Skip to main content

PyCon 2011: Interview with Dave Beazley

It’s not the first time Dave Beazley made the drive from Chicago to PyCon, but it’s the first time he buckled up a piece of history to join him on the trip. After giving two tutorials on Python 3, Dave brings out his 1979 OSI Superboard II for an old school meets new school mashup which is sure to raise a few eyebrows and bring back memories for some.

“The Superboard II was the first computer on which I learned to program back in the late 70s,” said Dave when asked how he came about the machine. It sat in his parents’ basement until Eric Floehr mentioned it at a recent SciPy conference. From there he called his brother who brought it out to Chicago, and “much to our amazement, it still worked.”

After figuring out the cassette audio interface, his concurrency and distributed computing interests had to find a way in. He decided to use ZeroMQ and Redis. Just for good measure, he went with Python 3 for the project. Because of that, he did have to spend a few hours porting Py65.

The port to Python 3 might have been easier for him due to his experience with the changes in the I/O system -- the topic of his Mastering Python 3 I/O tutorial. While the first revision of his port only took 15-20 minutes, he says “I don't want to give anyone the impression that they can just take some arbitrary library, run it through 2to3, and have it working over their coffee break. You really have to understand Python 3's I/O model and know what you're doing.” Attending his tutorial would certainly help you in that area.

Dave’s tutorial double duty also involves a joint presentation with Brian Jones titled Cooking With Python 3. They plan to cover the new features, the differences, and their experiences in porting. The pair are also teaming up to write the third edition of the Python Cookbook, which is going to be all about Python3, expected to hit the shelves in late 2011.

Since all of his tutorials and talks are Python 3 based, I wanted to ask him some general questions about where Python 3 is. “I think that the adoption of Python 3.x is proceeding just fine,” he says. He mentions the porting of NumPy as work “that will pave the way for others to start playing with [Python 3] and porting other packages.” On the whole, after mentioning that wide scale adoption was estimated to be around five years, he says it’s still too early to make a judgement on it.

However, he says “I do think that Python 3 presents developers with many possibilities to create new libraries and packages.” Additionally, “if you're going to port old code, it's a good opportunity to clean it up (since Python 3 breaks everything anyways, you can use it as excuse to get rid of all of those deprecated features that you're keeping around for backwards compatibility).”

He’s no stranger to Python conferences, getting his start in 1996 and attending most of the US conferences since then, plus PyCon UK in 2008. One of his trips was even last minute, deciding just days before that it’d be a fun time to attend one of the PyCons in Washington, D.C. Asked about his favorite part, he says “For me, the best part of the conference is the people. [...] It's a smart group and I always go home with ton of new ideas.”

We’re looking forward to all of the diabolical things he has planned and hope you are too. If you haven’t bought tickets, hurry up. A last minute trip probably will not work out for you like it did for Dave.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PyCon 2018 Registration is Now Open!

We’re thrilled to announce the opening of registration for PyCon 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio! The prior six PyCons have sold out, so prepare for another one and get your tickets early. The first 800 tickets sold are priced at an early bird discount, saving over 20% on corporate tickets and over 12% on individual tickets. Students save $25 if they purchase early!

To get started, create an account and head to https://us.pycon.org/2018/registration/ to get your tickets!

You get a package that is hard to beat when you register for PyCon. The conference itself is three days worth of our community’s 95 best talks, amazing keynote speakers each morning, and our famed lightning talks to close out each day, but it’s much more than that. It’s having over 3,000 people in one place to learn from and share with. It’s joining a conversation in the hallway with the creators of open source projects. It’s taking yourself from beginner to intermediate, or intermediate to advanced. For some, it’s getting st…

PyCon Opens Financial Aid Applications

Even though PyCon prides itself on being an affordable conference, registration is one of several expenses an attendee must incur, and it’s likely the smallest one. Flying, whether halfway around the world or from a few hundred miles away, is more expensive. Staying in a hotel for a few days is also more expensive. All together, the cost of attending a conference can become prohibitively expensive. That’s where our Financial Aid program comes in. We’re opening applications for Financial Aid today, and we’ll be accepting them through February 15, 2018.
Once you have an account on the site, you can apply here or through your dashboard.
We offer need-based grants to enable people from across our community to attend PyCon. The criteria for evaluating requests takes into account several things, such as whether the applicant is a student, unemployed, or underemployed; their geographic location; and their involvement in both the conference and the greater Python community. Those presenting at …

Introducing the PyCon Hatchery Program

PyCon is known around the world as the Python community’s premier event, attracting people from 39 countries. Outside of the main track of talks, PyCon is home to a growing number of additional events such as Young Coders, the Education Summit, Language Summit, Poster Session, among others. The conference strives to be globally representative by promoting diversity and inclusion through these additional events and outreach programs.
Our community works to meet these goals year on year. In the past, we have received requests to add events to PyCon but have not had the resources to make them work. Although we are still limited on staff resources, we are proposing a stepping point that may lead us in the right direction. What is the end goal?We want to support our community and enable them to add events to PyCon that are important to our community. The long-term goals of this program are to support and grow sustainable events that will become a recurring part of PyCon itself or find a home…