Friday, December 14, 2007

Call for Project Participation in Development Sprints at PyCon 2008

Python-related projects: join the PyCon Development Sprints!

The development sprints are a key part of PyCon, a chance for the contributors to open-source projects to get together face-to-face for up to four days of intensive learning and development. Newbies sit at the same table as the gurus, go out for lunch and dinner together, and have a great time while advancing their project. At PyCon 2007 in Dallas we must have had 20 projects sprinting.

If your project would like to sprint at PyCon, now is the time to let us know. We need to collect the info and publish it, so participants will have time to make plans. We need to get the word out early, because no matter what we do during the conference, most people who haven't already decided to sprint won't be able to stay, because they have a planes to catch and no hotel rooms.

In the past, many people have been reluctant to commit to sprinting. Some may not know what sprinting is all about; others may think that they're not "qualified" to sprint. We want to change that perception.

* We want to help promote your sprint. The PyCon website, the PyCon blog, the PyCon podcast, and press releases will be there for you.

* PyCon attendees will be asked to commit to sprints on the registration form, which will include a list of sprints with links to further info.

* We will be featuring a "How To Sprint" session on Sunday afternoon, followed by sprint-related tutorials, all for free. This is a great opportunity to introduce your project to prospective contributors. We'll have more details about this later.

* Some sponsors are helping out with the sprints as well.

There's also cost. Although the sprinting itself is free, sprints have associated time and hotel costs. We can't do anything about the time cost, but we may have some complimentary rooms and funding available for sprinters. We will have more to say on financial aid later.

Those who want to propose a sprint should send the following information to pycon-organizers@python.org:

* Project/sprint name
* Project URL
* The name and contact info (email & telephone) for the sprint leader(s) and other contributors who will attend the sprint
* Instructions for accessing the project's code repository and documentation (or a URL)
* Pointers to new contributor information (setup, etc.)
* Any special requirements (projector? whiteboard? flux capacitor?)

We will add this information to the PyCon website and set up a wiki page for you (or we can link to yours). Projects need a list of goals (bugs to fix, features to add, docs to write, etc.), especially some goals for beginners, to attract new sprinters. The more detail you put there, the more prepared your sprinters will be, and the more results you'll get.

In 2007 there were sprints for Python, Jython, Zope, Django, TurboGears, Python in Education, SchoolTool, Trac, Docutils, the Python Job Board, PyCon-Tech, and other projects. We would like to see all these and more!

The sprints will run from Monday, March 17 through Thursday, March 20, 2008. You can find more details here:
http://us.pycon.org/2008/sprints/.

Thank you very much, and happy coding!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The PyCon 2007 podcast

We've begun posting audio from last year's conference in podcast form. New recordings will be posted once or twice per week.

The podcast is available in the iTunes Store podcast section, and you can also access the feed URLs directly. Three feeds are available:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Press release

We now present, for the enjoyment of any tech reporters you may know (or be), PyCon 2008's first official press release. This and future press releases will be posted under "Press" in the "About" portion of the PyCon website sidebar.

If you'd like to announce PyCon on mailing lists, please use this shorter version instead:
PyCon 2008
Chicago, IL
March 14-16, 2008
http://us.pycon.org

PyCon 2008, the sixth annual community conference for the Python programming language, will be held March 14-16 at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare Hotel.

A rich schedule is being planned, including presentations, keynotes, Lightning Talks, an exhibition hall, and the hands-on Python Lab. Plentiful Open Space has been set aside for Birds-of-a-Feather sessions and other unscheduled "unconference"-style activity.

Topics span the range of Python programming activity from introductory to advanced. Some topics are perennial; others focus on recent news, like Python 3000 and new developments in Python for the .NET and Java environments.

The conference will be preceded by a day of intensive 3-hour tutorials (March 13). Afterward, four days of development sprints (March 17-20) will bring participants together for face-to-face cooperation to advance several Python open-source projects.

PyCon: http://us.pycon.org
PyCon blog: http://pycon.blogspot.com/
Python language: http://python.org/

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Calls for Proposals closed: WOW!

As of the wee hours of this morning, the calls for proposals (for half-day tutorials, and for conference talks) are closed.

What a result! Now that the dust has settled from the last-minute rush, it looks like we received about 40 tutorial proposals and over 140 conference talk proposals.

That's far more than we can fit into the schedule. The program committee is now responsible for selecting a subset of these talks & tutorials for the conference. Over the next couple of weeks we will be examining the proposals, asking for clarifications, and voting. We'll be busy!

Care to lend a hand? There's a lot more than proposal reviewing that needs doing. Please take a look at Helping Out at PyCon

Friday, November 16, 2007

Last chance to propose talks & tutorials!

Thanks to all the proposal authors so far, we have received lots of proposals for PyCon talks & tutorials. But we'd like to have even more. Alas, the proposal submission deadline should have been set after a weekend, not before. So we have decided to extend the proposal submission deadline to Monday, November 19 at midnight (end of Monday, Chicago time). This gives you a whole extra weekend to write up your talk and tutorial ideas!

If you've been procrastinating, stop! Get started on a proposal instead!

See the call for conference talk proposals and some topic ideas and more ideas from the PyCon 2007 feedback.

See the call for tutorial proposals and topic ideas from the PyCon 2007 feedback.

I hope to see (and hear) you at PyCon 2008!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Only one week left for PyCon proposals!

There is only one week left for PyCon tutorial & scheduled talk proposals. If you've been thinking about making a proposal, now's the time!

Tutorial details and instructions here.

Scheduled talk details and instructions here.

The deadline is Friday, November 16. Don't put it off any longer!

PyCon 2008

Monday, October 15, 2007

Call for Talk & Tutorial Proposals

Proposals for PyCon 2008 talks & tutorials are now being accepted. The deadline for proposals is November 16.

PyCon 2008 will be held in Chicago, Illinois, USA, from March 13-20.

Tutorial Day: Half-Day Tutorials

Do you enjoy teaching classes or tutorials? Are you good at it? PyCon is looking for proposals for tutorials. The PyCon Tutorial Day will be March 13, 2008 (Thursday).

There will be morning and afternoon tutorial sessions (3 hours each, plus a 30-minute break); presenters may request two sessions in order to make up a full day. Tutorials may be on any topic, but obviously should be instructional in nature.

Full details and instructions here.

Conference Days: Scheduled Talks

Want to share your experience and expertise? PyCon is looking for proposals to fill the formal presentation tracks. The PyCon Conference Days will be March 14-16, 2008 (Friday-Sunday).

Previous PyCon conferences have had a broad range of presentations, ranging from reports on academic and commercial projects to tutorials and case studies. We hope to continue that tradition this year. As long as the presentation is interesting and potentially useful to the Python community, it will be considered for inclusion in the program.

We're especially interested in short tutorial presentations that will teach conference-goers something new and useful. Can you show attendees how to use a module? Explore a Python language feature? Package an application?

Full details and instructions here.

Development Sprints

Four days of development sprints will follow the conference days, March 17-20 (Monday-Thursday). Start thinking about sprints you'd like to lead or join. We'll have an announcement about these soon!

Lightning Talks & Open Space

If you don't want to make a formal presentation, you can still bring your new project or idea to PyCon.

There will be several sessions of Lightning Talks (five minute mini-talks, scheduled at the conference).

There will also be several Open Space rooms for informal and spur-of-the-moment presentations. Open Space slots are allocated during PyCon on a first-come first-served basis. These slots can be used for presentations, round table discussions, hands-on tutorials, follow-up discussions after scheduled talks, or anything else you wish to present.

Help Out!

PyCon 2008 planning is in full swing, but we can still use more help, your help!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Next PyCon-Tech meeting: 2 October

Our next regular organizers' meeting for PyCon 2008 will take place on
Tuesday, October 2nd, at 18:00 UTC (2PM Eastern, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific).

The agenda and connection details are on the wiki.

The minutes from the Sept. 18th meeting are also available.

There's still lots to do. PyCon can use all the help you can spare!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Next PyCon organizers' meeting: 25 September

Our next regular organizers' meeting for PyCon 2008 will take place on
Tuesday, September 25, at 18:00 UTC (2PM Eastern, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific).

The agenda and connection details are on the wiki.

There's still lots to do. PyCon can use all the help you can spare!

David Goodger
PyCon 2008 Chair

Saturday, September 15, 2007

PyCon-Tech Meeting: Tuesday September 18th

The new PyCon 2008 website is up and running for organizers to add content. The design is still in flux, but Brantley Harris has done a fantastic job updating the site for 2008. If you are interested in helping fill in the content, join the pycon-organizers or pycon-tech mailing lists.

The meeting will be held once again on Tuesday, at 2PM Eastern/1PM Central/11AM Pacific (6PM UTC). This will be held via Google Talk/Jabber (group chat), or via IRC on #pycon@freenode.net. People will be in both locations.

The proposal system deadline is fast approaching, and unless we can get some more help, will be delayed. There are some very cool features across all skill levels. Some with deadlines, some without; none are boring. (sounds like fun doesn't it?)

Even if you cannot attend the meeting, please join the mailing list, or create a trac login!

Monday, September 10, 2007

PyCon Organizers' Meeting: 11 September

Our next regular organizers' meeting for PyCon 2008 will take place on
Tuesday, September 11, at 18:00 UTC (2PM Eastern, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific).

The agenda and connection details are on the wiki.

PyCon is a community conference. Please join in and help out!

David Goodger
PyCon 2008 Chair

Monday, August 27, 2007

PyCon Organizers' Meeting: Tuesday August 28

Our next regular organizers' meeting for PyCon 2008 will take place on
Tuesday, August 28, at 18:00 UTC (2PM Eastern, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific). Further meetings will be every two weeks.

The meetings are held via Google Talk/Jabber (group chat). We
use the 'pycon' room on conference.jabber.org.

The agenda is on the wiki.

See you there!

David Goodger
PyCon 2008 Chair

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

PyCon-Tech '08 Call for Volunteers

PyCon-Tech (the python behind pycon), is an open source project for providing software for the python conferences. As the process of organizing the conferences moves forward, we need to get different parts of the web site up and running for organizers, attendees, and the community at large. And we need help.

To kick things off, there will be a PyCon-Tech meeting for PyCon USA 2008 on Tuesday, August 21, at 2PM Eastern/1PM Central/11AM Pacific (6PM UTC). This will be held via Google Talk/Jabber (group chat).

The goals are simple:
  • Software for PyCon
  • Give back to the community
  • Show what python can do
The project is based on django, but is not limited to web applications. We are looking for help at every level. Even if all you do is edit some of the wiki pages, this would be greatly appreciated.

We are also looking for any and all feedback on last years system. This feedback should be limited to the web site software including the schedule, schedule handouts, talk proposal system, or something we have not yet thought of. Feedback can be given in the comments below, or on the PyCon-Tech mailing list.

UPDATE: For those who wish to contribute, there is no signup list. You just join the PyCon-Tech mailing list, and you are part of the team! (attending the meetings also helps, but is not required.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

PyCon Organizers' Meeting

I'd like to hold the inaugural organizers' meeting for PyCon 2008 on
Tuesday, July 17, at 2PM Eastern/1PM Central/11AM Pacific (6PM UTC).
Further meetings will be every other week.

The meetings will be held via Google Talk/Jabber (group chat). We'll
use the 'pycon' room on conference.jabber.org.

Agenda:

  • Staff roles
  • Keynote speakers
  • PyCon tech
  • Chicago visit

Please send any further agenda items to me, or
edit the wiki page.

See you there!

David Goodger
PyCon 2008 Chair

Friday, April 20, 2007

PyCon 2007 Tutorial Feedback Results

2007 marked the second year that 3-hour paid tutorials were offered at PyCon, and going by the feedback forms the result was an unqualified success. There were 13 tutorials (7 in the morning, 6 in the afternoon) offered by 11 instructors. Links to tutorial descriptions can be found here: http://us.pycon.org/TX2007/Tutorials.

One of the hats I wore for PyCon 2007 was "Tutorial Coordinator", and one of my duties was to collect feedback. We handed out feedback forms during the tutorials, and most attendees filled them out (thanks!). I transcribed the data from the feedback forms into a database, and present the overall results here. (I designed the tutorial feedback forms with some helpful input from others, but I take sole responsibility for ambiguities, omissions, and any errors.)

183 people registered for tutorials, 155 for morning sessions and 167 for afternoon sessions. 139 people registered for two tutorials. Most of the tutorials filled up; all of the afternoon tutorials were full. We had to turn some people away because we just couldn't squeeze any more bodies into the rooms we had. It was clear that more space for tutorials is required. At PyCon 2008 we will have more rooms and many of them will be much larger. I will write more about tutorials at PyCon 2008 at a later date.

240 tutorial feedback forms were filled out, a response rate of 75%.

Here are the questions we asked, and the results:

Where are you staying?

240 responses: 81% of respondents stayed at the conference hotel, 13% were local residents, and 6% stayed with friends or relatives, drove in, or stayed at a different hotel.

Will you also attend the main conference (talk days)?

239 responses: 97% of tutorial attendees stayed for the conference; 3% came for the tutorials only.

Will you also attend any post-conference development sprint days?

237 responses: 18% of attendees definitely planned to attend the sprints, 1% said maybe, and the remaining 81% did not plan to stay for the sprints.

Did you get your first choice of morning tutorial?

239 responses: 90% of attendees did get their first choice of tutorial; the 10% that did not reflects the fact that the tutorials filled up.

Would you attend a second day of tutorials in 2008?

227 responses: 70% said yes, 9% maybe (or "depends on the choices"), and 21% said no.

Along with the tutorial attendance and the reported satisfaction, this is an overwhelming sign that the tutorials are a useful addition to PyCon. We haven't booked a second tutorial day for 2008, so I'm not sure whether or not we'll be able to offer this. There are logistical issues (e.g., instructors and attendees who present or attend tutorials only on the first day wouldn't want to stay an extra day). This is definitely something the PyCon organizers will discuss.

The feedback form asked attendees to rate several aspects of the tutorials, choosing from [excellent, good, poor, awful]. A couple of people thought there should have been an "OK/neutral" choice, but I left that out intentionally to force people to pass judgement, positive or negative (I personally think "OK" is a cop-out). Even so, some people wrote in intermediate answers, which forced me to change my database schema from nice clean integer answers to floats to accommodate those darned nonconformists. ;-)

The tutorial material

234 responses: 111 excellent, 1 very good, 112 good, 2 neutral, 8 poor. 96% positive, 3% negative.

This question could have been more clearly phrased as "rate the course content".

The handout

178 responses: 87 excellent, 1 very good, 77 good, 1 neutral, 8 poor, 4 awful. 93% positive, 7% negative.

I intended this question to be about paper handouts, but didn't take into account that some tutorials would have no handouts. In these cases some people wrote in "not applicable" or "no handout", and others chose "poor" or "awful". What was interesting is that some people chose "good" or even "exellent" when there was no paper handout at all. I can only assume (and hope!) that these people were ranking the slides or online materials.

It's obvious that handouts are expected and ought to be supplied. Although some people like to take copious notes, not everybody does. Copies of the slides (at least) or an outline of the talk is a useful reminder later on. Details would be even better.

Should the complete "script" of a tutorial be part of the handout though? For my tutorial I prepared a nearly-complete script that I worked from, but I handed out an outline omitting most of my spoken "lines". I didn't want people to read ahead and find my jokes. And some instructors don't have a script; they just work off an outline.

The instructor, overall

237 responses: 112 excellent, 2 very good, 117 good, 2 neutral, 3 poor, 1 awful. 97% positive, 2% negative.

Although the results were overwhelmingly positive for all instructors, the negative rankings just go to show that no one instructor or approach works with everyone.

Instructor's preparation

236 responses: 132 excellent, 1 very good, 93 good, 1 neutral, 9 poor. 96% positive, 4% negative.

Instructor's teaching ability

236 responses: 113 excellent, 2 very good, 108 good, 3 neutral, 9 poor, 1 awful. 94% positive, 4% negative.

The room

237 responses: 62 excellent, 1 very good, 148 good, 3 neutral, 20 poor, 3 awful. 89% positive, 10% negative.

The most common complaint in the comments was the temperature: too cold. Next was "too crowded".

While it was chilly in some of the tutorial rooms, and in the conference rooms all weekend long, it was better than the alternative: too hot. Although we'll be at a different venue next year we'll recommend that people bring a sweater or a sweatshirt.

As for the overcrowding, we were in a tough situation. We had many people sending email pleading for us to squeeze in "just one more" person in a tutorial. We tried to accommodate as many people as possible, and filled some rooms to capacity. We didn't anticipate the space that the audio equipment would take up, and the need for storage (we had scores of boxes of sponsor T-shirts!). Rest assured, these requirements will be addressed next year.

Overall satisfaction (value for your time and money)

226 responses: 104 excellent, 1 very good, 110 good, 2 neutral, 8 poor, 1 awful. 95% positive, 4% negative.

I didn't do any fancy analysis of the data; no attempts to correlate the answers. If you have any questions that aren't answered above, please let me know.

The feedback form also asked for suggestions for future tutorial topics, and general comments. I made the resulting list of future tutorial topic ideas into a wiki page. There were many good ideas and criticisms in the general comments, which have been duly noted for next year. Most of the comments were aimed toward individual instructors, so they will not be published. The comments have been passed on to the instructors though, and I will follow up with instructors individually, noting any areas of concern or indications of a need for improvement.

Although the responses were overwhelmingly positive, I place particular emphasis on the negative responses and associated comments. Hearing praise feels good but we really learn from our mistakes and from constructive criticism. In addition, there were a few people who felt their tutorial was at the wrong level; this tells me that we need to communicate the level and pre-requisites of tutorials better.

While we couldn't please all of the people all of the time, I think we came pretty close this year. Thanks to the great feedback we got, next year should be even better!

If you have any questions, suggestions for future tutorial feedback forms, or any feedback of your own, please write to me at <goodger at python dot org> or to <pycon at python dot org>.

Please note that as I will be chairing PyCon 2008, we'll need someone to step into the role of Tutorial Coordinator (any takers? hint hint). More -- much more -- about PyCon 2008 later.

PyCon 2007 General Feedback Results

A few weeks ago Andrew Kuchling put the 2007 feedback results (from paper & web forms) into the python.org wiki. I noticed that this was never announced anywhere, so here goes:

The feedback results available at <http://wiki.python.org/moin/PyCon2007/Feedback>, and essay-type comments are at <http://wiki.python.org/moin/PyCon2007/Feedback/Comments>.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Status of PyCon video/audio

Doug Napoleone is managing work on the 2 terabytes of video and audio recorded at PyCon. Today he posted the current plans:
The hope is to get everything done (including a professionally produced DVD of at least the r0ml keynote) by the end of June. We were thinking of doing weekly releases of material (9 tracks, one track a week, ~6 hours of video per track). That equates to ~2 talks a night for 4 nights, 1 day of re-encoding runs, and 1 night of uploading, for 9 weeks.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Keynote slides from Robert M. Lefkowitz now available

Robert M. Lefkowitz, Sunday's keynote speaker, has posted the slides for his presentation, "The Importance of Programming Literacy".

Report on PyCon 2007 networking

Sean Reifschneider of tummy.com set up and administered the wireless network for PyCon 2007. He's now written a report about the networking that describes the wireless set-up and gives some statistics about network usage.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Keynote slides from Dr. Adele Goldberg now available

Dr. Goldberg has now posted the slides and text from her keynote presentation at PyCon 2007 at Rogue Mountain's web site.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

First video presentation from PyCon

Fast work from Ed Leafe of Dabo, who's posted the first video from PyCon, his presentation "Developing Desktop Applications with Dabo".

Monday, February 26, 2007

Online feedback form available

If you attended PyCon 2007 and didn't hand in a completed feedback form, you can now complete the form online. The conference organizers would love to hear your opinions.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

PyCon 2007 is over

PyCon 2007 is now over. At-the-door registration was surprisingly stronger than we had been expecting, and the final attendance figure was 593 registered attendees, a 44% increase from 2006.

The conference ran smoothly -- there were no disasters, only the odd oversight on our part or minor glitches. I personally heard from many attendees who really liked the balance of this year's conference: the daily lightning talk sessions, the selection of keynote speakers, and the featured talks. The rooms mostly didn't seem overly crowded to me, though we'll have to see what the feedback form results say. Jeff Rush and I are both very pleased with the conference, and are glad that the attendees seem to agree.

And now for the sprints...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

At PyCon: Network info status page

Sean Reifschneider, who's handling the wireless network this year, has created a Network Info wiki page with configuration info and usage tips for the wireless network.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Photography contest at PyCon

To encourage people to take pictures at PyCon, we're holding a little photography contest to choose the best pictures taken at PyCon 2007, selected by whim of the organizers. Photos might show conference activities, be a portrait or candid shot of someone, or anything else you can think of.

Prizes: First prize will be a free registration for a future PyCon of the winner's choice. Second prize will be 1 or 2 free tutorials at a future PyCon of the winner's choice.

How to enter: post your photos on Flickr, and tag them with "pycon2007". If you don't use Flickr, post the picture to some other photo-sharing web site or to your own site, and e-mail the URL to (pycon at python dot org). All entries must be received by noon on Sunday the 25th. We're planning to announce the winners at the Sunday lightning talk session.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Extracurricular Activities at PyCon 2007

At PyCon this year we are having a significant number of activities besides the keynotes and talks. One group of those are the birds-of-a-feather gatherings being held in the evenings.

The Python community consists of a number of smaller communities and we're encouraging them to hold meetings, dinners and other activities at PyCon this year. The organizers have tried to leave room in the busy schedule for these to happen and of course for some non-Python social BoFs as well.

Here are the BoFs with which you have the opportunity to get involved:
  • Python in Education
  • Python in Science
  • Healthcare and Python
  • A Content Repository Standard for Python
  • Jython Development
  • Django
  • Pylons Web Framework
  • Trac Users and Developers
  • Keysigning Party
  • Tech that Runs the Python Conference
  • Users of Bazaar Version Control/Launchpad
  • Buildbot Users and Developers
  • Python Advocacy Community Forum
  • Texas Regional Unconference Dinner Meet
  • PyGame Programming/Playing Clinic
  • Board Game Socials
  • Bowling
  • Climbers
You can check them out at:

http://us.pycon.org/TX2007/BoF

The room/offsite schedule is listed at the bottom of that page but many of the groups have not yet declared when and where they are meeting. Nudges are welcome.

The other set of activities at PyCon are the 4-days of code sprints held at the end of the conference. A sprint is a focused development session, in which developers gather in a room and focus on building a particular subsystem. A sprint is organized with a coach leading the session. The coach sets the agenda, tracks activities, and keeps the development moving. The developers will sometimes work in pairs using the Extreme Programming (XP) pair programming approach.

The sprints that have announced so far are:
  • Work towards Zope 3.4 release
  • Fun Educational Software for "Playful Learning"
  • PyCon-Tech: Improve the convention software
  • Zope 3 Learner's Circle
  • Python Job Board
  • Django
  • Trac
  • Jython
  • Docutils: squash bugs & add features
  • TurboGears
  • Write a Game
  • Create a Win32 version of MySQLdb under Python 2.5
  • SchoolTool & CanDo
Sprint coaches should plan for an introductory session on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, to help attendees get started. This might involve helping them to get SVN or CVS installed and checking out the development tree, talking about the software's architecture, or planning what the four-day sprint will try to accomplish.

You can read more at:

http://us.pycon.org/TX2007/Sprinting

and even add your name to particular sprint wiki pages, to encourage them to happen.

See you later this week. Get plenty of sleep beforehand, you won't get much at PyCon this year!

Jeff Rush
PyCon Co-Chair

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Game Programming Clinic and Online Gaming at PyCon

At PyCon this year we're going to have a multi-day game programming clinic and challenge. This is a first-time event and an experiment to find those in the Python community who enjoy playing and creating games. Python has several powerful modules for the creation of games among which are PyGame and PyOpenGL.

On Friday evening, Phil Hassey will give an introduction to his game Galcon, an awesome high-paced multi-player galactic action-strategy game. You send swarms of ships from planet to planet to take over the galaxy. Phil will be handing out free limited-time licenses to those present. He will also be glad to talk about the development of Galcon using PyGame.

After the Friday PSF Members meeting lets out around 8:40pm, Richard Jones will give his 30-60 minute introduction to the PyGame framework so you too can get started writing games.

On Saturday evening, Lucio Torre and Alejandro J. Cura, who have come from Argentina to give the talk "pyweek: making games in 7 days" Friday afternoon, will help people develop their games in the clinic room with mini-talks on various game technologies.

On Sunday evening Lucio and Alejandro will around to help with further development issues, and Richard Jones will be back to present more about PyGame and help reach a group concensus on what to work on during the GameSprint. Richard also runs PyWeek, a bi-annual python game programming challenge online.

Phil will also be back helping people get into playing Galcon and everyone can begin multiplayer challenges against those who show up.

And then during the four days of sprinting, the group will compete to produce a working game meeting agreed upon requirements and then decide who has best achieved those.

This overall gaming track is informal, with people coming and going, and others are welcome to get involved in giving mini-talks or showing off their creations.

Specific activities, rooms and times can be found on the wiki pages for the birds-of-a-feather schedule, collecting game clinic ideas and for the game sprint.

---
Want to get a head start? Follow the online lectures about PyGame and, to get your laptop ready to rumble, check out the installation and testing instructions.

By the way, other birds-of-a-feather groups are encouraged to work up their schedules as well and update the PyCon BoF schedule page.

See you later this week,

Jeff Rush
Co-Chair PyCon 2007

Online registration closes

Online registration for PyCon has now closed.

We have 567 566 people registered, a 38% increase from last year's number of 410 attendees.

Update: A duplicated registration was removed.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Hotel room-shuffling

We received notice from the hotel that they're overbooked for Thursday evening. This means that some people will be forced to stay in a different nearby hotel.
Here's an excerpt from the hotel's message:
Our hotel is currently over sold on this night. We will need to relocate 50 individuals within the PyCon group block. We will be relocating these individuals to the Spring Hill Suites and Quorum Courtyard. These two hotels are located about .5 miles from our hotel.
We will be providing shuttle transportation from these two hotels to our property for the days and times needed. Manny Soto, our Director of Event Planning and Operations and [Heather Halsted] will be calling the 50 Individuals directly to let them know which hotel they will be staying at.

Unfortunately there's nothing the PyCon organizers can do about this. If you're one of the relocated individuals and relocation would be difficult for you, please call the Marriott Quorum (sales: 1-972-855-5785; toll-free: 1-800-811-8664) and ask to speak to Manny Soto or Heather Halsted, or Jolyn Edwards, the Director of Sales and Marketing.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Birds-of-a-Feather Sessions

The birds-of-a-feather (BoF) wiki page is being nicely filled in.

If you'd like to attend a particular BoF, please add your name to the attendee list for that session.

If you're organizing a BoF and haven't nailed down a time slot yet, take a look at the available room and time slots.

Last day for online registration

Friday is the last day for online registration for PyCon. The clock is ticking...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Reminder for PyCon speakers: upload your slides

If you're giving a presentation at PyCon, please remember to upload your slides before the conference. Having the slides available gives attendees more information in selecting talks to attend, and they can follow along on their own laptops.

To upload files:

Monday, February 12, 2007

Python411 podcast with PyCon co-chair Jeff Rush

The February 11 Python411 podcast is an interview with PyCon co-chair Jeff Rush. Enjoy this preview of the conference!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

PyCon attendance reaches 500

Attendee #500 registered this morning. This will now be the largest PyCon ever!

Friday, February 09, 2007

One week left for online registration

The registration form will be closed one week before the conference, so you have until next Friday to register online for PyCon. It's possible to register at the conference, but doing that is more expensive. Register now!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

More session chairs needed

As PyCon draws closer, we're short on volunteers to chair sessions. Session chairs help ensure that the speakers start and stop on time, and assist with the audience during the question-and-answer period. If you're going to be in the same room for an entire block of talks, why not be the chair, too?

For instructions on signing up, see the SessionChairs wiki page. To find an unchaired talk, look at the conference schedule: the pop-up for each talk will display a link to the signup form if no one has volunteered yet.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Vendors at PyCon

We have always had sponsors at PyCon. In exchange for their generous financial support, sponsors get various forms of exposure (detailed here). All sponsors have the opportunity to supply inserts for the conference tote bag (including insert-only sponsorship).

In previous years some PyCon sponsors have put out marketing & recruiting information on tables in the hall, and some have had representatives stationed in the halls for face time with attendees. This year we made four official vendor tables available in a vendor-specific area, adjacent to the main hallway. All four vendor tables have been reserved:

Elegant Stitches of Conway, AR is a vendor of embroidered garments and accessories. Janet Lindstrom will be selling polo shirts, long-sleeved denim shirts, 1/4 zip sweatshirts, and caps, all embroidered with the Python logo; T-shirts and cubicle posters with a "Zen of Python" design; and travel mugs with handles featuring the Python logo. Elegant Stitches is also supplying PyCon's official attendee & staff T-shirts as well as the conference tote bags.

Wingware will feature their Wing Python IDE at their table. John Ehresman and Stephan Deibel, the developers of Wing IDE and co-founders of the company, will be at the table about half of the time, attending talks the rest. They will show off Wingware's Python IDE on their laptops, take feature requests, answer questions, and just talk with users and developers about anything people might be interested in: GUI toolkits, the packaging of a commercial Python product, the relationship between commercial and open source, you name it. It's an opportunity for people to learn about their product and to interact with the developers of a commercial Python-based GUI application. Wingware is also a Gold sponsor this year.

Google will have engineers at their table to answer questions, provide free goodies and hand out recruiting materials. Google is also a Platinum sponsor this year.

ITA Software is actively recruiting Python developers. Their first product is an airfare pricing and low fare search engine, that is used by most major airlines and online travel agencies to power their web sales. They're now building an entire airline reservation system, with Air Canada as their first customer. A number of their engineers will be attending and will be available off and on at their table, and they'll be demonstrating "a very cool application we built, called Q-earth, that uses our data to show animations of all the world's flights in 'real time'." ITA Software is also a Platinum sponsor this year.

Please plan a visit to the vendor tables while at PyCon!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Alternative hotels

The hotel is now full for some nights of the conference, including the critical nights of Friday and Saturday. The conference rate is no longer available. What to do if you don't have a room yet? (Other than resolving to book earlier next year...)

There is another Marriott across the street, but it's more expensive: the Marriott Residence Inn (14975 Quorum Dr, Dallas, 75254 - (972) 934-1384).

There are two decent, less expensive hotels that are not far away, a Motel 6 and a Best Western. The Motel 6 (4325 Belt Line Rd - (972) 386-4577) is a short cab ride away. The Best Western (15200 Addison Rd - (972) 386-4800) is an all-suites hotel and is a short walk away. They have free breakfast and Internet service. The normal room rate is roughly $85 to $110 per night.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Last day for hotel reservations!

Today, January 31st, is the last day to make hotel reservations and obtain the conference rate. After today, you'll have to pay the hotel's regular rate, and there's nothing we can do to reduce your costs.

Go to http://us.pycon.org/Addison/Hotels for hotel information and a registration link.

Update: the hotel has sold out of sleeping rooms on Thursday February 22, Friday February 23, Saturday February 24, Tuesday January 27, and Wednesday January 28.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Thanks to our sponsors

Sponsor support is important in helping cover PyCon's fixed costs. This year we have more sponsors than ever before; the sidebar on us.pycon.org lists all of them. The sponsors include large companies such as Microsoft and Google, familiar Python companies such as Wingware and ActiveState, and Python-using organizations such as OSAF and Canonical.

Thanks to all the sponsors, and to Steve Holden, the sponsorship coordinator.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Funding PyCon attendance

One of David Goodger's many hats is Funding Coordinator, processing applications from people who need some assistance in making it to PyCon. Yesterday he sent out notification e-mails about the funding decisions. If you applied for funding, you should have received a notice about whether you'll be supported and for how much.

This year the Python Software Foundation is helping 18 people to come to PyCon, spending slightly less than US$9000. We look forward to seeing them all at PyCon!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

One week left for hotel registration

Don't forget to book your hotel room for PyCon 2007!

The special PyCon room rates at the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum are US$79/night for 1-2 people, and US$89/night for 3-4 people; there's an additional hotel tax of 13% on top of this rate. This rate is only available until February 1st.

To register online, use the hotel's special event page for PyCon.

If you're looking for a roommate to reduce your costs, see the Room Splitting wiki page.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Registration count reaches 400; tutorial status

The 400th attendee registered today. We're now certainly ahead of PyCon 2006, which only had 399 online registrations.

The number of available tutorials continues to shrink. "Code Like a Pythonista" is full, and we regret to announce that "Internet Programming With Python" has been cancelled. The remaining tutorials are:
  • Morning session: Using the DB API, Python 101, How to Document a Python Open Source Project, Zope Component Architecture and zc.buildout.
  • Afternoon session: Advanced Web Application Development with TurboGears, Faster Python Programs through Optimization and Extensions II, Testing Tools in Python.

Remember to book your hotel rooms before February 1st to obtain the lower conference rate.

Vendor policies for PyCon

We've come up with a set of policies for vendors who want to have tables at PyCon for selling products or giving demos. Please contact us if you're interested.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Splitting Taxis from the Airport

Someone asked about ground transport from the airport to the hotel, and sharing rides. A taxi will cost about $40 one-way. There's also the Super Shuttle airport limo (minibus) service, which is cheaper than taking a taxi but reservations may be needed. Public transport is also available, but according to reports it isn't quick. See http://us.pycon.org/Addison/GroundTransit for details on all options.

I started a wiki page for people to arrange taxi splitting: http://us.pycon.org/Addison/TaxiSplitting. Sharing taxi rides may be difficult though, because arrival times are staggered and flights get delayed.

I recommend that anyone interested in sharing a taxis should wear a Python or PyCon T-shirt or sweatshirt when travelling so people can recognize each other. Here's a source of official Python garb: http://www.cafepress.com/pydotorg.

If anyone has other/better ideas, please add a comment.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

PyCon flyers now available

The SpreadTheWord wiki page now links to PDFs of a PyCon flyer in both letter and A4 page sizes. Please print out a few copies and bring them to your local Python user group (or Linux user group, or .NET user group, or Java user group, or...).

Early-bird registration numbers

Early-bird registration is now closed; regular prices (US$260/US$150 student) are now in effect.

Total early-bird registration was 363 people.

To compare with last year: at PyCon 2006, early-bird got 273 registrations. This year's figure is therefore a 32% increase.

Maybe we're just getting better at reminding people to register early and the final attendance figure will be about the same. On the other hand, Doug Napoleone notes that the number of proposals received was also up by 30% (see the discussion of proposal selection for the numbers). A 32% increase in '06's total attendance of 410 would mean 541 attendees.

My intuition is that both factors -- better early-bird advertising, and more total attendees -- are at work. My psychic prediction: final attendance for 2007 will be increased over 2006 to between 450-500 attendees: a significant increase, but not a 30% increase. (Please, no wagering...)

Tutorial cancellation nears; register soon!

Saturday, January 20, is the drop date for tutorials, when the organizers need to decide if any of them should be cancelled due to low attendance. This year a few of the tutorials haven't gotten enough people yet, and are in danger of being dropped. If you're thinking about registering for a tutorial but haven't done so yet, please try to register before Saturday; your registration might be the one to save a tutorial from cancellation.

(I'm deliberately not mentioning which tutorials are at risk, because if a tutorial is on the edge, people may decide to sign up for some other tutorial. This post is intended to encourage everyone to hurry up and register.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Morning TurboGears tutorial full

The morning introductory TurboGears tutorial is now full, though there are still a few seats left for the advanced tutorial in the afternoon.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Last day of early-bird registration

Today is the last day to register for PyCon 2007 at early-bird rates; register for the conference now.

Don't forget to reserve your hotel room, too; to obtain the conference rate, you must register by February 1st.

The introductory Django tutorial, to be held in the morning, is now full.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

First tutorial fills up; Django tutorials expanded, one full

The first tutorial to reach its room capacity is "Faster Python Programs through Optimization and Extensions I", taught by Mike Müller.

Due to the level of interest in the Django tutorials, they've been given more space. I still expect the Django tutorials will fill up today; we don't have that much additional space...

Update: the afternoon "Advanced Django" tutorial, taught by Jacob Kaplan-Moss, is also full.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Personal Schedule Application for PyCon 2007 Now Available

Doug Napoleone's nifty Personal Schedule Application is now up and running on the PyCon site.

Features include:
  • displays a color-coded, up-to-date schedule
  • displays pop-ups with descriptive information about each event
  • allows selecting events to create your own personal schedule
  • supports iCalendar output of both conference and personal schedules

If you have a PyCon login account, the application also:
  • stores your schedule on the server instead of in a cookie.
  • highlights talks that you're presenting or sessions you're chairing.

To create your own PyCon login account, visit the Site Signup Form, which is independent of your conference registration.

If you store your schedule on the server, your selections are included and summarized in a report for the PyCon organizers. We can therefore see which talks are the most popular, and this will help us schedule them in rooms with enough capacity.

A print-specific stylesheet is in development.

We think the schedule application is very neat, and hope it's useful in planning your PyCon attendance.

Friday, January 12, 2007

MS Office tutorial replaced by Internet Programming

The "Programming Microsoft Office using Python" tutorial has been cancelled and replaced by "Internet Programming with Python"; see the tutorial outline for more details.

If you've registered for a different afternoon tutorial (or for no afternoon tutorial at all) and want to switch to the new Internet Programming tutorial, write to the conference address (pycon at python.org).

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Reminder: early-bird registration ends Monday

Remember, Monday January 15th is the last day for early-bird registration.

Register for PyCon.

If you're interested in the tutorials you should register as soon as possible. One tutorial is nearing its maximum size; when that limit is reached, registration for that tutorial will be closed.

Suggestions wanted for intellectual property talk

Seen in a comp.lang.python post:

I will be presenting a talk at PyCon, "The Absolute Minimum an Open Source Developer Needs to Know About Intellectual Property." I want to tailor this talk so that it is interesting to as many attendees as possible.

I am familiar with a lot of the internal divisions in the Free Software/Open Source community. My intent is not to advocate for or against any specific position, but rather to promote a common understanding and address specific situations that developers may
encounter. In other words, a problem/solution approach, instead of an argumentative approach.

With that in mind, I had in mind the following subjects:

- A brief primer on intellectual property (what are patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets?)

- What to do when you have an idea you want to develop, but you are working for somebody else

- What it means to incorporate GPL'd modules into your own code

- Ways to protect ideas that you have put into a proprietary software product

- Ways to avoid, work around, or mitigate the effect of software patents

- Licensing, using, and distributing software (comparing and contrasting the GPL, BSD, and Python licenses)

I am interested in hearing about 1) other topics of interest, and 2) the relative level of interest in each topic. To keep within the time limits for my talk, I intend to address the most popular topics in roughly the order of their popularity.

Thanks.

Registration ramps up

The pace of incoming registrations is speeding up. The number of registered attendees reached 100 on Saturday January 6, 18 days after registration was opened. It reached 200 on Thursday the 11th, 5 days later. Will we reach 300 before early registration closes? (The 2006 conference didn't; early-bird ended with 270- or 280-something attendees, and the conference wound up with about 400 attendees total.)

Update: (January 15th) attendee #300 registered this morning.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Hotel registration problems

(The problem described in this post has now been resolved.)

Several attendees have reported a problem when booking their hotel rooms; they've been told that the conference rate is no longer available and offered a much higher rate. We're talking to the hotel to resolve the problem; if you're given a too-high rate, don't book your room yet and wait until we announce the problem is resolved. (That announcement will be posted here.)

If you've already booked, please wait for the announcement and then call Marriott to fix the problem; if that doesn't work, send an email to (pycon at python.org) and we'll use our hotel contact to change your reservation.

Here's what's probably going on. PyCon has reserved X rooms per night at the conference rate. For most such reservations, the conference rate is no longer available once X rooms have booked. PyCon's contract is different, though: we get the conference rate until the hotel is full. The reservation staff was confused about this last year and they've probably gotten confused again this year.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Poll: vendor tables at PyCon

The organizers are wondering if there are any vendors of Python-related items (books, software, T-shirts, etc.) that would be interested in having a vendor table at PyCon. We're trying to learn if there's enough interest to make a vendor area worth the effort.

The proposal being suggested: vendors would pay a vendor sponsorship fee of a few hundred dollars and would then get a table (probably a 6-foot size one) in a vendor area. Vendors could be open from after the first plenary session to before the last plenary session; that would be from 10:30AM to 5-something PM. You could store merchandise in a locked but unguarded room, but you'd probably still have to sign a liability waiver so that PyCon isn't responsible if your merchandise is stolen or damaged.

If you'd be interested, please add your name, product/company info and a contact e-mail to us.pycon.org/TX2007/Vendors.

This is a straw poll to gauge if there's interest, not a contract. Adding your name does not oblige you to sign up as a vendor, if/when we decide to have a vendor area and specify the costs and terms.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Reminder: Two weeks of early-bird registration left

Two weeks are left before PyCon 2007's deadline for early-bird registration; after January 15th, registration fees will be increasing, so make your travel plans, register for the conference, and don't forget to reserve your hotel room.