Monday, February 27, 2006

PyCon 2006 - Day 3

We have made it home now and my brain has had a chance to catch up now. PyCon was a blast this year, and I look forward to going next year. Here's some summaries of what happened the last day.

Keynote: A Conversation with Bram Cohen of BitTorrent

I wasn't sure what to expect of this keynote. It was very interesting, but the best tibits were from when Bram got totally of track and talked about things that were unrelated. One of the first rabbits that he chased was talking about version control and how difficult merging is. Evidently he has been working on some version control problems. He seemed pretty proud of it as he continued to talk about it throughout the interview. When asked about developing the first version of BitTorrent, he started into this long story about being out of a job, and living on savings. He soon ran out of savings, and figured out how to rotate through 0% intrest credit cards. He then figured that he couldn't keep applying for more credit cards so he let all the credit card offers stack up and applied for them all at once (kids, don't try this at home). Overall it was a very enjoyable talk.

The Rest Of The Web Stack

Ian Bicking gave a great talk about all the things that we tend to not want to think about when developing web applications. He showed tools that he has been working on to make things like project creation/management, deployment, configuration, handling multiple installs of applications for multiple clients, testing, etc much easier. He is focusing all those administration type things that we as programmers tend to overlook and get us in trouble. His tools are begginning to show up in frameworks like Pylons to help in these areas. I commend Ian for doing the work that most of us either overlook or just have a hard time getting ourselves to do.

Effective AJAX with TurboGears

This was a pleasant introduction to AJAX. He covered a lot of the things that you can do in AJAX to improve the end users' experience, and some good use cases for using it. Some of the pitfalls of Ajax development were also covered such as the back button and bookmarking (both of which Dojo is supposed to have libraries to handle), and creating user interfaces that the end users don't expect. Though TurboGears wasn't heavily emphasized he showed some nice exmples of how each of the use cases could be implemented.

Django How-To

Jacob gave a pretty cool demo of implementing a Sudoku puzzle in Django. It could even walk you through the steps to solve the puzzle. He had planned to demo actually deploying the app to the live web site, but the network connection wasn't good enough to facilitate it. I was still hoping to hear some about the new upcoming changes to Django like AJAX, but was still very effective at showing how simple it can be developing web apps with Djano.

Lightning Talks Round 2

A second round of lightning talks was scheduled today due to the overwhelming demand. While not quite as exciting as the first talks, there were several interesting things talked about.

Ian Bicking introduced his ideas for the new SQL-API library. The emphasis is to make DB-API simpler and will include things like handling database connections, logging, database abstraction/portability, and a SQL abstraction library similar to sqlbuilder

A guy demoed Testosterone. At first I was like "Oh no! Not another testing framework!". It seems we are about to have more tesitng frameworks than we do web frameworks. It did have an interesting UI for interactive unit testing. I hope that it can integrate with other testing frameworks such as Nose, and py.test.

Matt Croyden showed off some of the other batteries included stuff that you get with Django such as additional Admin functionality, generic views, incredibly easy RSS framework, and user extensible filters and tags to be used in the templates

There was a cool demo of the REST mode for emacs. Too bad I don't use either :( But it was almost cool enough to make me want to play with both.

Beyond Scripting: Using Python to Create a Medical Information System with Graphical Template and Database Schema Design

These were the guys that hosted the wxPython BOF. The first part of the presentation was a bit dry, but the demo was killer. The coolest part is their implementation of a dynamic form generator that is created for the end users. The idea is to take the form generation away from the programmers, and let the users handle it as they understand the domain better. It seemed to get several people excited about wxPython development.

Closing Remarks

This being my first Pycon experience was one that I will not forget. I felt like such a small fish wondering around the Pycon area. Everyone was super nice. I was able to meet many of the people who I read online or author the tools that I work with. The Python community must be one of the best, and I'm looking forward to going next year.

1 comment:

Angie said...

Comment from cory:

CHUCK AND ANGIE (and apparently, your 2 CHILDREN!)! I can't believe my luck in finding this site! I was visiting Donald Miller's website and I thought of you, Angie... so I googled you and popped up! I don't know how else to get in touch with you so I hope you check these comments regularly. Your life together looks really wonderful and I'd love to catch up with you... it looks like things have changed a lot since you babysat Jack, Whitney and I. Anyway, e-mail me when you see this... I'd really love to hear back from you and to let you know what's new in my life and vice versa! You all look wonderful and the boys are beautiful! Let me hear from you!
Cory Sheneman