Callback patterns and idioms in Python by Alex Martelli

  • December 4, 2012 · 6:15 PM

SFpython is going to finish the year out with Alex Martelli showing us how Callbacks really work.

*Please take note of the important check-in details at Yelp*


6:15p - Check-in and mingle,with Pizza and Beer provided by our generous sponsor Yelp!

7:00p - Welcome and announcements

7:10p - 3-4 Lightning Talks (5 minutes each)

7:30p - Featured Talk

8:15p - Q & A and more mingling, ping pong, pool

10:00p - Door close and continuing on to Thirty Bear for the late owls


Alex Martelli, an Uber Tech Lead at Google, is author of the well-revered Python in a Nutshell and Python Cookbook, and has one of the highest reputations on stack overflow.

He won the 2002 Activators' Choice Award, and the 2006 Frank Willison award for outstanding contributions to the Python community, is a member of the Python Software Foundation, was the keynote speaker at 2008 SciPy, and has given numerous talks around the world.


Don't call us, we'll call you: callback patterns and idioms in Python

Callbacks (the general "Don't call us, we'll call you" pattern) are a crucial technique for concurrency, event-driven programming (in a disparate variety of fields, from GUIs to parsing), and advanced customization of library and system behavior.

This talk covers callback patterns and idioms, their use in the Standard Python library, and best practices in designing and using callback-based interfaces.


*** important logistics***

Please submit your lightning talk topic when you RSVP for the event.   Don't know what lightning talks are?  Learn more:


  • Doors will open at 6:15pm to allow enough time for the check-in process.
  • Please update your meeting handle to reflect your FIRST NAME AND LAST NAME. Security will be checking IDs at the door. *Please note: YouWILL NOTbe allowed into the event unless we have your first and last name (that matches the name on your ID) prior to the event.
  • Beer and wine will be served at this event, so please keep in mind only folks 21 and over are allowed into the event. (Another reason for the ID check)
  • If you will be coming with a guest, please provide us with their first and last name as well.
  • Waiting list folks will be allowed into the event AFTER we get through all the confirmed attendees.
  • Yelp is generously providing pizza, drinks, and beer on top of the venue space, so please be respectful of the attached event terms/guidelines: YELP EVENT GUIDELINES.

As usual, looking forward to meeting you and feel free to ping me with questions or suggestions -


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  • Lynn R.

    Hey - were there any slides/video available for this talk? Thanks!

    January 13, 2013

  • Dib G.

    This was my first time at Python SF meetup. Could not have asked for more. Wonderful hosts and equally riveting talk. Thanks a lot to Grace and others who made it possible.

    December 5, 2012

  • Maru N.

    Always awesome to get the chance to hear Alex Martelli speak.

    December 5, 2012

  • Lee R.

    Spent a lot of time covering the obvious -- I thought he could have covered the same ground with the audience he had in 1/2 to 1/3 the time and not lost anyone. Since he was emphasizing some functional programming patterns, I would have found it more interesting if he had done more explicit compare and contrast with achieving the same things in more purely functional languages.

    2 · December 5, 2012

  • Geoff W.

    Was hard core. But I learned somethings.

    December 4, 2012

  • Alex C.

    It was good. If you are used to Alex Martelli's talks, you know it will be pedantic.

    December 4, 2012

  • Santeri H.

    Apparently I've failed with my signup. :-/ Is it still possible to get on the list?

    December 4, 2012

    • Simeon F.

      Sorry - we are full up (250 including the wait list)...

      December 4, 2012

  • Stephen

    Anyone want to carpool from southbay/280? (I prefer to come up 280 rather than 101)

    December 3, 2012

    • Rachel S.

      I'm happy to carpool too - I'll be coming from Mountain View near the Google campus.

      December 3, 2012

    • Govindarajan S.

      I would love a carpool too (I don't have a car). I''ll be coming from LinkedIn's Mountain View Campus

      December 3, 2012

  • Jon W.

    Does Yelp! have space inside for folks to bring in their bikes and lock them?

    December 3, 2012

    • Simeon F.

      Yes - inside the gate there are a limited number of bike racks and pillars that can be used to secure your ride.

      December 3, 2012

  • Ian Z.

    I would come but I find the Yelp check-in procedure too annoying (even though I understand why you do it).

    1 · December 2, 2012

    • Michael H.

      It is somewhat funny that this conversation has gone more meta then a talk about patterns is likely to go meta.

      December 3, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      I would come, but I find the Yelp check-in procedure not annoying enough (although, I understand why they want to come off as friendly). I'm looking for something a little more TSA-like in my meetup events.

      4 · December 3, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'll be coming from the South Bay so I probably won't arrive until 7:30 right before the feature presentation. There will be room for everyone who RSVPed right?

    December 2, 2012

    • Simeon F.

      Yup - If you're on the list you'll definitely get in. If you're on the waiting list you'll probably get in :)

      December 2, 2012

    • Stephen

      Meetup mailed that out 48 times...!

      December 2, 2012

  • Hy C.

    The quantity of emails is too bad. Thank you, Ed, for posting an explanation. Let's hope that doesn't repeat.

    I will be helping Yelp security to greet folks and check IDs again. Please do update your meetup handle to match your ID either exactly or at least requiring only simple fuzzy logic. Asking Yelp to admit an attendee with a meetup handle of "Ellen" and no photo puts Yelp in an unfair position.

    I will be downstairs until close to the meetup start at 7. Yelp security will stick around to admit people who RSVP'd and have IDs matching their meetup handle.

    I'm excited to hear Alex speak again and to see the lightning talks too!


    P.S. If you have a specific question about entrance to Yelp, please feel free to email me directly rather than the whole list. hy at moduleq dot com

    December 2, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry. The meetup app is acting up.

    December 2, 2012

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