This morning at OSCON, O'Reilly Media gave Brett Cannon the Frank Willison Memorial Award. The award recognizes Cannon's contributions to CPython as a core developer and project manager for over a decade.
Beginning in 2002, the Frank Willison Memorial Award for Contributions to the Python Community is given annually to an outstanding contributor to 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. Tim O'Reilly wrote In Memory of Frank Willison, which includes a collection of quotes from Frank's insightful and witty writing. O'Reilly Media maintains an online archive of Frank Willison's column, "Frankly Speaking".
O'Reilly Media presents the Frank Willison Memorial Award annually at OSCON, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention. The recipient is chosen in consultation with Guido van Rossum and delegates of the Python Software Foundation.
Contributions can encompass so much more than code. A successful software community requires time, dedication, communication, and education as well as elegant code. With the Frank Willison Memorial Award, we hoped to acknowledge all of those things.
— Tim O'Reilly
In the open source community, project management is an often underrated skill: given a problem to be solved, and a proposed solution for solving it, define the concrete steps necessary to get a group of volunteers from the point of saying "We should do something about this" to "We have solved that problem".
Brett Cannon has repeatedly volunteered to handle project management responsibilities that have significantly improved the CPython core development infrastructure, from migration to a dedicated bugs.python.org infrastructure, to the initial switch to a distributed version control system, to the current adoption of a more automated development workflow.
Since he began as a core developer in 2003, Brett has dedicated significant time to ensuring that the design, implementation, and development of essential parts of the CPython reference interpreter are accessible to new contributors. He wrote the first versions of the Python Developer's Guide and the design documentation for the CPython compiler. He converted the bulk of the import system's implementation from C to Python, created the "devinabox" project to make it easier for new contributors to get started at development sprints, wrote the "Python-dev Summaries" articles from 2002 to 2005, and moderated the python-ideas mailing list since it began in December 2006.
Brett has served on the PSF Board of Directors from 2006-2010, and again from 2013-2014, and was PSF Vice President in 2006-2007, and Executive Vice President from 2007-2010. He is also a gracious ambassador for the Python development community. His thoughtful manner, genuine kindness, and sense of humor have inspired many at PyCons over the years. Whether helping a new contributor understand a code snippet at a sprint or encouraging a new speaker with his confidence in them, Brett shares his positive character with us.