August 29, 2009

Python in Brazil

If you want an exotic holiday, fly to Brazil. While you are there, take in the pythonbrasil conference. That's a good web site that makes it look like fun!

August 27, 2009

Can You Do Better?

As a graphic artist I'm a pretty good combine harvester operator, so there is no subtlety about the banner graphic I came up with for (maybe) the homepage. But I was glad that Andrew Kuchling asked, because PyCon should be better known. If Python is the technical secret weapon then I believe PyCon is truly the social secret weapon. I know other projects are having good success with community conferences, and would like to have the time to visit some of our sibling foundations' events.

If you attend such an event you will be doing the Python community a service by writing it up for Planet Python. It's not hard to get your blog on the Planet if you do a few good Python posts, and we hear a lot more about the technical than the social normally.

Wow, next year it will be PyCon number eight. Three years after that will be the tenth anniversary of the very first PyCon. It would be terrific if we could go back to DC for that conference. What about it, DC metro area?

August 21, 2009

Bugzilla Bug?

Why, when you change the assignment of an issue in Bugzilla, doesn't the default status change to "Assigned"? I so often forget to make that change it's not funny.

August 17, 2009

Hono(u)r Alan Turing

Alan Turing was the greatest computer scientist ever born in Britain. He laid the foundations of computing, helped break the Nazi Enigma code and told us how to tell whether a machine could think.

The world might have benefited from his ideas considerably more had the prudish (and, as it turned out, probably hypocritical) authorities at the time not hounded him to an early grave because of his homosexuality.

We should think before we cast the first stone, as we do not know where the universe pivots.

This story has been considerably edited, as I must acknowledge the force of my critics' remarks. The original was intemperate and, well, unoriginal so I decided to remove the call to read and sign a petition and simply make my own statement about how Turing, one of the seminal intellectual leaders of the 20th century, was treated by an unthinking populace allowing the irresponsible authorities to act "in their name". The first paragraph is from the petition.

EveryBlock Acquired by MSNBC

News today from EveryBlock via Adrian Holovaty that the founders have agreed to let MSNBC acquire their company. Happily Adrian is on record already as expecting a completely unchanged relationship with Django and Python, pointing out that MSNBC is only half-owned by Microsoft.

August 15, 2009

Advertising the Competition

Someone asked me why the last two posts had highlighted "competing" classes.

This blog isn't here to sell training. It's a place to learn about training, among other things. Feel free to come here to learn about the competition's classes. It's this blog you're coming to, right?

If I only mentioned Holden Web's classes, and not Enthought's and David Beazley's (and ...), you probably wouldn't consider this blog quite such an impartial source. I don't think it hurts to be on good terms with the competition. It's the Python way, after all.

Python for Systems Hackers

Given by David Beazley, Chicago. 3 days, August 17-19 (next week). Details here.

Python Training for Scientists

[Disclosure: Enthought and Holden Web have discussed joint training plans in the past. No commercial agreements are currently in force.]

If you're a scientist and you want to use computers as more that just calculators then you just might want to learn Python. So you could take the Holden Web Introduction to Python class, or you could take two extra days and go to the Python for Scientists class at Enthought.

August 14, 2009

The Internet is Not the UK

Without the EFF Western society's relentless march towards 1984 would have concluded by now. Many formerly accepted liberties have been eroded in the first decade of the 21st century. Think about joining.

Burning Man Rip-Off?

Bother, and I was starting to think Burning Man might be worth attending. Looks like they need to get this silliness sorted out. Hardly appropriate in the 21st century. If I had a ticket they could even make me change this heading!

Which, since second thoughts are proverbially the best, I have done by adding a question mark; I also prefer "silliness" to the former"stupidity". A potentially offensive word was replaced.

Further edit: from the Burning Man web site:
"Use of Images"
I UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT THAT NO USE OF IMAGES, FILM, OR VIDEO OBTAINED AT THE EVENT MAY BE MADE WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM BURNING MAN, OTHER THAN PERSONAL USE. I understand that I have no rights to make any non-personal use of any image, film, or video footage obtained at the event, and that I cannot sell, transfer, or give the footage or completed film or video to any other party, except for personal use, and I agree to inform anyone to whom I give any footage, film, or video that it can only be used for personal use.

August 13, 2009

PyCon 2010 Call for Papers

From Jesse Noller and his colleagues on the PyCon 2010 Program Committee comes the following message. Please consider submitting one or more presentations. PyCon is the largest Python conference in the world, and delegates have a fabulous time.

Call for proposals -- PyCon 2010 --

Due date: October 1st, 2009

Want to showcase your skills as a Python Hacker? Want to have
hundreds of people see your talk on the subject of your choice? Have some
hot button issue you think the community needs to address, or have some
package, code or project you simply love talking about? Want to launch
your master plan to take over the world with python?

PyCon is your platform for getting the word out and teaching something
new to hundreds of people, face to face.

Previous PyCon conferences have had a broad range of presentations,
from reports on academic and commercial projects, tutorials on a broad
range of subjects and case studies. All conference speakers are volunteers
and come from a myriad of backgrounds. Some are new speakers, some
are old speakers. Everyone is welcome so bring your passion and your
code! We're looking to you to help us top the previous years of success
PyCon has had.

PyCon 2010 is looking for proposals to fill the formal presentation tracks.
The PyCon conference days will be February 19-22, 2010 in Atlanta,
Georgia, preceded by the tutorial days (February 17-18), and followed
by four days of development sprints (February 22-25).

Online proposal submission is open now! Proposals will be accepted
through October 1st, with acceptance notifications coming out on
November 15th. For the detailed call for proposals, please see:

For videos of talks from previous years - check out:

- Hide quoted text -
We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!

August 10, 2009

People Using Python

The Python Software Foundation has embarked on a mission to find out more about Python users. We want to know as much about the organizations that use Python as possible. If you want to give us information about any Python usage at all (even organizations other than the one you work for) please fill out this form. We don't even need your details, and we'll filter for duplicates.

So please help us to find out as much as we can about who's using Python, and what for!

Google Sorry

Quite why Google Documents should be giving me this message when Gmail, Blogger, YouTube and various other Google services are all working normally I have no idea. This is particularly frustrating since it's OK for me to look at "documents" and "files", but apparently when it comes to "spreadsheets" I am a botnet and not to be trusted.

Clearly I'm on some sort of blacklist. For how long, who knows? This has been going on for four hours now. And one of the frustrating things about using Google's services is that it's absolutely impossible to get a human being to tell you what the heck is going on, or take some action about it. You can rely too much on automation (but hey, it keeps the margins up).

Going to rethink this one. The document I can't get access to is the PyCon 2010 budget. Google sorry? Google FAIL.

August 4, 2009

Who Put the "Ass" in Associated Press?

The recently-publicized Associated Press approach to copyrighting the news includes such stupidities as
To this stupidity it appears that through the inadequacies of the system they have chosen to use for licensing we can now add
  • Charging people for things that were never said:
This does raise some interesting questions, however. Since I now have a license (purchased for $12.50) from Associated Press to quote these words, are they going to sue me for defamation (against which my defense would be "fair comment") or will they instead fall back on their terms of use, which does not allow me to use licensed material in a way "derogatory to Publisher"?

Given the huge popularity of this blog (not) I suspect this one will sneak under their radar, but if it doesn't (and assuming I am neither subjected to a gag order nor rubbed out by hired gorillas) I shall report back.

UPDATE: About five hours later I received a refund on the grounds that the quoted material was not part of the referenced article:
So it appears that the system isn't quite as asinine as it might at first seem. But Associated Press still need to get a clue, I think.