Python adventures and the first 48 hours

I’ve started to learn Python. It’s notoriously quick to protoype ideas for apps (we are told) and my experience this evening is that it is. My end goal is server-side web app development and to this end, I’ve also been investigating AppEngine. More on that anon, perhaps.

My main reference was a little bit jurassic class in Python offered here:

Interest in aviation rekindled by stumbling upon some impressive home-built flight simulator decks, I recalled the METAR standard for meteorological reports. This short-coded form of forecast, I thought, was perfect for SMS – I’d like to have the one for Dublin Airport sent to my phone every 6 hours, I thought. Python, I thought.

In the space of less than a half-hour, I’d cooked up code that would pull a webpage containing METAR info for Dublin Airport (EIDW), scrape it for the long-form METAR data (using regular expressions) and used the webapp backend of Cabbage Texter to forward it to my mobile phone. Now, I’ll aim to set up a cron job on my TCD Netsoc instance to run this script every couple of hours during the day. Cool.