Thursday, December 07, 2006


Darn. I didn't think of Swivel. Then again, you didn't think of it, either.

Swivel is described as "YouTube for data". Not just for uploading and viewing data... but also for madly cross-tabulating. Wow!

As a database professional, I'm kind of embarrassed that two physicists came up with it. But I'm the spouse of a physicist... so I'm kind of proud, too.

Anyway, I was interested in seeing what sort of data was in there on gender issues... so I searched Swivel on "gender" and got... no hits. Wow. I decided to look for some data worth uploading - say, that frightening "Balancing the Equation" study showing a steady drop of women working in information technology. Well, that study appears to be in send-us-cash-and-we'll-mail-it-to-you form; in fact, I don't see a lot of raw, upload-worthy data out on the web at all. Hmm. Any ideas?

There's got to be some mailing list of Swivel contributors out there somewhere; I guess I should find it and ask them where they find their raw data.

I'm dying to know what RDBMS they run on...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

PyCon 2007

PyCon is coming! February 23-25, 2007 in Dallas!

I had the unexpected honor this year of serving on the Program Committee - the people who read the submitted abstracts and argue about which talks to include. The decisions were not easy! We had more excellent proposals than we could fit into the schedule... I wonder if we'll discuss scheduling four days for PyCon 2008. I think we've outgrown three days! We do have plenty of time set aside for Open Space talks and Lightning Talks, however, and I hope the presenters who didn't get into the regular schedule will show their stuff there.

Just reading the proposals was a great educational experience - I picked up news and ideas that have helped me quite a bit already. The actual conference is going to be incredible - though it will probably include plenty of those "Noooo! I want to be in all three seminars at once!" moments.

The hotel's conference rate is actually a good deal for the quality of the hotel - I know that's not always the case at conferences - but the number of rooms available at that rate is pretty limited, so consider getting your reservation right away. With so much good stuff going on from morning till night, it's really nice to "commute" via the elevator.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I'm all grown up!

I'm finally a serious open-source participant!

... by which I mean...
  • I was using a software package (SQLAlchemy),
  • found a place where it didn't meet my needs,
  • submitted an enhancement, together with test case,
  • and had the enhancement taken up into the project trunk.
I've got a second (less trivial) enhancement submitted but not yet incorporated, too. If you're using SQLAlchemy and you need to use reflection on tables that you're reaching through a database link, you'll need to do it via synonyms and grab code from this ticket. I hope it'll get into the trunk eventually, but it's a low-priority specialty need. (Unless, of course, you need it, in which case there's nothing low-priority about it!)

I guess I've been through the process before with SQLPython, via private email with its creator... it just felt so formal this time, with a Bug Tracker and Ticket Numbers and everything.

Anyway, the whole process takes a little puzzling out... but wow, it's FUN!