the speaker:

Steven Knight has been a software engineer, executive, and would-be
entrepreneur for more than 25 years at companies such as Cray Research,
The MathWorks, and more networking-related startups than he can
unashamedly admit.  He founded the SCons Project in 2001 after its
design won the Software Carpentry build tool competition the previous
year.  He recently transplanted to the Bay Area to work on software
build issues for Google.

The meeting starts with a Newbie Nugget, a short discussion of 
an essential Python feature, specially for those new to Python. 

Tonight's Newbie Nugget is... 
The Google App Engine:  Magic Cars versus Taxis

A look at what the Google App Engine delivers and how it fits into the
ecosystem; getting up and running; the process of writing an
application, GQL code; and some analogies, presented by Charles

Location: Google Campus 
Building 40, the Seville room 
(check in at the lobby in bldg 43)

bayPIGgies meeting information: 

* Please sign up in advance to have your google access badge ready: 
(no later than close of business on Wednesday.) 


..... 7:30 PM ...........................
General hubbub, inventory end-of-meeting announcements, 
any first-minute announcements. 

..... 7:35 PM to 7:45 PM ................
Newbie Nugget Google App Engine 
by Charles Merriam 

..... 7:45 PM to 8:45 PM ................
by Steven Knight 

..... 8:45 PM to 9:00 PM -- After The Talk ................
Mapping and Random Access

Mapping is a rapid-fire audience announcement of topics 
the announcers are interested in. 

Random Access follows immediately to allow follow up 
individually on the announcements and other topics of 

..... Thursday, September 11 ................
7:30 PM BayPIGgies Tim Thompson on 
Bay Area Computer Music Technology presentation on 
Finger Painting with Planets 

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