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Learning new things

It's important for every developer to learn new things. It's very easy to stay in your comfort zone, only take on tasks that you know exactly how to tackle and that can be very efficient as well - if there is something you're good at it makes sense to play to your strengths. The trouble is you don't gain experience without trying something new - go out of your comfort zone.

I've been wanting to try out the asyncio module in Python 3, and have also been meaning to try out Go for a long time. I've also been playing around with Xmpp - an open standard for messaging and presence, used for instant messaging systems - this seems like it might provide a good proving ground for comparing different programming languages. I know, I know, none of these are particularly new, but they're new to me.

My goal is to implement simple chat bots in both Python 3 and Go so I can compare and contrast the two. I'll cover this in several posts over the next weeks, with the full source available on GitHub. I'll write these posts in the style of tutorials - hopefully somebody out there will find them useful.

I'll start with a simple echo bot - all it does is echo back anything it receives. It's a simple feature set, but is very useful for getting started with Xmpp. A more interesting bot is what I've dubbed the jumper bot - it jumps between chat groups, saying a few phrases before moving on to the next group. The interesting bit for implementing it in Python 3 or Go is that I'll have one process running multiple bots, making use of the asynchronous features of each language.

In my next post I'll go over the steps of setting up an Xmpp server to experiment with, and start poking at it with some Python code, as preparation for starting the coding of the bots.



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