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David Mertz, Ph.D.

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For David Mertz, an atomic object is a combination of facts. David may be reached at; his life pored over at Suggestions and recommendations on this, past, or future, columns are welcomed. Check out David's new book Text Processing in Python.


David looks at four open source development environments for working with Python code on Unix-like operating systems. He evaluates two general-purpose editors/environments and two Python-specific ones, and compares the merits of each.

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The problem of unsolicited e-mail has been increasing for years, but help has arrived. In this article, David discusses and compares several broad approaches to the automatic elimination of unwanted e-mail while introducing and testing some popular tools that follow these approaches.

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Make no mistake, XML-RPC has its flaws, but this function invocation protocol is also well-suited to a variety of tasks. Here, columnist David Mertz examines XML-RPC as a way of modeling object data, and -- in response to reader feedback -- compares XML-RPC as a means of serializing objects with the xml_pickle module discussed in his earlier columns. Code samples illustrate this comparison in detail.

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Fredrik Lundh's ElementTree module is an increasingly popular API for light-weight and fast manipulation of XML documents within Python. In this installment, David contrasts ElementTree with several other libraries devoted to processing XML instances as object trees, especially with his own gnosis.xml.objectify module.

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