2010 recap, 2011 plans
by Tarek Ziadé
Instead of the weekly recap I’ve been doing lately, I will do a year recap and list my plans for 2011. Happy new year to all of you !
tldr: 2010 was quite an important year for me. The most important event was Suki of course, six months ago ! In Python I am still working on packaging matters and I’ve joined Mozilla 6 months ago, working in the Services team. 2011 should be the Year of Packaging and more fun at Mozilla !
January: My work on PEP 386 and 345 is waiting for the final approval from Guido and I am back at work on PEP 376 and Distribute. PEP work involves politics and time. It also means making sure the solutions are good enough for a smooth evolution of the existing ecosystem. It was frustrating at first but after a while I got used to it. A PEP will eventually gets accepted when there’s a clear need for it.
In February I gave a talk at PyCon and sprinted there. My talk was well received (it made the top #5 of all talks at PyCon with the token voting system). I think it was both because I was passionate about it, and because part of the audience followed the work we did in the last months. The language summit was held there as well, and was both frustrating and great. Frustrating because I was told to revert all changes to Distutils and do the work outside the stdlib for a while. That was the right decision but was a bit hard to accept at first. Great because Packaging was yet one of the main focus of the summit. In February, some of my PEPs were accepted, which was a very important milestone.
In March we started to develop Distutils2, which was basically the trunk of Distutils right before the Big Revert. Yannick and other fine folks from Montreal became regular contributors to the project. I’ve also started in March to think hard about my future, and found out I was really happy working remotely. I also started to focus on GSOC and build proposals for Distutils2 and other topics.
In April I was nominated at the PSF. I also started to get some interest in Mozilla and in particular Sync (formely Weave). Beta versions of Distutils2 started to hit the shelve. I also added new features in shutil. Next, PEP 376 was accepted. That’s the master piece for packaging interoperability ! Last, my GSOC proposal was accepted and we got no less than 5 students for Distutils2 alone !
In May, I tried and failed to merge Pip and Distutils2 efforts 😉
In June, Suki was born and I got a new job at Mozilla. Those events considerably slowed down my work on Packaging and my blogging of course.
The GSOC ended in August. We managed to keep a few contributors, which is the whole point.
In October, while everything which is not related to work was slowed down because of the new-born baby, I was still finding a bit of time to work on Distutils2. But compared to Q1 and Q2, the activity on the project was very low. I was just hoping then that it wouldn’t kill the momentum on Packaging.
November and December were mainly focused on work. See my weekly reports.
2011 will be the Year of Packaging, I am telling you ! Pycon will be a milestone because Distutils2 should be in a state where it’s pretty much usable. The next tasks will be to promote it and try to gain contributors. I am also planning move it back to the stdlib once Python 3.2 final is out.
2011 will also be the Year of Python for Mozilla Services !
Firefox Sync will be running using my Python implementation in Q1, and Firefox 4 betas are already using the J-Pake server I’ve designed with the help of my favorite client developers Stefan and Phillip. I wrote it using the same stack than Sync. Other projects written in Python are coming in the pipe and we are building a set of reusable tools for this purpose.
I’ll also try to pursue the MoPy (Mozilla in Python) effort. That is, sharing Python knowledge, tools etc between Mozilla projects.
All in all, the work I am doing in packaging for Python is helping us a lot at Mozilla: Distutils2 tools are now used to automatically create RPM releases of all our dependencies by fetching them at PyPI. I hope my Pycon talk about Firefox Sync will be accepted so I can explain how I built it !