Neil K sent me a link to this picture he took of someone demoing a synthesizer using the ultra-trendy arduino, and the almost-as-trendy Python Cookbook.  Cute!

Cooking with Python Cookbook
Cooking with Python Cookbook

Thunderbird team needs help from Python/Perl build engineer

If you’re a Thunderbird fan but not interested in fixing some of the nasty C++ problems we tackle in the product, you could still be very, very helpful if you can help us with a little Python/Perl build problems.

Specifically, Mozilla has a great system called “try servers” where one can submit patches against the tree, and the build system runs builds on Linux, Mac and Windows, using those patches, then serves those builds for testing. This is really helpful to figure out if proposed patches solve specific problems, especially when the developers aren’t able to reproduce the bugs, but testers can. It works great for Firefox development right now.

The only problem is that there’s a little bit of patching needed to the try server code itself to make it able to work with other targets besides Firefox, as described in bug 431375. Ben Hearsum, a build guy from Mozilla, is happy to help someone figure out those patches, but he doesn’t have time to make it happen right now.

From what i can tell, required skills include comfort with CVS and Linux, Python, Perl, and some build engineering common sense.

Thanks in advance!

Google Summer of Code

So it’s finally live! I’m talking about the Google Summer of Code, a program whereby Google spends $$’s via open source foundations (such as our own Python Software Foundation) to students in exchange for code. I’m happy to see this project actually happen, and I hope it’s successful for all involved. I heard about it a while back when Chris DiBona was trying to figure out whether foundations would be willing partipants.

The real Python Challenge, over the next few weeks, will be to come up with:

  • a compelling list of projects (I’ve started a draft on the Python wiki)
  • to rouse interested and interesting students (unfortunately, many of the best probably already have incompatible plans for the summer),
  • to rope in recruit mentors who’ll be able to help the students along if they get stuck.

Still, it’s a great opportunity to broaden the pool of actors in the open source world to include on a full-time basis those who need to pay the rent. I’m confident that the open source communities around each of these foundations step up to the plate, and we’ll end up in the fall with some code, sure, but more importantly some fresh blood with energy and a few scars to go with the experience gained.


First day at PyCon 2005. It’s, as usual, interesting. Random bits:

  • Crowded! It’s bigger than ever, clocking in over 400. It’s caused some headaches of the good kind (catering more expensive than planned, not enough t-shirts, rooms are packed).
  • Not too surprisingly given the buzz around Python, there are big names (although we’ve had big names at Python conferences for years). This year it’s Jim Hugunin from Microsoft, Greg Stein from Google, and we’ll see who else).
  • More interesting to me, a lot of old friends, including many who used to come at conferences, then stopped, and are now back. I don’t know if it has anything to do with Python itself, the economy in general, or it’s just random — but it’s nice to touch base again.
  • It’s only been three hours, so it’s a bit hard to know for sure yet, but it seems as though there’s more money around — more startups, some VC influences, and a greater proportion of people who do Python for their jobs, not just for love

Washington DC is still a great city, the Rouge Hotel still has attitude and free broadband, and I’m looking forward to good dinners with old friends.

Python and OpenGL on Nokia Phones

Sitting here at ETech, just after Erik Smartt, product manager for the Python on Nokia product, gave the first real public demo of the Symbian/Series 60 port of Python. The highlight was a PyOpenGL demo (the code isn’t available yet, and the author is not public either). Click on the picture for the Quicktime movie.

As someone who worked on PyOpenGL a long, long time ago on high end Silicon Graphics workstations, it’s fairly stunning to see it fit into a pocket.

Also notable was a demo of the FlashLite stuff, which is equally cool, but probably available elsewhere (if not, I’ll post a movie later).