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  1. Using ipdb with Python 3.7.x breakpoint

    Python 3.7.x introduced a new method to insert a breakpoint in the code. Before Python 3.7.x to insert a debugging point we had to write import pdb; pdb.set_trace() which honestly I could never remember (and I also created a snippet on VS Code to auto complete it).

    Now you can just write breakpoint() that's it!

    Now... the only problem is that by default that command will use pdb which is not exactly the best debugger you can have. I usually use ipdb but there wasn't an intuitive way of using it... and no, just installing it in your virtual environment, it won't be used by default.

    How to use it then? It's very simple. The new debugging command will read an environment variable named PYTHONBREAKPOINT. If you set it properly, you will be able to use ipdb instead of pdb.

    export PYTHONBREAKPOINT=ipdb.set_trace
    

    At this point, any time you use breakpoint() in your code, ipdb will be used instead of pdb.

    References

    • https://hackernoon.com/python-3-7s-new-builtin-breakpoint-a-quick-tour-4f1aebc444c
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  2. Ubuntu Release Sprint: calling for feedback!

    During the last UDS party, I had an idea to improve Ubuntu development, but I didn't know if it could be a good idea or a stupid one, so I talked to Daniel Holbach and David Planella about it and they were happy to hear about it and Daniel told me to talk about this directly to Mark (and I did it).

    Let's explain the basic idea.

    From an UDS and the next one, it would be useful to have a development sprint where people can talk about assigned UDS blueprints, at which point they are on their tasks, if they have any problems and if they will finish them within the next UDS.

    Of course Canonical cannot organize another meeting, it would be very expensive, so the idea is: why don't we use Google Hangout to organize the sprint? I has a limit of 10 people, I know, but we could select (for example) 5 from the community and 5 from Canonical. There would be parallel meeting and tracks, we would use the same blueprints used during the last UDS and we would add further notes. The attendees would be able to listen and watch the stream and make questions through the available chat.

    I've also created a wiki page with more informations and you can find it here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuReleaseSprint

    What do you think about? I know that Canonical is already organizing sprints and this could be a way to involve more the Ubuntu Community. Maybe we should schedule a session at next UDS to talk about this?

    I hope to get some feedback from you.

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  3. What I expect in the future of Maemo Development

    In these days I was thinking about: what could be done to improve Maemo Development and power user experience? There are some points that would need to be improved. This little list pretends to be just a starting point. I hope to get some feedback so we can discuss further in the maemo-developers mailing list.

    Documentation: Maemo developers use different libraries and toolkit (GTK, libui, ecc...). There is not a common place where I can look for documentation. I've to visit each library website and get it. It would be great to have a tool just like Qt Assistant, integrating all documentation, including examples and aggregating external articles using a "live RSS aggregator".

    Kinetic scrolling: I really love Mauku application because of its kinetic scrolling, thanks to the Miaouw library. It would be great to have this kind of scrolling to be part of Hildon UI. Of course I'd love to have Python bindings too :)

    Eclipse Support: I think Eclipse support should be improved. I'd like to have a tool that makes .deb creation easier so developers can spend more time coding and not packaging applications. I'd like to see a GUI designer integrated into Eclipse (for "integrated" I mean something like Visual Studio GUI designer.... not an external tool like Glade).

    Qt Creator: Trolltech (Nokia) just released a preview release of their Qt Creator. A very powerfull IDE to develop Qt/C++ applications. It's still in alpha release, but... what about integrating Maemo development into it? (Supporting Python development too).

    Maemo SAS hosting: sometimes we (well.. me at least :D ) need to write an application that uses a server part too and need to expose some API. Maemo.org offers hosting for the project, but what about the server part of the application? It would be fine if developers had the possibility to have the server side hosted by Maemo.org or Nokia.

    Better GPS support: the GPS unit shipped with N810 is something unusable yet. I've tried using A-GPS too, but position fixing time is still bad, compared to an external GPS/bluetooth receiver. I often have to use my external GPS receiver to use my N810 without problems.

    More audio/video codecs: often I'm not able to listen to online radios, streamings ecc... just because of a missing codec for the default Media Player.

    These are just some ideas. Please feel free to comment them, I'd like to discuss them together.

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