Fetchez le Python

Technical blog on the Python programming language, in a pure Frenglish style. Main topics are Python and Mozilla – This blog does not engage my employer

Tag: pycon

Building a survey for Distutils (Pycon’s Python Language Summit)

I have the opportunity to lead a session at the Python Language Summit at Pycon.

In order to prepare this event, I am currently building a survey because we need to know how people use Distutils, what is wrong with it, and so on…

The draft is here : http://wiki.python.org/moin/Packaging%20Survey

When it’s ready (hopefully soon), I’ll post it in a SurveyMonkey-like system online for people to take it, and synthetize the results, so what I am saying at the summit reflects hopefully the reality.

If you are a Python developer, an OS packager, come to the Distutils-SIG mailing list and help us build the best survey possible !

(while the draft is in a wiki, it’s better to discuss the changes in the mailing list before it is applied)

2009 plans, part #1 : Distutils

Happy New year all !

I am going to make a few posts on the things I would like to achieve in 2009. Each entry will focus on a topic. This one is about Distutils.

I was granted a commit privilege in Python, specifically to work on Distutils maintenance. This is a huge privilege, and I try will do my best in this job. I have worked on a few tickets already and closed some. I learnt the Python development process, which requires to backport and to forward-port changesets in various Python versions. While this can be taken care of automatically by someone else if you don’t do it, it’s better that every commiter takes the time to merge his own work.

So what’s next ?

  • There are 132 tickets that are open in the Python tracker, that match the word distutils, and some of them are 5 years old !
  • There’s a Python language summit to be held in Chicago right before Pycon, and I volunteered to champion the task about Distutils, PyPI and packaging matters.

I am planning to :

  • review and classify all the tickets in the tracker;
  • fix the maximum amount of them before the summit;
  • make Distutils a first class citizen in test coverage;
  • make Distutils code more modern.

Besides, I will try to build a roadmap for Distutils I will present in Chicago.

To build this roadmap, I will ask for input in the distutils-SIG mailing list in the coming days, and see what people will come up with. There’s no crowd in this list these days but sometimes some threads are hot when it comes to the future of packaging in Python.

The roadmap I am planning to build will not address all the issues people have when it comes to distribute a Python application, since there is no consensus yet on the best practices. It will rather try to see if the current version of Distutils can be enhanced to adress some problems, and at least be the bridge to something new in the future. Maybe by including some best practices from third-party tools (the pre-condition for all of this imho is to make the Distutils code base healthier).

Anyway, I hope that the lead developers of: zc.buildout, pip, setuptools, paver (and those projects I forget about right now) will  participate in this discussion, and that we will be able to find pragmatic enhancements.

Pycon 2009 talks

I have 2 accepted talks at Pycon, that is great. I would like to say that the Pycon review system is awesome because you can see what the reviewers have said, and understand why your talk was accepted or declined.

I was a bit frustrated that my Atomisator talk was declined, but I think it makes sense : this is a new tool, and beside my user group and a few people, it is not really used yet.

One reviewer said that it had to be picked, and another one answered :

I agree that PyCon should not restrict itself to well-known projects, but it should definitely restrict itself to projects that are (a) in production use, (b) under active development, and (c) likely to still be so in a year. There are so many projects meeting these criteria that for me, the bar is very high indeed to spend a talk slot on one that does not.

Ok, fair enough : I will present this talk at Pycon 2010 and they won’t have any argument to decline it 😉

The talks that made it:

  • How AlterWay releases web applications using zc.buildout
  • On the importance of PyPI in delivering and building Python softwares – mirroring, fail-over and third-party package indexes

I will get into greater details later on.

DIY PyCon FR shirts

We made the shirts at home for PyCon FR and that was a LOT of fun, even if we had to work hard to make sure all shirt were ready by the time the event started. We used a silk-screen technique and the output looks really professional. The ink used makes the shirt design last longer than shirts that uses transfer. Although the number of colors is limited.

Have a look at the pictures : http://www.flickr.com/photos/82007723@N00/sets/72157605181699082/

Guess what: some people ordered us some t-shirts for some other events, so some more fun ahead ! 😀