Top 2016 Python Tools And Packages

Posted on Fri 09 December 2016 in python • Tagged with python, packages, favorite, top, 2016, end, of, the, year

This isn't nessesarly a good representation of the best python tools or packages, but the top I have used over the past year.

pyorc - An amazing package that wraps around Tesseract so that you can do optical character recognition on imag

tox - A wonderful package that you can use to automate and standardize python testing.

psutil - Cross platform library that exposes process and system information.

gmvault - Not a library, but still written in python. It gives me the ability to backup and restore my emails from gmail, locally.

elasticsearch-dsl-py - Favorite high level library for elasticsearch manipulation.

2to3 - Great tool for helping move from a python 2 codebase to a python 3 codebase.

httpie - A good tool for sending HTTP requests without the complexity that is CURL.

yapf - Code formatting tool made by google. Very useful in a team enviroment to ensure all code looks as if it was written by a single developer.

rauth - Helpful library for people utilizing the OAuth workflow ontop of requests.

ptpython - Best python REPL.

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Writing Better Code

Posted on Thu 15 September 2016 in python • Tagged with writing, better, code, refactoring, python, tips

As a software engineer/artist I could spend copious amounts of time refactoring. However, at some point products have to be shiped. You can't just keep pushing deadlines back further and further. Instead I utilize the tips below to provide functional code that is also clean.

The DRY Principle.

DRY stands for "don't repeat yourself" and you shouldn't. If you do, STOP! Repeating yourself will never be a good pratice. The programming gods invented functions for a reason. Start now by splitting up your big main() funciton.

Design Patterns

What you might not of know is that there are three major categories of design patterns; creational, structural, and behavioral. Each category having a plethra of tools to help solve everyday software problems.

Understand The Computer

Knowing that the windows registry exists and how to edit it is not "understanding" the inner workings of a computer. Understanding a computer means having knowledge about things such as the datapath on the CPU and different levels of cache.

If you don't understand how a CPU does computations such as multiplication down at a binary level, how are you suppose to think in terms of preformance? When your application is eating up precious cycles for useless tasks, being able to optimize the program and utilizing your compilers internals to elevate things to a kernel level commands can become of utmost importance.


This one is really just based on how much experience a person has with the utilities of their trade. Currently I use VS Code + a Vim Shortcut plugins. I then utilize flake8 to keep my code style up to par and pylint to ensure no bugs exist in my code.

I'm not saying switch to my tools, I'm saying start diving deep into how they work. Ask yourself, are there any menu's or options you haven't explored before? Mess around with them until you figure out. Can you use a tool in a way it wasn't meant to? Try it. Don't settle, expand it and put it into your pipeline.


This one is very important. Instead of writing a list comprehension that goes way past the end of the 79 character PEP8 line length, use multiple lines. Name variables approprately and keep packages clean. All things that you should be actively striving for when writing code or refactoring.

Code Reviews

Open source or not you should strive to get someone to review your code. This helps promote a more open enviroment and prevents bugs from making it into production code.


I could talk for hours on this one. Testing is essential. Start out with unittests and verify small components of the system. Once you get a hold of how to do that, start adding integration tests for business essential parts of your application.

Have a ton of services? Test the main functionality of these programs by running smoke tests. Smoke tests are very light weight scripts that verify the conditions of your system. A good example of smoke tests is ensuring your FTP server is online and that the user can login.


Wrapping things up, you should always strive for clean and readable code. I hope that some of the items I've listed above can enable you and your team to create amazing and beautiful products for people all over the world.

Please feel free to share this post and comment anything I left out or might be able to improve on for my own sake.

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Getting Started with Pelican

Posted on Mon 27 June 2016 in How To • Tagged with using, pelican, python, virtualenv, getting, started

I am new to pelican, so in reality this is just the steps I used to setup my pelican blog. Feel free to experiment and do things differently.

Create your virtual enviroment.

Anytime you are using python, you should always utilize a virtual enviroment. In this tutorial we will use virtualenv. This will prevent us from junking up our global install of python.

For first timers I suggest visiting the hitchhiker's guide to python, as they have a very comprehensive tutorial on getting started with virtual enviroments.

Install Pelican

Verify that your virtual enviroment is active so that we can start to install packages. Here we will install pelican and it's helper package Markdown.

pip install pelican Markdown

Pelican Quick Start

Now it's time to setup the site. Run the quick-start command and enter in details such as the site name and description.


Note: Make sure you decided on a catchy name!

Pick a Theme

Pelican comes with a default theme, which I personally dislike. It just doesn't capture my personality very well. Luckily there is a site called pelican themes that will give us a good selection of 3rd party themes we can use on our site.

I personally really like the flex theme. Clone the theme of your choice and prep for your first blog post. Make sure you setup your file as deamed via the README in the themes repo.

Create your first post

Write your first post in markdown and place it inside the content folder.

Compile your blog.

Time to have pelican generate your static HTML blog for you! Just run the command below.


Simply upload your output folder and enjoy!

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