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Dark corners of the Standard Library

by Fredrik Håård for EuroPython 2012

The Python Standard Library contains all kinds of useful stuff - healthy, wholesome stuff like a wide array of support libraries for file formats, a web server, easy access to OS services and functional programming tools.

Among those benevolent libraries hide other, darker libraries. They offer tremendous power to anyone who learns how to wield them, but they also carry the threat of destroying your software’s readability, comprehension and very structure.

This session will be a hands-on-keyboard dive into the dark magic parts of the standard library, and participants will learn valid (for a given value of valid) use-cases for practices that will give any software engineering professor nightmares. It focuses on learning by doing, and (evil?) koans are used to teach some of the most ‘clever’ tricks of standard Python.


  1. Gravatar
    Are there some slide of the track of the course?
  2. Gravatar
    There is no set-in-stone agenda yet; the contents is drawn from the advanced parts of two-day Python courses/workshops I have held before, with more details added that I have wanted to teach but for which the target demographic is too small for standard courses - the library half of an 'Advanced Python III'.

    Modules that will definitely be included are:

    * exec
    * imp
    * inspect
    * ast

    Modules that may be included depending on time:

    * pdb and trace libraries
    * gc

    Concepts that will be explored include adding or shortcutting behaviors, creating synthetic types and functions, and troubleshooting and/or increasing performance. Some of the things from regarding imp/inspect will be included and expanded on (parts of this is also a proposal to a regular session at EuroPython).
  3. Gravatar
    Please note that the course exercises will use Python 3.2, and some of the exercises won't work out of the box with 2.x, so make sure you have Python 3.2 installed on your laptop if you are attending the session.

  4. Gravatar
    Is the video of this talk going to be uploaded?
  5. Gravatar
    I have no idea - but it was taped. I suspect it'd take a whole lot of editing to make it a video worth watching though, since it's more a course than a talk.

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240 minutes (inc Q&A)

Tagged as

best-practices tutorial
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