Richard Jones' Log

Mon, 26 Feb 2007
PyCon 2007 day 3

The final day was just as interesting as the other two. Unfortunately it started with me sleeping in and missing the start of what looked like a great keynote about language, linguistics and programming. r0ml had some interesting questions to pose to the audience, and also some biting observations (like the OLPC having a "view source" button which will display English source code to predominantly non-English-speaking children). The keynote will be available online eventually and I suspect will be quite popular and generate much discussion. Certainly like Adele he was still in the halls all day discussing with crowds.

I chaired a mixed-bag session which included some discussion on teching programming with Python and finished up with a cool web widgets library. I then had some more hallway BoF, practised my lightning talk and attended the women-in-IT talk. Anna had some really interesting things to day, as she's done a pretty good survey of the available literature on the subject. The main conclusion she came up with is "we don't know for sure" why the imbalance is there, but there's some really good theories. Top of the list is culture, both outside IT (women don't do programming) and inside IT (the geek/wizard culture).

The really fun part of the day was my lightning talk at the start of the final session. I tried to give a general impression of pyglet and where it's at (yes, Alex, I said "pre-alpha" at least three or four times :). I had a number of follow-up discussions afterwards which was good.

We finished up the day with a pool-side gathering to wind-down from the conference and also do a little sprint planning. The game sprinters got together after that and talked about the sprint and played some Galcon which was a lot of fun.

Today we're going to try to introduce some people to game programming through a little challenge - write a game on the theme "small" in ond day.

category: Python | permanent link
Sun, 25 Feb 2007
PyCon 2007 day 2

I slept in, and then got involved in a number of conversations, so here's my late wrap-up of yesterday ;)

The talks that grabbed me were those on SQLAlchemy, IronPython status and ctypes. I missed a bunch of talks in the middle because we had an "intro to PyPI" session in which I attempted to field questions about how PyPI works and how we might improve its reliability and responsiveness. Jim Fulton has some ideas and hopefully might find some time to look into those.

There was yet more meeting up with people in the halls and conversations about web frameworks, database layers (SQLAlchemy is really cool), ctypes and its support on IronPython/FePy/PyPy, and other things that have become a bit of a blur.

I've not managed to take any photos as my phone battery was running down really quickly. I've discovered that I'd accidentally left on Bluetooth and that really drains it. Hopefully I'll manage to get some photos today and during the sprints.

We had a much more sensible evening, playing some board games. About 8 of us played Memoire 44 and I introduced some others to Set. I still ended up going to bed at about 12:30, oh well.

Sean has photos up.

category: Python | permanent link
Sat, 24 Feb 2007
PyCon 2007 day 1

There's so many people here.

I managed to wake up in time to get to the keynote, which was great because it was about the OLPC. That's an interesting project. It's certainly an incredible technological achievement. Whether it's going to be a worthwhile project is still very much up for debate, and as far as I'm concerned only time will tell.

Moving on I attended presentations on The State Of Zope, Stackless Python, PyPy, Python in Imageworks (so that's what Pete Shinners is doing these days) and pyweek.

In between those talks there was a strong "Hallway BoF" where I discussed ctypes, pyglet, pygame, pypy, slow attributes in new-style classes and more. I met up with Pete Shinners and Phil Hassey which was great. Didn't actually get to attend the Game Clinic in the evening because the PSF meeting went way over-time. Finished the day up in the EWT suite talking more about python's internals, gender in computing and generally moaning about the length of the PSF meeting over beer until I bowed out at about 1.

It was a long, long day, and day 2 is currently starting with Adele Goldberg telling us that e-Learning might not be all it's cracked up to be.

Fri, 23 Feb 2007
PyCon day -1

I arrived yesterday but the predicted zombie-state prevented me blogging then. The flight over was competely uneventful. I'm glad I had the PSP as the plane was running the "on-demand" entertainment system which was crashing constantly. Didn't get any sleep, but pretended to for a few hours. Might've helped ;)

Met up with Brett Canon and Michael Hudson at DFW (yay for SMS) and got to the hotel at about 4:30PM. Steve Holden shouted me a beer (thanks Steve) as a few of the other NeedForSpeed'ers turned up, amongst other faces that I also recognised. Brett, David Goodger and another guy I don't recall (sorry, it's not personal, it's the melted brain) went shopping for breakfast supplies.

I had my first Wal-Mart experience. For those back home, it's kinda like a Big W with a small Bi-Lo attached to one side. With bananas on special as you walk in past the far, far too fixed-grin cheerful greeters. Scary-looking people.

Dinner was a blur. The guys at my table (Neil, Guido, Barry, Brett and Thomas, IIRC, which is not very likely) talked about whether Py3k should have a bytes literal and as they did so I kinda zoned out, full of "barbeque chicken wing" pizza (containing, again IIRC, nothing resembling a chicken wing).

Then I slept. Oh, did I sleep.

It's time to head off to the conference opening now. More later, I'm sure.

category: Python | permanent link
Wed, 21 Feb 2007
Off to PyCon '07

I get in my taxi to the airport in half an hour. Even given the 26 hours of travel to get there I'm pretty excited.

Sat, 17 Feb 2007
PyCon planning

PyCon 2007 is shaping up to be an extremely busy 7 days. I'm already certain I'm going to be missing out on a few things.

Thursday Meet up with Brett and Michael at airport at 3PM or so to taxi to hotel.
Check in, catch up with people, try not to scare people with post-flight zombie-ness. 5PMish - Attempt to find dinner. Try to help with bag stuffing.
7PM - Boardgames. Hah. I'll be the lamb to the slaughter, given my expected absence of brain activity.
Friday 7AM (I hope) - Breakfast, followed by rego. Then: Keynote, break, State of Zope, [Hall BoF], Using Stackless or Visual Python, lunch, Python-Dev or PyPy, Python on Parrot, break, Python in Imageworks or Good-Bye Hello World, pyweek :), Python for V.E. Pipelines or Python on the GP2X, break, Lightning Talks (maybe), PSF Members Meeting, Gaming Clinic BoF, sleep some time around 11PM.
Saturday Keynote, break, SQLAlchemy, NumPy or Testing Tools, lunch, Little Languages, Python Eggs, $64 Million :), break, [Hall BoF], Securing Python, ctypes, break, Lightning Talks, dinner, OLPC demo, Boardgame BoF, sleep some time around 12PM.
Sunday Keynote, break, Python for Modern Students (chair), Interactive Tutorials (chair), Web Widgets (chair), lunch, Stackless, [Hall BoF], [Hall BoF], break, Women and IT, break, Lightning Talks, Plenary, dinner, GameClinic / Sprint planning, sleep some time around 11PM.
Monday - Thursday Game sprinting all day, dinner, boardgaming or game sprinting.
Friday Check out bright and early, fly to Columbia OH to visit cousin.
category: Python | permanent link
Mon, 12 Feb 2007
PyPI search fixed, finally

I found myself with a spare round tuit this morning so I fixed PyPI's search. Google is gone :)

Wed, 07 Feb 2007
Dear Interwebs: HOWTO Run X11 on an LG L204WT LCD Monitor

This is a reprint of the information from this forum discussion. The modeline is:

Modeline  "1680x1050@61"   146.25   1680 1772 1948 2204   1050 1053 1059 1089 +hsync -vsync

I'm running a VGA cable plugged into a DVI socket, which I hope to replace with an actual DVI cable soon. I'm hoping that it will still work...

Update: yep, the DVI cable works fine.

Update2 : DVI works without the need for the above modeline, thanks to EDID (thanks for the hint, Toby). Make sure you've got your i2c module loaded (Load "i2c" in the "Module" section).