Thursday, April 29, 2010

PSF Board of Directors for 2010-2011

The members of the Python Software Foundation (PSF) have elected a new Board of Directors, consisting of 13 members:

  • Raymond Hettinger
  • Steve Holden
  • Marc-Andre Lemburg
  • David Mertz
  • Doug Napoleone
  • Jesse Noller
  • Tim Peters
  • Allison Randal
  • Jeff Rush
  • Greg Stein
  • James Tauber
  • Martin v. Löwis
  • Gloria Willadsen

The 2010 Board of Directors

Raymond Hettinger has been a contributor to the Python core for 10 years, and has worked on many of the standard library modules, including itertools, sets, and collections. He regularly speaks at Python and Open Source conferences around the world. He is currently working on an update to the Python Cookbook, as well as the Python Swallowed Whole book project. In 2009, he lead an ongoing effort to ensure that we have signed contributor agreements from all contributors to Python core or the standard library. Raymond is Director of Technology at SauceLabs and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Steve Holden joined the PSF in 2003, its Board of Directors in 2004, and became Chairman in 2008. He founded and chaired the first Python community conference, establishing PyCon as the premier event for Pythonistas in North America. He again chaired PyCon in 2004 and 2005. He received the Frank Willison Memorial Award in 2007 for his services to the Python community. He is the author of Python Web Programming and for two years wrote the monthly "Random Hits" column in Python Magazine. Steve runs Holden Web LLC, a consulting and training company with a strong Python focus.

Marc-André Lemburg been working with Python since 1993 and on Python since 1997 as core developer. His major contributions include the design for Unicode integration, the codecs subsystem, pybench, and the platform module. From 2002-2004 Marc-André served on the PSF board and was PSF vice president in 2003-2004. He started the Public Support Committee (PSC) as a way of looking for income sources for the PSF. He also initiated the work of having signed Python contributor agreements for all contributors. Marc-André's company provides Python project support and produces several Python extension libraries for working with dates, text processing, and ODBC connectivity.

David Mertz is currently Chair of the PSF's Trademarks Committee, and served as Vice Chair last year. He proposed the adoption of a 2009 diversity statement by the Board. He is a developer and author, most notably of Text Processing in Python and the IBM developerWorks' column Charming Python. He is also co-authoring the updated 3rd Edition of The Python Cookbook. As CTO and board member of the Open Voting Consortium, David advocated for the use of Python to create an Open Source voting platform. For the last couple years, David has been consulting for D.E.Shaw Research, builders of *Anton*, the world's fastest supercomputer for doing computational biochemistry.

Doug Napoleone has developed with Python for the past 10 years and has been active in the community for 7 years. He is the lead developer of the PyCon-tech project, the application for managing most aspects of the PyCon US conference. He is also active on several organizing committees for PyCon US. Doug has worked with and helped organize three local Python user groups.

Jesse Noller is a prominent Python-dev team member, especially noted for his contributions to the multiprocessing module. He has been working with Python for over five years, on a variety of projects including distributed systems and automation frameworks. He writes on his blog and has contributed to Python Magazine as both author and editor. He also chaired the PyCon 2010 Program Committee. Jesse is a Senior Engineer at Nasuni Corporation.

Tim Peters has served on the Board since its inception. He corresponded extensively with Guido about Python's design before its first public release in the early 1990s, and contributed to many areas of the language implementation over the years, especially to optimization of time-critical paths. Other contributions include the first POSIX thread implementation, the first Python port to a 64-bit machine, the Emacs Python mode, The Zen of Python, SpamBayes, doctest, and Python's sorting algorithms.

Allison Randal is architect of the Parrot VM, as well as the lead developer of Pynie (an implementation of Python 3 on Parrot). In addition to sitting on the PSF board, Allison chairs the board of the Parrot Foundation, and is on the board of the Perl Foundation. In 2005, together with Dave Neary of GNOME, she founded FLOSS Foundations to bring together leaders of open source foundations to share resources and knowledge. Allison is currently studying at the University of Bristol in the UK.

Jeff Rush first became involved with Python in 1997 by porting it to OS/2. He started the Dallas Ft. Worth Pythoneers user group in 2005 and co-chaird PyCon in Dallas in 2006 and 2007. Jeff worked for the PSF as Python Advocacy Coordinator in 2006-2007. He frequently gives talks at Python and other Open Source conferences and user group meetings.

Greg Stein is one of the original members who incorporated the PSF, and is a prior Director. In addition to his many contributions to Python, he blogs, works on several Apache projects, the WebDAV specification, and Subversion. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation's board of directors, and was its chair from 2002-2007.

James Tauber has been working with Python for 12 years and open source for 17 years. He is lead developer of Pinax as well as a Django core developer. He was a mentor for the PSF's participants in the Google Summer of Code program from 2005-2007, and an administrator for the project from 2007-2008. He is a frequent conference speaker and currently sits on the PSF Trademarks Committee. James is CEO of Eldarion, a web startup that uses Django and Pinax and helps others do the same.

Martin v. Löwis is a Python core developer. Over the last year, he has been focusing on infrastructure issues such as hardware upgrades, PyPI, the bug tracker, and acting as a liason to the PSF's hosting provider XS4ALL.

Gloria Willadsen has been working with Python for over ten years. She has written online and in articles for The Python Papers and Python Magazine. She also had a regular column called "I Love Python" for DevChix. Gloria teaches tutorials at conferences around the world and has started two apprenticeship groups to teach Python tools and techniques to developers.

The Python Software Foundation

The mission of the PSF:

The mission of the Python Software Foundation is to promote, protect, and advance the Python programming language, and to support and facilitate the growth of a diverse and international community of Python programmers.

About the Board

PSF Directors are elected annually and are responsible for managing the business of the foundation, as outlined in the bylaws. They fulfill two responsibilities:

  1. Completing or overseeing administrative tasks related to the legal standing of the Foundation. These include responding to trademark or licensing queries and monitoring the Foundation's financial health.
  2. Completing "special projects" such as fund raising, administering grants, and supporting day-to-day operations of the Python community.

A director's specific duties depend on the office and any sub-committee memberships held. The board meets monthly via IRC. Minutes from the meetings are available online. Most Directors are volunteers, although some Officer positions (Treasurer and Secretary) do receive a nominal salary.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PyCon 2010 Conference Grants

At their April 12 meeting, the PSF Board approved grants for two PyCon conferences.

PyCon Italia

PyCon Italia Quattro is scheduled for May 7-9 in in the old city centre of Florence. The organizers are planning three tracks of talks and anticipate more than 400 delegates. The PSF Board approved a grant of $4000US to help with conference expenses.

Kiwi PyCon

Kiwi PyCon is being organized by the New Zealand Python Users Group (NZPUG) and will be held November 20-12 in Waitangi, New Zealand. There will be a series of traditional scheduled talks, as well as BarCamp-style sessions. The PSF Board approved a grant of NZ$1,000 to defray expenses.

Updated: Organizers for other conferences who would like to apply for a grant should send details of their request to the board at

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2010 Q2 Community Service Award Nominations

The Python Software Foundation is soliciting nominations for the second quarter 2010 community awards.

The PSF Community Awards are a way for the PSF Board of Directors to recognize contributions by community members that significantly improve the Foundation's fulfillment of its mission and benefits the broader Python community.

Recognition takes the form of an award certificate plus one of the following:

  1. A cash award of $500; or
  2. Free registration at PyCon, with optionally a contribution of up to $500 towards the recipient's travel and accommodation expenses.

Awards are normally made quarterly, although the Board may choose to consider awards at other times. Membership in the Foundation is not required to receive an award.

PSF members should submit confidential nominations to the Board by sending email to

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Chairman's Report for the Year 2009

As there is desire for more communication from the board I thought I would take the time to summarize the major activities of last year.

This dated list is not complete, and reflects only the formal published board resolutions.


Started the trademarking process in various foreign markets for "Python" (currently on hold for financial reasons).


Ran PyCon 2009.
Funded a laptop purchase for the PSF administrator.


Supported PyCon Italia with a $3,500 grant.
PSF Community Service Award to Stephan Deibel.
Funded Vern Ceder's attendance to present Python paper at NECC with a grant of $500.


Supported EuroPython 2009 with a $6,000 grant.
Offered support for a grant application to the Mellon Foundation.
Supported Libre Graphics Meeting 2009 with an $800 grant to the GNOME Foundation.


Supported SciPy 2009 with a $10,000 grant to enable student attendance.
Funded ($2,000) research into support for video recording of user group meetings.
Published the Trademark Policy under a Creative Commons license.
PSF Community Service Award to Sean Reifschneider.
Funded ($800) materials for the first ever Python booth at OSCON.


Supported PyCon Poland 2009 with a $2,500 grant.


Supported PyCon Kiwi with a $750 grant.
Supported PyCon Argentina 2009 with a $750 grant.
Supported DjangoCon 2009 with a $750 grant.
Undertook to move to a professional membership administration system


Modified mission statement to reflect a desire for greater diversity.


PSF Community Service Awards to Noufail Ibrahim and Barry Warsaw.
Formally adopted the PSF Diversity Statement.
Lent formal support to the European FOSS-ORI organization.


Recommended SEO Moves for sponsor membership.
Supported PyTexas Unconference 2009 with a $150 grant.
Supported DjangoSki with a grant of $750.
Supported the Blender Foundation with of up to $1,500 Euros by matching other funding.
Appointed Wendroff Accountants to provide monthly management accounts and other accounting services including annual tax return.


Although the above apparently represents just twelve hours of board meetings, of necessity many of the actions detailed have required a lot of time in preparatory work such as discussions and negotiations. I am grateful to my fellow directors and the other officers for the work they have put in to try and develop the Foundation.

Besides this formal stuff I personally have continued outreach work to such user groups as I have been able to attend, and I would encourage other directors to do the same. At every meeting I have found a groundswell of interest in and support for the Foundation's activities that is both gratifying and humbling.

I have also undertaken preparatory investigations to allow us to undertake "fiscal sponsorship", a scheme that will effectively let user groups and other affiliated organizations make use of the Foundation's charitable status by raising funds in a way that allows donors a tax deduction without the need for formal incorporation as a 501(c)3 or similar. I hope that this will also allow the Foundation to start sponsoring sprint activities that will get developers together at crucial times to ensure that development velocity can be maintained.

We have produced the first issue of a quarterly newsletter (small quantities were available at PyCon) which will be the primary communications channel with the new associate members I hope we will shortly see swelling our ranks (and our coffers). Without the preparatory work to bring the membership management system on-line this development would not have been practical.

While the Foundation is not yet as organized as I would like to see it we have made some kind of start in a new direction. The financial problems of 2009 did not make things easy. Much remains to be done, but overall we are much better placed to move forward than we were a year ago.

Steve HoldenChairman, Python Software Foundation
(posted by Doug Napoleone)