May 23, 2010

New Holden Web Subsidiary to Produce DjangoCon 2010

DjangoCon 2010 had to happen. After a brilliant start at the GooglePlex the event followed up with a transition to a hotel venue. DjangoCon is "small" in some sense that PyCon isn't (it probably compares with the size of the first PyCon if the figures I have seen are close). Well, I managed the first PyCon in 2003 (and the second, and the third), so I figured I could probably manage DjangoCon. Fingers crossed, wish me luck, DjangoCon is at the DoubleTree in Portland, OR from September 7-9 this year.

It will be interesting. My close involvement with the US open source community was relatively new when I started PyCon, whose development was therefore very organic rather than being the structured product of corporate thinking.  It was really my instinctive rebellion against the exclusive nature of the corporate conferences that Python users used to have to attend.

DjangoCon's sponsorship tariff this year makes small company participation eminently practical, and serious visibility is a practical proposition for the medium-sized enterprise. I am delighted to say that HUGE Inc., besides hosting the meeting at which the announcement was made, have agreed to be our first commercial sponsor, closely followed by Clearwind as our second. If you know anybody who might want to sponsor the conference please let us know.

DjangoCon can continue to demonstrate the practicality of collaboration between the open source communities and the "outside world". Sponsorship will be shared between commercial enterprises and recognized open source organizations such as OSU OSL and the Python Software Foundation, who can mingle with and get to know all segments of the Django world. The reverse is obviously also true.

This particular venture is being run by a new organization, "Steve Holden's Mighty Python Empire," whose mission is to increase the visibility of open source technologies by running popular and profitable training and conference events. Look for more about its other activities towards the fall.

I am looking forward to getting to know the Django community better, and to working with them to give them the best possible forum to learn about the technologies surrounding this fascinating application.

May 11, 2010

Simple Database QueryTool

This fascinating little program only needs proper exception handling to turn it into a versatile teaching tool. As it is, one SQL syntax error and you have to re-run the program. I was impressed by how easy this was to write, and it should work on any Python 3 installation.

The odd .strip() calls compensate for some glitch in certain input channels.

"Takes input from the user and runs it through a sqlite relational database."
import sqlite3
dbname = input("Database name: ").strip()
dbpath = r"V:\{0}.db".format(dbname)
conn = sqlite3.connect(dbpath)
curs = conn.cursor()

while True:
    stmt = input("DB> ").strip()
    if not stmt:
    while True:
        line = input("... ").strip()
        if not line:
        stmt += "\n" + line
    result = curs.fetchall()
    if result:
        for row in result:

So, if you have ever wanted to dive down into SQL, Python now provides you with an easy tool. Then you just have to learn SQL. That's where the exception handling comes in ...

May 10, 2010

The Python MiroCommunity

Well, I have been wondering what to do with for a while, but I think it's pretty clear now that a lot of redirection to the Python Miro Community is in order. This is some seriously helpful stuff for anyone who wants to know more about Python.

If I were Steve Jobs (and I'm sure he will tell you I'm not) I might want to say it was fantastically amazingly stupendously great, but in fact it's simply the result of some solid work by an individual and a foundation.

So, a tip o' the hat to Will Kahn-Greene, the currently volunteer curator of the collection (sorry the PSF couldn't help you with funding, Will, but the amazing job you have done without it surely tells potential sponsors that your channel will represent amazing value to them) and to the Participatory Culture Foundation, Miro's originators.

Oh, and then of course there's the hundreds of people involved in creating the videos and the conferences and user group meetings at which they were made. Including a small core centered around Carl Karsten who have worked for years to get to the stage where we are publishing video while the conference is still happening. Pretty amazing stuff, really. Lots of Python in the mix, naturally, and pretty all of it open source unless I mistake my guess.

Hmmm, ...