Still alive

I think this is the busiest summer I’ve ever had in my life. I’m trying hard to follow my schedule, but not always successfully. Thanks to Python MOOC’s organisers who havekindly  included a week’s break in the middle of the sequence and now I hope to cover week 4 before the next bunch of tasks arrives. I’ll soon post some updates on my findings and experiences.

For now I’ll just save a couple of links here:

This is where MIT OCW hometasks (assignments) can be downloaded. I just keep losing this page. Now I seem to have fixed it.

2013-07-17 04_07_03-Edward Tufte_ Books - The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

And another link, which is not about Python, but I thought it might be interesting for some of my peers. It’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte. The shortcoming is that the book is not free. Well, at least it is not supposed to be. Anyway, it was recommended by a person whose judgement I trust here.

Also (just boasting) we’re starting an experimental one week’s long data-MOOC (or data-expedition) in Russian in less than a week’s time. The subject will also be very narrow: we’ll only have to learn different ways of searching for data. I really wonder what it’ll turn to be like. What I know for sure is that it’s going to be a huge pile of various information in addition to Python and my job. And there’ll have to be some additional analytical work afterwards, because we’ll have to sum up our results and understand what we’ll have to improve in its future iterations. The question is how I’m going to find time for all this. But I’ll have to.

Code sharing options

As I’m proceeding with Python MOOC, I had to choose a way to share my code with my peers. There are many options in fact. Here are some of them:


This was recommended by the MOOC instructions. This is a multifunctional platform that allows you to create repositories, gists and forks, follow users, publish privately or openly, download codes and leave comments. What I also like about it is that you can follow users. For sharing homework gists might be the best option.


There are two shortcomings though:

  • You can’t publish your code without registration
  • Some users complain that the interface is a bit too complicated, so it takes time to get used to it


This is an extremely easy to use sharing tool. Actually, what you first see at the main page is a box where you can paste your code. You don’t have to register to do it (so you simply have a link that you can later share). You can also set the expiration time for each publication (from 10 minutes to never). And you can make it public, unlisted or private (for members only). You can also register if you like (I did to keep my homework in order).



  • I haven’t seen any commenting option, which might be good for feedback and revision while learning
  • I also couldn’t find any option to follow other members.


This is a very minimalistic service. You can’t register, you only can paste your code and save it. After you do it, it will stay there for 30 days and then it’ll be automatically deleted. So it’s good for quick sharing purposes, but not for continuous and systematic use.


Also I recently found Bitbucket 

But I haven’t explored it yet. If anyone has some experience, please share. There are some explanations as to how to use it though: Bitbucket 101.

As for me, I’m currently using GitHub and Pastebin, because GitHub looks like a wonderful working space and Pastebin is good for sharing with those who are scared of GitHub: