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A week as an intern at Enthought, India.

A week has gone by since I started my internship at Enthought, India and what a week it has been.

As I mentioned earlier, I have been going through the documentation of a few open source projects that Enthought works on and uses for their code base; traits, traitsui, chacoenvisage and jigna for example. I am not going to describe what they are because there are other people (i.e their authors) who have done it better. The documentation for traits, traitsui, chaco and envisage are very good places to start if one is interested in using the packages and understanding their capabilities.

While going through the examples and demos of these libraries, I found a couple of bugs with simple fixes, one in the chaco library demo which needed me to explicitly declare namespace in the init files and the second in envisage that needed me to explicitly specify file path to properly load image without throwing an error. Like I said, trivial fixes that didn't need me to iteratively dig through files looking for a fix. There are a couple of more bugs that I discovered but haven't yet been able to fix. I'll try reproducing the bugs again and look for a fix.

In the process of submitting pull requests (PRs) to fix the bugs, I figured out how to change the remote in a git repository, what the difference between the HTTPS and SSH way of accessing git repositories are and how to file a PR on github. I also learnt about a cool git command called "$ git stash" which stashes away changes in the current working directory and reverts it back to the previous commit. I wish I had known this earlier, life would've been a little easier. Now I need to get used to creating and switching between branches in a repository and get comfortable with the overall git workflow.

On the python side of things, I got to learn what eggs are. Answered in brief on this stackoverflow thread and in detail here, eggs are a way to package and distribute python packages. They are similar to .jar files used by the Java language. They are apparently superseded by Wheels but that's a different matter. I also learnt that there are code checkers, pylint, pychecker and pep8 for example, that go through one's code to check if it's compliant with Python's PEP8 and more.

I also learnt an interesting thing about licensing software. I've noticed that GitHub lets you choose between a bunch of licenses, differences between which eluded me. I learnt that if a software/library is released under a GPL license, then any work built on top of this library has to be open sourced. On the other hand, if a library is released under an MIT/BSD license, then one is free to create open source and propareitary work on top of said library.

I'm sure that i'm overlooking a lot of small things here, like how I'm memorizing vim commands, other than i, ESC, :w and :q, because I don't like working on IDEs and shortcuts that make my life easier on a Mac terminal prompt. I've slowly started creating a .bashrc file for that and I now need to add color to the prompt and change the prompt to reflect what I have in mind. I doubt I'll be able to write down everything I've learnt this week.

In conclusion, I look forward to another week of learning as much, if not more, on programming, on software development, on working environments and on python.

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