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PyCon Day 1

So the first day of PyCon is over. After Jim’s exciting keynote about Python on .Net, I attended Bob Ippolito’s sessions on PyObjC (and introductory session and a hacking session). I’ve become really interested in Smalltalk lately, and (due to cosmetic similarities) Objective-C. I also continue to be interested in writing OS X applications a little closer to the actual OS.

Bob’s hacking talk was particularly interesting, as he demonstrated using PyObjC to inject code into running applications, or override implementation of particular methods. Pure evil, but darn cool.

After lunch I crunched email while watching John Hunter’s talk on matplotlib . Very cool, very straightforward. Makes me wish I had something to plot.

Other points of interest from day one:

  • David Morrill’s talk on Traits. Traits provide strong-typing (sort of) for Python, as well as a host of other facilities. For example, you can state that a variable should hold an integer from 0 to 10, and Traits will do validation for you. It also has some UI generation facilities, which seem to make it ideal for allowing non-geeks to extend applications.
  • Brett Cannon reported on his Master’s thesis, in which he modified Python 2.3.4 to do local type inferencing to see how much of a speed boost he’d get. The answer: not much. Sorta surprising, given last year’s talk on massive speed improvments with Starkiller.
  • Finally, the day closed (at 6:30 PM) with Jim Fulton’s talk on “A Layered Event System to Provide Method Extensibility”. He discussed events, and (tangentially) Zope 3’s component architecture. We’re dealing with some issues of 3rd party extensibility in ccPublisher 2, so I’ll have to look into whether or not this will help us out.

So yes, day one was long. Worth it, but long. After grabbing a burrito and heading back to my room, I spent the next two hours finishing my RDF talk and crashed. Slides are available here , and I’m actually more pleased with it than my Desktop Apps talk. We’ll see how they go.