Monday, October 17, 2011

2011 Frank Willison Memorial Award

The 2011 Frank Willison Memorial Award for Services to the Python Community has been awarded to Georg Brandl.

Georg has been a core contributor to CPython since 2005, contributing bug fixes for compiler internals and modules such as pdb. His most widely known contributions are to Python's documentation, through writing as well as by creating and maintaining the Sphinx tool chain for converting reStructuredText input files to more easily consumed formats such as HTML and PDF.

The video announcing Georg's award at OSCON 2011 is available on YouTube.

Making Documentation Easier

Earlier versions of Python used LaTeX and a Perl-based tool-chain to convert documentation into HTML and PDF. The reliance on Perl, and the relative difficulty of contributing to LaTeX-formatted source files, came up from time to time, but Georg was the one to finally take on the problem of building the necessary tools to manage the content in another format, and then converting all of the existing files.

Georg studied the docutils project and decided that it met most of the requirements, but needed a few custom markup features and a tool to convert individual input files to a unified output document. He wrote a tool called "doctools" for Python's documentation, which was eventually re-christened to Sphinx "because of the build tool for, which was called Pyramid -- and unhappily without regard to the two existing projects called Sphinx."

Over time, the user base for Sphinx grew beyond CPython's documentation team, and Georg continues to work with other contributors to make it more generally useful for other projects. For example, some of the Python-centric features have been reorganized with the recent addition of the "domains" system, allowing Sphinx to be used for projects written in C, Java, and other languages just as easily as Python.

When I asked him about Sphinx, Georg said,

Today I'm very happy and very proud of what the community has done for documentation, also thanks to Sphinx: while Python itself always had excellent docs, now extensive and usable docs are basically a trademark of the whole Python community (just look at ReadTheDocs or

About Georg

Georg is a PhD student of Physics. He works at the Munich research reactor slash neutron source on magnetism, researching novel materials for the computing of tomorrow. He uses Python to control experiments consisting of dozens of individual devices, and for teaching other scientists how to do so efficiently. When he is not working on Python-related projects, Georg likes to cycle and to cook.

About the Award

Since 2002, O'Reilly Media has presented the Frank Willison Award for Contributions to the Python Community to someone who has done outstanding work for the Python community. The award was established in memory of Frank Willison, a Python enthusiast and O'Reilly editor-in-chief, who died in July 2001. Previous recipients include Christian Tismer (2010), Martin von Löwis (2008), and Steve Holden (2007).

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

PSF Granted PyTexas 2011 US$750

The Python Software Foundation gave the recent PyTexas conference US$750 in funds.

About the Conference

PyTexas 2011 was the fourth annual free Python programming conference in Texas. It took place Saturday, September 10 - Sunday, September 2011 at the Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. They have a blog that has some photos from the conference on it. All of the talks at PyTexas were recorded and are starting to appear on NextDayVideo and Miro. If you would like to help plan next year's conference, you can join the PyTexas mailing list.

They estimate about 170 people attended PyTexas 2011, up from 94 at PyTexas 2010, and 22 at PyTexas 2009.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

PyCon 2012 Proposals Due 12 Oct.

PyCon 2012, the tenth annual Python conference, is accepting proposals for talks, tutorials, and posters through 12 Oct 2011. Please submit proposals at the PyCon speaker page, and then encourage someone else to prepare one, too.

Call for Proposals

Last year set records for attendance and talk submissions, and the conference organizers are looking forward to an even bigger and better conference this year. Anyone, whether hobbyist or professional programmer, can propose a talk, tutorial, or poster. The call for proposals includes recommendations for creating a good submission.

About PyCon 2012

PyCon 2012 will be held in Santa Clara, California, from March 7 - 15. The conference itself runs March 9 - 11 with two days of tutorials preceding the conference, and four days of sprints following.

Arc Riley Receives PSF Community Service Award

The Python Software Foundation has presented a Community Service Award for the third quarter of 2011 to Arc Riley for dedicated long-term support through organizing the PSF's Google Summer of Code activities, and by managing DNS for PSF servers.

Please join us in recognizing Arc's hard work and dedication.

Nick Coghlan Receives PSF Community Service Award

The Python Software Foundation has presented a Community Service Award for the third quarter of 2011 to Nick Coghlan for outstanding core development work and technical leadership, particularly through the Python Mentors project.

Please join us in showing Nick that his contributions to the community are appreciated.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Tarek Ziadé Receives PSF Community Service Award

The Python Software Foundation has presented a Community Service Award for the second quarter of 2011 to Tarek Ziadé for his hard work leading the effort to revamp Python's packaging tools.

The Python Software Foundation is pleased to recognize Tarek's contributions to the community.

Laura Creighton Receives PSF Community Service Award

The Python Software Foundation has presented a Community Service Award for the second quarter of 2011 to Laura Creighton in recognition of her continuous efforts in making community events happen, and especially for her work with the PyPy team.

Please join us in thanking Laura for her contributions to the community.