Skip to main content

PyCon 2011: Interview with Tarek Ziadé - “Packaging, from Distutils to Distutils2” and “Firefox Sync”

By Brian Curtin

Coming over from France for his 4th PyCon is packaging and distribution guru, Tarek Ziadé. When he’s not spending his time on Mozilla work, he’s leading the Distutils2 project, maintains the shutil and sysconfig standard libraries, and organizes PyCon France. On top of all of that, he found time to put together two talks: an extreme talk on packaging, and one on the Firefox Sync project.

Getting right into the question most people have, I started by asking what’s up with Distutils2? “Distutils2 is almost ready to be used in projects, and a first beta release will be published before PyCon,” claims Tarek. Additionally, re-integration to the standard library is in the plans as soon as Python 3.2 final goes out. They made the necessary adjustments to PyPI and also plan to distribute a standalone package supporting versions as far back as Python 2.4.

His “Packaging, from Distutils to Distutils2” talk gets right to the heart of Distutils new features and their use cases. The long threatened death of setup.py, metadata and versioning, dependency graphing, and extensibility are in the plans. The new pysetup command, as he calls “one command to rule them all”, gets coverage as well. He plans to round the whole talk out with several examples, from porting to process improvements.

Speaking of process, Tarek and the Distutils2 developers have been using Mercurial via bitbucket to manage the project during its “outside the standard library life”. As you may know, CPython is getting close to a Mercurial switch, so I asked Tarek his experience with the tools. He says, “A DVCS really makes contribution simpler, as anyone can clone and propose changes that are easy for me to review and merge.” They follow a fairly common workflow of cloning, changing, then asking for a merge, but a change they are considering is the use of mq.

Tarek’s other talk, Firefox Sync, looks into the server side of Mozilla’s history, bookmark, and even tab synchronization across devices, all of which is written in Python. PHP used to be the tool of choice, but most of their server apps are being done in Python now. Asked about the technologies he’s employing, he responds “The stack I use is very low-level, since we're writing web services with almost no HTML pages. I've written a WSGI micro-framework mainly based on Paster and WebOb that can be used to build a new app. SQLAlchemy, python-memcached and python-ldap are used to work with data.” His talk covers this architecture, plus their use of encryption, along with the scalability and benchmarks they’ve produced.

Tarek will be at PyCon early for the Language Summit, one of his favorite parts, as its “a good opportunity to sync/meet in real life with the core people”. He’s also going to be sprinting on Distutils2, where they plan to polish the project and make sure projects are working correctly as they reach their final release. As with Armin, the hallway track is another of his highlights, but he’s also interested in the PyPy, ZeroMQ, and coroutine talks as well!

Stay tuned for an interview with speaker and book author Lennart Regebro, covering his experiences with Porting to Python 3.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PyCon 2018 Code of Conduct Transparency Report

The PyCon Code of Conduct sets standards for how our community interacts with others during the conference. For 2018 the Code of Conduct underwent an extensive overhaul, our procedures for reporting and responding to incidents were improved, and our on-site methods were improved. You can read more about the updates for 2018 here. Cumulatively these changes were meant to improve the safety, welcoming nature, and overall inclusivity of PyCon. Based on initial responses, feedback, and incidents reported this year we feel that we made progress on those goals. A Code of Conduct without appropriate reporting and response procedures is difficult to enforce transparently, and furthermore a lack of transparency in the outcomes of Code of Conduct incidents leaves the community without knowledge of how or if the organizers worked to resolve incidents. With that in mind, we have prepared the following to help the community understand what kind of incidents we received reports about and how the PyCon…

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…

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…