Friday, January 23, 2015

2014 Year in Review, Part 2

Today's post wraps up our brief review of 2014, with a summary of both technical and community developments. 
On the technical side, the Python language grew with the releases of Python, and, in August, 3.4.1. Major new features of the 3.4 series, compared to 3.3 include "hundreds of small improvements and bug fixes." Additionally, Python 3.4.1 has many more advantages. "One notable change: the version of OpenSSL bundled with the Windows installer no longer has the "HeartBleed" vulnerability." See for more detailed information and to download any of these latest versions (as well as a Python 3 compatible version of PyPy).
The PSF also saw a culmination of a lot of hard work in the release of our new website, pydotorg. This site serves as a main repository of all crucial information about the Python language (downloads of all versions, tutorials, documentation, new releases, ongoing developments, ways to contribute), the PSF (what we are, what we do, bylaws, membership info, meeting minutes and resolutions), community resources (Python Wiki, the IRC, the diversity policy, mailing list, merchandise, projects, and events). Visit the website at to see how it should be your first stop for anything Python related and to learn how you can contribute to its upkeep. 
One of the PSF's favorite activities is to honor the contributions of its members. The 2014 Community Service Awards went to Pythonistas whose work, from organizing the largest annual PyCon, to teaching future Python users, to developing important modules and libraries that enhance the usefulness of Python, benefited so many of us. Congratulations to the following recipients:
Diana Clarke “for her work with the Canadian Python community, her organizing efforts for PyCon CA and PyCon US over the past several years, and her mentorship of many others in the community;”
R. David Murray “for his work as a core committer and as a long-time mentor of new contributors;”
Barbara Shaurette and Katie Cunningham "in recognition of their work to create and run their Young Coders classes, along with freely distributing their teaching materials;"
Christophe Gohke, of the University of California, Irvine; and Armin Ronacher, founding member of the Pocoo team; for their technical contributions to Python.
PyCon 2014 in April was the largest ever, and the first held outside the U.S. The beautiful and accommodating Palais de Congres in Montreal allowed for an incredibly smooth, comfortable, and well-organized week (in addition, of course, to the efforts of Diana Clarke and numerous volunteers). There were over 2,500 attendees, 128 sponsors, and 95 talks (selected from over 300 submissions) over 5 simultaneously-running tracks. In addition to the usual tutorials, lightening talks, and sprints, the conference offered first-time childcare, a service that enabled huge participation in a Young-Coders' class, as well as a hectic and productive Education Track, and a lot of youthful energy and enthusiasm. The city of Montreal itself provided for a "sixth track," Explore Montreal, allowing attendees to tour Old Montreal," visit museums, and climb "Mount Royal." If you missed last year's PyCon, it's not too late to register for PyCon 2015 to visit this fabulous city and attend an amazing conference.
Other activities performed by the PSF in 2014 included developing a new marketing brochure, choosing Portland, OR as the site for PyCon 2016 and 2017, updating the bylaws regarding memberships, quorums, and the grants procedure, adopting a privacy policy, and keeping up with trademark registrations for the term PyCon.

Addendum 1/25/15

It has come to my attention that the number of submissions for talks at PyCon 2014 was actually well over 600, rather than merely "over 300" as I stated above. My apologies, although the point I was trying to make was that the quality of talks presented, as well as their usefulness and interest to the diverse community, were of the highest order. That point is even more supported given the larger number. 

And similarly, submissions for PyCon 2015 are around 650 for the 95 slots available. What a dazzlingly productive and vital community!