PyDev of the Week: Martin Manns

This week we welcome Martin Manns as our PyDev of the Week! Martin is the creator of pyspread, “a non-traditional spreadsheet application that is based on and written in the programming language Python.” It’s a really neat application that you can use yourself or learn from.

Let’s take a few moments to learn more about Martin!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc)?

My background is business and industrial engineering. I am a Professor at the University of Siegen, Germany where I am holding the Chair of Production Automation and Assembly.

In my spare time, I am enjoying programming, hiking and -if possible again-traveling.

Why did you start using Python?

Around 1998/1999 during my studies I was looking for a language, in which I could program faster. Reading the Python tutorial hooked me. Giving it a try, Python has worked for me since then.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

While I have used quite a few programming languages, I am using Python for 90% of my programming tasks. For performance/memory critical applications I normally employ C/C++. Other languages are mostly task-specific such as the IEC 61131 languages for PLC programming.

What projects are you working on now?

Of the research projects that you may be interested in is MOSIM. The consortium is creating an open-source framework for making 3rd party human motion models easily available in game engines (e.g. Unity, Unreal, Blender).

Which Python libraries are your favorite (core or 3rd party)?

I really like the standard libraries.

How did the pyspread package come about?

In one of my previous jobs, I had written a decision support system in Excel. I wished I had something like pyspread back then. Why not just write it yourself?

What challenges did you face when you were creating pyspread?

First of all, pyspread was the largest application that I had ever built. The architecture was an issue in the beginning. However, the biggest challenge was the transition to Python 3. I had been using wxPython, which had no usable Python 3 port for too long. Almost rewriting pyspread using PyQt took years – until November this year, when the first stable release 2.0 for Python 3 came out.

Thanks for doing the interview, Martin!