Skip to main content

PyCon 2011: Interview with Armin Ronacher - “Opening the Flask”

By Brian Curtin

It’s not often that “April Fools” jokes go past the joke stage, especially in the Python community. PEP-3117 didn’t make it, and Uncle Barry’s PEP-401 takeover hasn’t yet occurred. However, we’re still seeing the work of an April 1, 2010 joke in the form of Flask, Armin Ronacher’s micro-framework.

For a fake project, it certainly got a lot of attention. Within days after announcing the joke Denied micro-framework, 10,000 people downloaded the fake screencast, 50,000 people viewed the website, and the project had 50 followers and 6 forks on github. “The great thing about being part of a vibrant open source community like the Python one is that you learn a lot more about people and yourself than you do about the project itself,” said Ronacher. The joke was an exercise in project judgment, and people seemed to like the idea and bought into it right away, many without noticing the quality of the code or lack of documentation, but the flashiness of a screencast.

His talk “Opening the Flask” hopes to give an inside look and draw some conclusions from the year of work to make the real project what it is today. When asked what turned the joke into reality, he says, “My original frustration that lead to the April Fool's joke framework was the fact that some frameworks chose to re-implement WSGI […] just to be able to claim ‘no dependencies’.” From there, he decided it was worth a shot at creating a real framework based on his Werkzeug and Jinja2 projects. After all, people seemed to like the joke micro-framework idea, and a year later, people love it, so he’s doing something right.

Extensions are one of the key topics of the talk, and Armin recently announced the 30th extension had been created by the community. Asked about his favorite extension, he says “I love relational databases and I adore the design and implementation of SQLAlchemy so I would say Flask-SQLAlchemy is the one I use the most.” Another of his favorites is Flask-Script, which is similar to django-management in the Flask world.

Armin is one of the younger Python hackers out there today, getting his start into development around 2002 by writing games at school using QBasic. After finding a Delphi book and ignoring most of the contents, he and a friend “wrote a horribly developed game called ‘be a bee’.” They ended up taking that game to the under-19 ARS Electronica festival in 2003 and won second prize.

He found Python by way of Gregor Lingl’s “Python fuer Kids”, then shortly joined the German Python Forum. After getting acquainted with Ubuntu, he spent time working with the ubuntuusers.de forum, which ended in the creation of the Pocoo project. “Having something to work for and a Python core developer on board (Georg Brandl joined the project very early) is a great way to learn the language.”

While this will be Armin’s first US Pycon, he’s been to EuroPython and a number of Django conferences, and he’s no stranger to speaking there. To him, one of the best parts of the conference is “talking to other developers in the hallways and sharing experiences.”

We’re looking forward to his talk in Atlanta - it should be a great time, and Flask is another great addition to the Python web ecosystem. Over the next few weeks, we will be posting more interviews with upcoming speakers, authors and others involved in Pycon 2011, so stay tuned - and get registered!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PyCon 2018 Call for Proposals is Open!

It’s here! PyCon 2018’s Call for Proposals has officially opened for talks, tutorials, posters, and education summit presentations. PyCon is made by you, so we need you to share what you’re working on, how you’re working on it, what you’ve learned, what you’re learning, and so much more.

Before we dive in, the deadlines:
Tutorial proposals are due November 24, 2017.Talk, Poster, and Education Summit proposals are due January 3, 2018.Who should write a proposal? Everyone!

If you’re reading this post, you should write a proposal. PyCon is about uniting and building the Python community, and we won’t advance as an open community if we’re not open with each other about what we’ve learned throughout our time in it. It isn’t about being the smartest one in the room, so we don’t just pick all of the expert talks. It’s about helping everyone move together. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” if you will.

We need beginner, intermediate, and advanced proposals on all sorts of topics. We also need b…

PyCon 2018 Launches New Site, Sponsorship Search

After two great years in Portland, PyCon is shipping off to Cleveland for the 2018 and 2019 renditions of the Python community's largest gathering. PyCon 2018 will take place May 9 through 17 with two days of tutorials, three days of talks, and four days of development sprints.

For more information, check out our newly refreshed website at https://us.pycon.org/2018/ and follow us here on the blog and at @pycon on Twitter.

New Website

The new site features a design centered on the historic landmark Terminal Tower, a 52 story skyscraper that overlooks downtown Cleveland. When it opened in 1930, the tower was the fourth tallest building in the world and the tallest building outside of New York City. Though its height no longer tops the charts, the tower and surrounding Tower City area remain highly important to the city. What once was a beacon to guide ship captains to Cleveland's port and airplane pilots to its airport, the tower now includes 508 LEDs that light up for the holida…

How to get ready for the PyCon development sprints

[A guest post by Kushal Das, one of the 2016 Sprint Coordinators]So — you have already decided to join in the PyCon development sprints! The sprints run for four days, from Thursday to Sunday after the conference. You do not have to be registered for the conference to attend the sprints! Some teams plan to write code over all four days, while some projects plan a shorter sprint if the organizers cannot stay for all four days.Can you start getting prepared for the sprint ahead of time? Yes!There are several things you can do ahead of time, that can save effort once you arrive at the sprints — and some preparations can even be made at home, before you arrive at PyCon:Have your operating system updated and patched — whether Mac, Windows, or Linux. This eliminates one possible source of problems with getting software up and running.Go ahead and install the version control system that will be used by the projects you are interested in. If you install both git and Mercurial on your computer…