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 2019 Registration is Open!

It is that time of year! Registration for PyCon 2019 has launched and once again we are selling the first 800 tickets at a discounted rate.
How to register Once you have created an account on us.pycon.org, you can register via the registration tab on the conference website.
Registration costs The early bird pricing is $550 for corporate, $350 for individuals, and $100 for students. Once we sell the first 800 tickets, regular prices will go into effect. Regular pricing will be $700 for corporate, $400 for individuals, and $125 for students.
PyCon will take place May 1-9, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The core of the conference May 3-5, 2019 packs in three days worth of our community’s 95 best talks, amazing keynote speakers, and our famed lightning talks to close out each day, but it is 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…

PyCon 2019 proposal submission deadline is fast approaching!

The busy holiday season is upon us and before you know it the new year will be here. January 3rd AoE is the deadline to submit proposals. We've added a draft feature to proposals so you can begin your proposal submission now and come back to make final edits before the January 3rd deadline.
Begin by creating an account on us.pycon.org/2019/dashboard.  Details on submitting a proposal can be found here. January 3, 2019: Deadline to submit a PyCon Talk proposal,Poster proposal,Education Summit proposal, andLas PyCon Charlas proposalFebruary 12, 2019: Deadline to submit applications for Financial aidMarch 3, 2019: Financial Assistance grants awardedMarch 30, 2019: Deadline to respond to offer of Financial AssistanceOur Early Bird tickets are going quickly. If you are hoping to purchase your Student, Individual, or Corporate ticket at our discounted rate, then your time is now — register as soon as you can!
We look forward to seeing you in Cleveland in May 2019!
   [Image…

PyCon 2019 Reminders

As November approaches, many of us are starting to plan for the holidays, vacations, and/or how to bring in the New Year.  Before we get seasonally busy, we wanted to take the time to remind Pythonistas of a few PyCon deadlines and upcoming launches!

Launches Registration for the 2019 conference will launch in early November! The first 800 registrations are sold at an early bird rate: Corporate tickets will start at $550 USDHobbyist tickets will start at $350 USDStudent tickets will start at $100 USD
Deadlines
November 25, 2018 is the deadline to submit a PyCon Tutorial proposalJanuary 3, 2019 is the deadline to submit a PyCon Talk proposal, Poster proposal, Education Summit proposal, and Las PyCon Charlas proposalFinancial aid is now accepting applications. February 12, 2019 is the deadline to submit an applicationThe Hatchery Program is accepting proposals until end of day January 3, 2019We’re looking for all types of Tutorial, Talk, Poster, and Education Summit topics to help our commu…