Friday, February 23, 2007

PyCon 2007 Day 1

Pycon is here! (And to all of Angie's friends: Yes I am a geek, you will just have to suffer through it :) )

The first day has been very exciting. Some of the highlights included:

Opening Keynote: Ivan Krstic - One Laptop Per Child

I wasn't sure what to expect from this talk, but it became very intriguing very quickly. Many of us are aware of the goals of the project -- change how kids learn, which is cool by itself, but it got really cool when he got into the nitty gritty details. I also knew that they were using python, but I didn't realize how much. They even have a view source button! At any point while a kid is using the laptop, they can hit the button, and it will show the source of whatever piece they are looking at. How cool is that?!!! Python is used in the GUI, communications, security, cryptography, file system (yes... filesystem!), and most user space code. Pretty much anything that can be done in Python is. All of that on a 366MHz AMD Geode processor with 128MB of RAM and 512MB NAND flash drive. I've watched this project from afar for a while, but after this talk I have been much more impressed by this project, not only in a humanitarian way but from a technological stand point as well.

Lucky OLPC Winner
This lucky guy won an OLPC


This talk gave me a much better understanding of WSGI. It's a thing I have been wrestling with for a while, and Ian simplified it quite a bit. In reality WSGI is such a simple concept. As Ian put it, wsgi is basically HTTP serialized as a function call. Not only does this allow you to easily hook WSGI based apps to multiple servers, or have this idea of WSGI middlware where you can intercept the HTTP stream and do some really cool stuff. But you can also link together several WSGI based apps into a single application. I really hope that the momentum behind WSGI continues, and we seem more integration in to the plethora of Python web frameworks.

Various other talks

There was a talk about unicode and internationalization which wasn't quite what I had hoped for. Basically I learned that unicode and internationalization is really hard :)

While web panel was fun, not much was said that I'm sure most people would know already if they lurk much around any of the web frameworks presented. Hopefully, at the very least, it introduced many to the plethora of options that are available. A transcript of the events can be found here.

I did get a chance to talk with someone with Enthought, and was excited to find out that there is some interest with integrating their Traits project with an ORM, and building a web front end for that. I'm really excited about the possibilites that could result from that, and hope to talk with them some more about that.

Meeting new friends

I got to meet many people that I had only talked to virtually. It was really great to meet some of the faces from some of my favorite projects, and I look to meeting more tomorrow.

I'm looking forward to see what tomorrow has in store. And in a closing note, I know that anyone at Pycon reading this will roll their eyes, but the company that I work for is hiring python programmers. If you are interested and happen to see me, let me know, or leave a comment -- at least I didn't do it in a lighting talk ;)

And a last special thanks to all those behind the scenes putting this event togther. Each year it gets better, and better!

1 comment:

Angie said...

Comment from import this. &- Blog Archive &- PyCon 2007 roundup:

[...] Chuck Their has summaries (with photos) of Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 and mentions the Bitten plug-in for Trac. [...]