Friday, March 25, 2005

Greg's keynote: "Python at Google"

Although I'm admittedly biased, I really enjoyed Greg's talk this morning on "Python at Google." He covered the wide spectrum of Python use at Google and left plenty of time for questions at the end.

Some of Greg's talk (and many of the questions) focused on Google's use of SWIG to Pythonize our C++ libraries in a fairly hands-free way. As Greg aptly put it, "SWIG is pretty underrated." Questions from the audience focused on SWIG performance and robustness, especially when confronted with heavily templatized C++. People also mentioned alternatives like Boost.Python and PyCXX. One audience member who had used all three systems commented that Boost had been great for supporting templates, but that its generated .so files were 10x bigger than equivalent ones from SWIG. Still, I'd like to learn more about these systems.

Greg's actually standing in a small knot of people about 20 feet in front of me, still engaged in some heated, SWIG-related debate. :)

Greg also touched on Google's open-source efforts centered around, and I was pleased to hear some positive audience feedback and some questions about what Google plans to open-source next.

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