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The 10 Python Conferences Happening at PyCon 2011 (part 2)

This is the second in a series of posts about the schedule for PyCon 2011. In designing this schedule, we found that there are actually 10 different conferences happening in parallel at PyCon. The first post introduced the series and discussed the Django virtual track. This post focuses on the second virtual track, web working.

Web Working

The first virtual track was about Django, but there is much more to Python on the web than just Django. This second track is focused on the many ways in which Python works to enable the world wide web.

In this track we have nine different talks:

State of Pylons/TurboGears 2/repoze.bfg by Chris McDonough, Ben Bangert, and Mark Ramm. The past couple of years have seen some amazing consolidation around a core set of libraries and best practices in the Python web world. As a result, Pylons, TurboGears, and Repoze.bfg now share an underlying base of best-of-breed components, while maintaining their unique outlook on how to quickly get from zero to working code. This three-for-one talk by the main developers of these three popular Python web frameworks will (very!) briefly cover the state of each of our individual frameworks and communities, followed by a discussion of their efforts to work together and share code.

Opening the Flask by Armin Ronacher. Flask has an unusual history - it started out as the joke framework Denied, but was morphed into a small, reusable microframework when there was an unexpected surge of interest. Based on the powerful foundation of Werkzeug and Jinja2 it's one of the most popular microframeworks for Python.

This talk will start with a very quick introduction into Flask, where it all started and why people like it. Armin will take people into the design of Flask and explain why it works the way it works. Furthermore it will look into the Flask ecosystem and how extensions work and have a brief look in what is planned for the future, especially regarding Python 3.

WSGI: Working together to solve the web's problems by Christopher Perkins. WSGI has been around for quite a few years now, and has progressed somewhat into a movement in the web development world, having inspired a number of similar libraries in other languages. WSGI is moving forward in the Python space, with a new, Python-3-compatible specification just approved. The purpose of this panel is to get the experts developing the spec together in a public domain to talk about the past, present, and future of WSGI.

Hookbox: All Python web-frameworks, now real-time. Batteries Included by Michael Carter. Hookbox is a Python and Eventlet-based Comet-server/message-queue which tightly integrates with existing web application infrastructure via web hooks and a REST interface; Hookbox’s purpose is to ease the development of real-time web applications, with an emphasis on tight integration with existing web technology. Put simply, Hookbox is a web-enabled message queue. It doesn't matter if you are using Django, Pylons, TurboGears, Google App Engine, or Werkzeug; Hookbox is made to integrate with your framework of choice. If you pay attention for at least half of this talk, you'll leave confident and ready to take advantage of WebSockets, Comet, and the world.

HTSQL - an insanely good WSGI / REST interface to your favorite database by Clark C. Evans. One of the most common needs for companies is an ad-hoc reporting tool for their databases. The most common product within this space is Crystal Reports - with the open source alternative Jasper Reports. The problem with both Crystal and Jasper, though, is that they require significant programmer/DBA time to set up and administer the reporting infrastructure. This is inefficient and expensive. Another problem with existing solutions is that they don't make the data from your databases available for web applications.

HTSQL takes it away from hard "reports" by exposing databases as full-fledged entities on the web by mapping a graph-based URL language to the structure of your database. No setting up the report needed - just craft the right URL and your ad-hoc reports are done. Live dashboards become easy - and your data can easily be consumed by other web services in XML or JSON format.

An (biased) survey of the python web by Mark Ramm. Mark Ramm is the BDFL of one framework - but that's also why he pays attention to the whole ecosystem. From the release of Plone 4, TurboGears 2, Django 1.2 and Pylons 1, it's been an interesting year. And things like html5lib, an updated WSGI spec, and a contender for the next generation WSGI have all made things interesting.

This talk is not about teach people to use python to make websites. It's to teach people who already use python, that there are lots of different tools out there, and to help us all get some perspective on what Mark calls the "python web toolkit." This talk won't be about throwing Twisted into a cage match with Zope3, or setting Flask up in a fight to the death against web.py. Instead, it attempt to survey the full landscape of the python web world and to see how far we've come in the last 5 years.

HTTP in Python: which library for what task?/ by Augie Fackler. HTTP is the lingua franca of the web, and many things done in Python depend on it - but unfortunately the implementations of HTTP in Python can be a mixed bag of available technology. What's implemented mostly works well, but there are some frustrating gaps in different libraries that are poorly documented. This talk goes through the nuts and bolts (and warts) of every HTTP library Augie could find for Python. Finally, Augie decided to write his own. This talk will cover what's available today and why it made sense to start from scratch with a completely new implementation.

Scaling Python past 100 by Mark Ramm. This talk takes a dive into one of the most-trafficked sites on the web, the venerable Sourceforge.net. Sourceforge is in the midst of a complete exorcism of the old codebase - but the path from legacy PHP to modern python tools has been long and bumpy. This is the inside story of how Sourceforge took Python from a single prototype site, to the core technology driving SourceForge.net. Mark will discuss the mistakes they made along the way, the benefits that sold python, and the real secret behind Sourceforge's python transformation.

The Pyramid FAQ by Carlos de la Guardia. Every development project has a few questions and doubts that seem to come up on its support channels every now and then. The Pyramid framework is no exception. For Pyramid, the #pylons IRC channel is the most common way of giving support to users of the Pyramid framework. This talk will take some of the most often discussed topics in the channel and give detailed answers to them.

Is this the conference you want to see? Then, register for PyCon and book your room now! We have picked up a few more rooms - including a few at a lower rate a block away. You can email (pycon4-reg@cteusa.com), or phone (847-759-4277). We have very few spots left.

See Part 1 of this series, or go to this post on the PyCon site.

Edit: See the discussion link on Hacker News.

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