Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A request for trackers from the Infrastructure Committee

Currently Python's bug/patch tracker is hosted on SourceForge. While it has served its purpose over the years, the decision has been made that it is time to move on to another tracker. The Python Software Foundation's Infrastructure Committee has been charged with selecting a new tracker to use for Python's development. To do this, the committee is asking for volunteers in setting up test trackers. Candidate trackers are to load data from a dump of the current bug data from SourceForge. In this way, the committee can properly evaluate the plethora of trackers that are available. If you think you can help by installing and maintaining a test tracker for the duration of the evaluation period, please see the detailed request on the Python wiki. Thanks to anyone who is able to help out.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Results from the Need For Speed sprint

The Need For Speed sprint in Reykjavik, Iceland, is winding down today, and Steve Holden has posted a summary of the results. The gains are impressive:
  • Several string methods such as .find() and .replace() are now much faster; some methods are up to 4 times or even 25 times faster! (Work by Andrew Dalke and Fredrik Lundh.)
  • Exception handling is now 30% faster than in Python 2.4. (Work by Georg Brandl, Richard Jones, and Sean Reifschneider.)
  • The struct module now precompiles format strings and is about 20% faster. (Work by Martin Blais, Bob Ippolito.)
  • The interpreter can be built using Microsoft Visual Studio 8's profile-driven optimizations. (Work by Kristjan Jonsson, Richard Tew.)
  • Georg Brandl and Jack Diederich began a rewrite of the decimal module into C, laying the foundations for a Summer of Code student to complete the work.

And there's even more! A complete list of the improvements made at the sprint are recorded in the Successes wiki page.

Thanks to the participants, to CCP Games for their support, and to the sprint's sponsor, EWT LLC.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Summer of Code projects selected

A slate of Python-related projects has now been selected for Google's Summer of Code initiative.

The Python Software Foundation (PSF) was allocated 25 projects, tying with the Apache Software Foundation for the largest number of funded proposals. The PSF's list of the accepted projects is now public.

The accepted projects include 5 enhancements to the CPython interpreter or standard library, 3 PyPy projects, 3 SciPy projects, and 2 projects relating to the Soya3D library for 3-dimensional graphics. There are also individual projects to enhance PyGame, SQLAlchemy, Python support in Eclipse, and Mailman; to port the Cells extension for object-oriented programming from Common Lisp to Python; to add automated code analysis to the Python Package Index; and to write a Python API for Mozilla browser plug-ins.

The PSF would like to thank everyone who helped assess and rank proposals, and all the volunteer mentors who offered to assist students with their projects.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Eighteen Pythonistas Sprint for Speed

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 17 May 2005: Two Python Software Foundation directors (Steve Holden, Tim Peters) and a former director (Fredrik Lundh) are among a group of eighteen Python developers traveling to Iceland this weekend to start a six-day meeting dubbed the "Need for Speed" sprint. Participants are coordinating through the NeedForSpeed wiki page in the Python wiki.

The sprint is sponsored by EWT, LLC of Beverly Hills, CA, with local support from Icelandic gaming company CCP. The technical goals are improvements to Python's performance, but this event is also an experiment in collaboration between the open source and the commercial worlds.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

PyCon 2007 date announced

The planning committee has set the date for the next PyCon conference: PyCon 2007 will be February 23 to 25 2007, in Addison, Texas.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Submission for Summer of Code proposals is now open

Students can now submit their Python-related proposals for Google's 2006 Summer of Code. Please see the Summer of Code wiki page for ideas and application instructions.

We're also still accepting volunteers to mentor students. The wiki page also has instructions for mentors.

Foundation Supports PyWeek with Hosting

May 1, 2006. PyWeek is a game programming challenge in which participants must write a game in one week using Python. The second PyWeek challenge placed heavy stress on a donated server infrastructure, highlighting the need for more professional hosting facilties.

To ensure that PyWeek can continue to meet this growing demand the Python Software Foundation today announced that it will support PyWeek by funding the hosting facilities that are required to keep the increasingly popular event as responsive as possible to participants.

Richard Jones, PyWeek's organizer, said "PyWeek challenges entrants to develop a complete game in Python in a week. Inspired by similar programming challenges and National Novel Writing Month, the event capitalises on the extraordinary work people can produce under the combined influence of a very short deadline and a community of like-minded people. This year there were approximately 100 entries, of which about 35 were completed. The next PyWeek will be in about 6 months.

"Response to the challenge was a little overwhelming for the volunteer hosting but new hosting has been found with the PSF's help and PyWeek lives on!".

For further information please see the PyWeek and Python Software Foundation web sites.