A Week at PyCon DC 2004 -- Day 6

Conference Day 2 -- Thursday, March 25

Author: David Goodger
Contact: goodger@python.org

Woke at 6am, again an hour before my alarm was set to go off. Must be eager. Arrived at PyCon early again, and had breakfast there. PyCon's sticky buns & muffins beat the hostel's toast & jelly any day.

The day began with Guido's keynote speech, which was very entertaining and light. A phrase Guido used struck a chord: "active champion". The reason most (if not all) proposals/PEPs/projects fail is for lack of an active champion. I was an active champion for reStructuredText and Docutils.

Next up were some PyRex talks by Paul Prescod. I wonder if his choice of "shrubbery" as example was deliberate. I got enough out of the talk to know that PyRex is cool, and if I ever need to code C extensions it may be the way to go. But I don't now, so my attention wandered.

Met a couple of people from last night's BoF, who had ideas for reST: a one-page reST cheat sheet, and YAML support, perhaps with flowing columns to save on vertical real estate.

Was joined by Vic Kelson for lunch, who had questions about a database-driven documentation system with boilerplate and custom sections. Feasible, for sure. He suggested a possible line for a business: open source industrial control data acquisition systems. Evidently the industry standarc, SCADA, sucks -- can't extract data from it easily.

After lunch, saw part of the new-style class tutorial, and the tail end of the Panda3D talk. They had a video of a virtual reality system that makes Happy Tree Friends seem tame. Next was Tamer Fahmy's High-Level 3D Graphics talk, which went well.

I chaired the last session of the day, 3 talks: Ed Loper's Epydoc: an API documentation generation tool, Jim Fulton's Literate unit testing: Unit Testing with Doctest, and Phil Pfeiffer's Twelve Thousand Test Cases and Counting.

Immediately afterward was the PSF member meeting. We had committee & treasurer reports, then voted on new Sponsor & Nominated members. Some discussions followed, about various aspects of communication. We need better, more focused communication (not necessarily more volume, though). Roundup's nosy lists seem like the might be the solution.

15 of the PSF people went to a nearby Chinese restaurant for dinner. The conversation was lively and mostly non-technical, at least at my end of the table. Back to the PyCon site for a late-night Py-dot-org BoF. I volunteered myself and Brett Cannon to add encoding support to ht2html. The group came to a tentative consensus about a website redesign, or at least a new design for a new portion of the website.

Back in Adams-Morgan, Thursday evening seems to be a lively night. Or it might just be the exceptionally warm weather. Hopefully no booming music tonight, but the earplugs will be on stand-by.

As I finished writing the above in the hostel's kitchen, two young women walked in, speaking Japanese. I shocked them by greeting them in fluid, if not fluent, Japanese. Turns out they're exchange students living in Lawrence, Kansas, visiting New York City and DC during spring break. We had a nice conversation, soon joined by Tamer and Nester. I left the unattached young'uns and headed off to bed.