Liveblogging Pycon (Day 3)

by jesse in ,

Ugh, this hotel is dry. So dry. I woke up and wanted to lay in a tub of water just to reconstitute myself. Of course, given it's been raining in Dallas, and last night when Jack and I walked to dinner, we got tsunami'ed by a Saab, I shouldn't be complaining too loudly.

So, this morning, we're starting of with GvR's keynote about the state of Python, this should be interesting as I am really keen on seeing where the language as a whole is going to be going.

Well, wrapping up the school bus parked in my brain, and before I get into too many details, Guido basically covered some new interesting things (move to SVN, BuildBot) and then covered a lot of the "what's new in python 2.5" stuff.

You should read AMK's maintained page here: What's New in Python 2.5

While not fully up to date, it still covers some of the more interesting bits, including:

  • absolute/relative imports
  • Conditional Expressions
  • Try/Except/Finally
  • generator enhancements
  • with Statements

... And much more. (including a new hash lib!). The talk was very good, dry, but good (I mean, we're at a programming conference).

I tried sitting in on the Implementation of the new AST bytecompiler talk - but I was fooling myself if I thought I would understand any of it. I can be smart, but I'm not that good yet. (I don't know if I will ever be that good).

The IronPython meeting is interesting. For those of you who don't know, IronPython is an implementation of the Python language in the .NET Common Language Interface). This means you can run, and compile Python applications within .NET.

Now from my PoV, I see this as a nice thing that might allow me to manipulate windows in an automated fashion using relatively common Python code. Watching the presentation, the implementation they have made is amazingly powerful, and I see a lot of potential in it. Well - for Windows people, given I'm exclusively on Linux/Mac, I can see the benefits in an abstract/testing sense.

I spoke to the presenter briefly, and he noted that IP is a little raw currently (duh) but would shine when testing .net applications.

The rest of the afternoon is a bit of a blur, the lightning talks were, well, fast (and of middling return to my work). But one thing stood out for me - py.execnet (ad-hoc networks). I am going to have to look at this ( when I get back. Edit: Also, Twill looks awesome, I need to grok more twill and roll it out to internal users.

I also went to the py2exe presentation, but it didn't cover ground I didn't already know, and I also went to the Eggs presentation Ian Bicking did, it really good from my PoV as it cleared up some misconceptions I had. However, the room was packed, and I think Ian was nervous. Pretty good however.

Then I tried to attend the AST BoF meeting.

The analogy I used afterwards (note I said "try") was that I felt like I was in a room filled with rocket scientists, but I was the Janitor. Almost everything they said ricocheted off my brain and then shot into the stratosphere.

That being said, it was intimidating being in a room with the likes of Guido, Jeremy Hylton and Brett Cannon.

After the lightning talks, it was off to Nerdbooks for the book buying/signing. I ended up getting the new reference book and twisted book. I luckily got the reference book signed by both the author, and GVR.

It was a good day overall, and I picked up some things, but I have to do a braindump/postmortem and send some serious suggestions to the organizers about content. I'm disappointed about a few things.

I'll post pictures when I get back to Boston.