Saturday, March 28, 2009

PyCon Day2

Class Decorators: Radically Simple

I gave my talk today, slides are available on the PyCon website (the ppt version might be crap - I exported from OpenOffice). I added two pages of speaker's notes at the top that answer some questions (and whargarbls) and some eratta.

The final talk only shares a few slides with the PyConUK version and maybe none with the original EuroPython version. I went to bed at midnight like a good boy but tossed and turned thinking of the talk until 2am. At that point I gave up and rewrote a big chunk of the talk (which had already been rewritten since Boston two weeks ago). I finished around 5am and then sacked out for 3 hours. Somehow it managed to come in at the perfect length of 25 minutes (+5 for Q/A).

Now that I have this talk licked, I'll be retiring it. I have about 8 months to come up with an idea for next year.


[updated as I go to them]
Manfred Schwendinger: "Google App Engine: How to survive in Google's Ecosystem"
This was a detailed description of how his particular application uses cloud services (they use both Amazon EC2 and Google AppEngine). It was interesting but very detail oriented (we do this like this, and that like that). I'll be downloading the slides for future reference.

Bob Ippolito: "Drop ACID and think about data"
Bob's talk was about using non-ACID (basically non-SQL) storage. A good overview of why you, the web developer, probably don't care about the things ACID databases do well and don't care about the things alternate data stores (key-value, column-based, "persistent eventually") do badly. It's a good trip through all the available alternatives. A intro pitch about each class of stores and then a quick overview of the major implementations. This talk was packed.

Ned Betchelder: "Whirlwind Excursion thrhough Writing a C Extension"
A good primer for writing modules and types in C. It's a massive subject and Ned did a good job of showing one of everything. I wasn't at the Boston meetup where he previewed his talk so I was glad to make this one.

Alex Martelli: "Abstractions as Leverage"
A typical Martelli talk, which is to say very good. His sonorous voice would tame rabid badgers. To say he's erudite doesn't begin to cover it - in 20 slides he used quotes from blogs, the American Journal of Psychriatry ("I recommend everyone subscribes"), and of course lots of dead people including a Chinese sword fighting manual (what, no Clausewitz?). Here are some of the bullets (full slides
* to use an abstraction well you need to understand at least two layers below it
* (Splosky's Law) "All Abstractions leak", which is to say all abstractions lie.
* ex/ NFS isn't a cloal file system. It can be useful to treat it like one but if you don't know how it works you are going to get burned sooner or later.
* You can be a good python programmer without understanding how it is implemented but you can never be a great one.
* You can't write a good abstraction unless you know they layers above too -- how it will actually be used.

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