Thursday, November 29, 2007

TurboGears and Oracle on OTN

Once, using TurboGears with Oracle was the kind of kooky idea you could only read about in the blog posts of obscure crackpots.

No more! The current top story at Oracle Technology Network is Daniel Rubio's article on using TurboGears with Oracle. Read, use, and enjoy! It's also got a permanent home at the OTN Scripting Language Technology Center.

Thanks to Oracle for all the great press lately, and to Daniel and Przemek for writing it!

Friday, November 23, 2007

PyCon: 141 submissions!

We weren't very good about getting word out for the PyCon call for proposals, and as the deadline approached, there weren't a lot of submissions in the queue. We worried about whether we'd messed up.

Oh, we of little faith! The last couple days before the deadline, the floodgates opened. We got 141 talks submitted! (And about 40 tutorials!)

And they're great submissions! If I had my way, I'd attend about 3/4 of them personally. Unfortunately, for a 3-day conference, we'll be lucky if we can fit half of them into the schedule. Well, I did suggest running PyCon on a 24-hour basis, but for some reason that wasn't accepted.

So now we've got to somehow narrow down the field to what we can fit in the con, and that's a painful process. Quite a few excellent talks won't go on the schedule simply because there's no room.

The good news is that we've got lots of space set aside for multiple tracks of Open Space sessions, which don't require any approval. So, in essence, we may get two PyCons running side-by-side - a traditional one with scheduled talks, and an unconference-like bunch of Open Space activity.

Too much good stuff... I'm definitely going to have to spawn some processes to see all I want to see.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Python articles at OTN

There's a new series of articles on Oracle & Python over at the OTN Scripting Language Technology Center. Przemyslaw Piotrowski presents a detailed investigation of cx_Oracle, covering very nicely some aspects I'd glossed over in all my introductory articles. Great job, Przemek!

Microformat slides

Anybody who saw my Microformats talk, whether at the Dayton Web Standards Meetup or the DMA Linux SIG, can see my slides here or get a tarball here.

If you weren't at my talk, and are looking for a microformats presentation that will stand on its own, you're better off looking through the talk archives at the Microformats wiki. My talk isn't very self-explanatory without me standing there to talk about it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

CodeMash 2008

CodeMash is a great, multi-language agile programming conference here in Ohio. I had a great time last year, and next year looks even better.

Jan. 9 - 11, 2008
Kalahari Waterpark Resort
7000 Kalahari Drive
Sandusky, OH 44870USA

The speaker committee has announced two sets of accepted abstracts for CodeMash 2008, with more still to come. Already, there's a lot for a Python fan to be excited about!
Bruce Eckel: "Why I Love Python"
Bruce Eckel has given hundreds of presentations throughout the world, published over 150 articles in numerous magazines, was a founding member of the ANSI/ISO C++ committee and speaks regularly at conferences. He provides public and private seminars & design consulting in OO Design, Python, Java and C++.

Leah Culver: "Getting Started with Django"
Leah Culver founded Pownce with her friends Kevin Rose and Daniel Burka as a way of sending messages, links, files and events to each other. Leah is the lead developer for the site, which has become one of the largest sites using the Django framework. Leah loves the challenge of developing a web application from scratch and writes about her experiences as a software developer at

Kevin Dangoor: "Overview of the Dojo JavaScript Toolkit"
Kevin is the product manager at SitePen and the founder of the TurboGears open source web application framework. He has held positions in software development, management and sales engineering. He has previously spoken at CodeMash, PyCon, EuroPython and GLSEC and is the co-author of the book "Rapid Web Applications with TurboGears".

Kevin's talk isn't directly about Python, but I expect he'll cover how to tie Dojo into Turbogears. And if he doesn't offer it freely, I'm going to grill him on it!

Finally, my talk was accepted, too! It's basically a repeat of my Ohio LinuxFest "Introduction to Python" talk that used vPython to simulate a solar system, but since the audience this time will be a group of high-powered programmers, I should be able to amp it up and cover more ground. I'll try to dovetail with the more advanced talks at CodeMash so that (for instance) you'll be able to understand Leah's Django talk even if you arrived at CodeMash without knowing any Python.

There are also talks on Domain-Specific Languages, Silverlight (which, via IronPython, looks like a great way to Python-power webpages on the browser side)... and the speaker committee isn't even finished selecting talks yet.

Can. Not. Wait! Between this and PyCon in Chicago, it's truly an Ohio Pythonista's dream come true.

Python at MIT

There was a bit of buzz about a year ago when MIT announced plans to experiment with an alternative version of their electrical engineering/computer science (Course 6) curriculum - one that would start students with a Python-based course instead of the famous Scheme-based 6.001. It was exciting news, but I hadn't heard anything about it since then.

Today, a look through the department's webpage shows that the experiment has come quickly to fruition, and the new curriculum is the standard for this year's freshmen.

6.01, Introduction to EECS I
, with Python (and robots! Sounds FUN!)

I'm dying to know more about this! I'm going to hit up school friends for info, but maybe somebody here has more details to supply?

I still meet plenty of neckties who have never heard of any language besides C/Java/.NET (hey, it's the Midwest, and it's the Air Force), don't know why Python matters, and aren't interested in understanding its merits directly - only want to know "who's using it?". "MIT teaches it to all their EE/CS students" is a pretty good one-liner response. I'm not above leveraging MIT's name recognition. I did the time, after all (as a chemical engineer, not EE/CS, but still). Granted, it never won world domination for Scheme, but I bet it is the source of a very large fraction of the fame that Scheme does have.