Europython 2010: Third conference day and conference dinner
So, this was the third conference day. Due to the party yesterday I missed today's Keynote. Not that I arrived so late (I was there at 09:15) but, as the keynote already began when I got to the Conservatoire, I just choose to go to the new lecture room (where the first talk on my schedule was going to be). I was alone there and that meant peace of mind and spirit (which I really need after so-many-pints last night) and the wifi connection working smoothly. Afterwards, a lot of people told me that the keynote was quite good (so, I'll have to wait for the online video!)
As soon as the keynote ended, people began to come in the room and the talk began. Nicholas Tollervey explained what is a coding dojo and shared his experience organising the London python coding dojo. I found the idea of the coding dojo quite interesting, even more if I think that is very similar to what we've been doing in Lugo for quite some time now, only with the differences that we call them bunkers (instead of dojos) and that coding dojos have a predefined set of rules. Nicholas is a really good speaker and he surprised us all when we went to the piano that was in the talk room (hey, this is a conservatoire!) and he played the piano, using it as a metaphore to explain something from the talk. It was quite amazing and a lot of people wrote tweets about it :).
Next was the turn of Esteve Fernandez. I was not really interested in the topic (never used twisted before, even if I knew about it) but I would like to attend this talk because I know Esteve (from last year's conference) and there was no other priority talk in the schedule. As I've said, I'm neither a twisted developer nor a twisted user, so I don't know if the talk was really interesting. Estebe covered how you could adapt your libraries to be twisted-compatible (because seems twisted is a little bit difficult to work with) and he showed us some examples of his work adapting different kinds of libraries.
After the talk I went to the table where people were signing for the Lighting Talks, and I just wrote my name in there:
- Borja Lopez - Zero14 CMS + django
It took me some time to decide myself, but once I was in front of the table, I knew I was going to do it!.
I think that we would like to group talks in topics in this europython conference, there would be three major topics:
2- Web development
3- Python interpreters/compilers
This talk would be in the third topic, as it was a comparison between HotPy, PyPy and Unladen Swallow, three of the current projects (with Jython and IronPython) that are trying to develop a replacement for the current cPython implementation. measuring time, not speed. Mark Shannon went through a list of features explaining the implementation of them in the three projects. When the talk was finished, I had the sensation that HotPy and PyPy are more mature projects than Unladen Swallow.
And today it was fresh salad with roasted chicken and two potatoes (and a blueberry muffin as the dessert). I had lunch with Ian Ozsvald and we have been talking about his lighting talk about the face-tracking robot, which was quite impressive. I told him that I had read the article Building a face-tracking robot (Headroid1) with Python in an afternoon in The Artificial Intelligence Cookbook last week so, for me, it was very nice to meet him (a pleasure, may I say). We had lunch outside the conservatoire, just sitting on the square between the Birmingham Conservatoire and the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. We met more people there and we talked about the talks we've been attended.
After lunch I went to the Recital Hall, where Bruno Renié covered the available libraries in Python to connect to IMAP servers and interact with them. At the beginning of the talk he told us that he was currently working on a (django-based) web client to connect to IMAP servers so, as soon as the talk was finished, I went to him just to talk a little bit about his project and to tell him I've a similar project which is currently pretty advanced.
During the talk he showed on-screen IMAP sessions using telnet through an SSL connection (to show us all the posible IMAP commands you can execute on a server, and the results of executing those commands) and then he went through imaplib ImapClient and a new library that has support for the new OAuth method gmail is using to authenticate users.
The talk was good, but I think it will be even better the posibility to collaborate with Bruno on a django-based webmail project.
Another talk I was not really interested in, but I wouldn't miss. One recommendation: If you ever go to any kind of Python conference and in that conference there is a talk from Martijn Faassen, seriously, do not miss it, whatever it happens, don't miss that talk. Martijn is one of the best speakers I've seen. He is funny, the talks are always interesting (even if you are not closely-related to the topic) and you will learn something new.
In this talk he told us why you should create libraries instead of apps or packages (because more people will be able to use them later, for example) and he showed us some examples of developments he had made in the past.
Oh, and as he said, If your project has some developers from germany, whatever it would happen, don't loose those germans! ;D
As Martijn had to answer a lot of questions after the previous talk, I arrived a little bit late at this one. Sarah Mount introduced us to python-csp, a new library that helps with high-level concurrency and parallelism. I've to say that I wasn't paying so much attention (sorry Sarah) because I was writting some stuff for my lighting talk (Yes! ;D).
I kept myself working on the presentation for the Zero14 lighting talk during the coffee break after Sarah's talk. I was so excited that I couldn't stop.
This talk was an introduction to the repoze.BFG web framework. I already knew BFG and I thought it would be an interesting talk, but I was wrong. If you take a look at the abstract (Speed Thrills!), you will read something like:
The presentation will cover the core ideas behind BFG and at the end of it you might want to give it a try.
I've to say that Charlie Clark started the talk advicing us he wasn't going to give a technical talk at all, but it turned out to be mostly a promotional talk. He said that BFG was reliable, fast, scalable, etc, but he didn't explain why. He highlighted the good documentation BFG has, the BFG book, and the fact that Chris McDonough is behind this project but (IMHO) it should be far more interesting if he had showed us some examples of BFG code, or some real information why BFG is fast, scalable, etc.
After the talk I was a little bit dissapointed. I've read about BFG, I've see the good docs the project have and I think it deserved a better talk.
The last talk of the day. All the things I expected from the BFG talk were in this talk about Grok, another web framework coming out of the Zope community. Again, Martijn Faassen delighted us all with a great talk covering the history of Grok itself, when it was born, how it was born, and then moving onto some real explanations on the benefits/drawbacks of using Grok. I really enjoyed that one.
After the last talk I went back to the hotel and I left the laptop there, picking up a jacket (just in case it could be colder outside later) and I headed for the Holiday Inn, where the dinner was going to take place. I arrived early so I had time for a beer (an invitation from a local, whose name I've forgotten :( ). The dinner was quite good and the menu was very similar to the one from last year's dinner. I enjoyed the food, but I missed the Monty Python's Holy Grail beer :(
After dinner I had two more beers before leaving to the hotel. Tomorrow will be the last day of europython 2010, and I don't want to miss anything!