Welcome to my newsletter!

I'm writing a quick-fire newsletter to build the habit of reading and coalescing knowledge.

Odds and Ends - New Python Libraries, Quarto, and Viruses

Author

TJ Palanca

Published

July 31, 2022

Python Tooling

I’ve spent quite a bit of time dabbling in Python recently, so I decided to do another sweep of the ecosystem to see how things have improved. These are the new gems I’ve adopted into my set.

  • poetry is a python dependency manager that reminds me of npm, and it just works. Dependency management via conda or plain virtualenvs has always been such a pain, and this really resolves one of Python’s key pain points for me. It even extends to publishing modules so that we don’t have to use setuptools.

  • A big reason why I used R when I started learning data science was because I really disliked pandas’ API. polars is an alternative data frame written in Rust that comes with a Python interface. It not only boasts superior performance through parallel processing, it also was an opportunity to design a really good interface that is closer to {dplyr}.

  • pydantic is a data validation library that allows you to use functional programming concepts in Python really easily. It reminds me of using types in Julia. Additionally it forms the basis for many other popular Python libraries like fastapi and sqlmodel.

Other libraries as I discover them are going to be in my field note.

Quarto

It seems that RStudio has also decided to give Python a closer look now. They’ve even rebranded to Posit to reflect the fact that they would not just be working on the R ecosystem moving forward. I am personally very excited about this change.

One of the first projects they came up with is Quarto, a scientific publishing tool written in Typescript but supporting R, Python, Julia, and Javascript (of the Observable Notebook variety). This allows all scientific languages to be used in one site.

I was so excited that I spend my period of virus isolation mindlessly migrating my blog to this new format, so now I can author any piece of scientific publishing. If you notice that the blog looks slightly different, that’s because it’s now reborn as a Quarto Blog.

Testing Positive

I tested positive for COVID this week and am writing this while in isolation. I’ve ruminated on how annoying it is to spend 2 years ducking and dodging the virus only to get it now when we have a newborn, but I’ve convinced myself I’m underestimating what could have happened when my wife was still pregnant, or before we got vaccinated.

I’m almost out of it, and have learned a great deal about ART and PCR false positive and false negative rates.