Thursday, December 30, 2010

High School Students Program Robots with Python

Vern Ceder's Canterbury High School students are learning to program in Python by making robots play music, find objects in the room, and perform other challenging tasks. The local paper, The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, wrote a story about the class earlier this month, and Vern blogs about how he arranged that on the Learn Python blog for the benefit of other members of the community with similar projects.

Congratulations to the students at Canterbury High, and keep up the good work!

For more information about how you can use Python in educational settings, join the edu-sig mailing list.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Summer pyGames

Their motto is "Learning should be fun", and with Python and PyGame, it sure is. The Summer pyGames project, organized by Elizabeth Barndollar of BAE Systems, Travis Axtel of SPAWAR, and Zenko Klapko of the Charleston Linux Users Group, is a six-week long competition during which high school students develop open-source educational software and games to be used and distributed to 3000 schools in South Carolina.

According to Elizabeth Barndollar, in two years the project has grown from seven students to include seven teams in SC, FL, NJ, VA and Canada. The Summer pyGames is helping to inspire students, teach them the value of open-source software, and (even better) learn Python. in the first two editions, XO laptops and netbooks were distributed to the wining teams. This year the organizers are planning to have even more great prizes.

Registration to the 2011 contest is on "Pi day", 03/14/2011. All students are challenged to participate and create games that make Math, Language and Science fun.

To learn more about the Summer pyGames project please visit their website.

UPDATE: Recently, the PSF awarded a US$ 1,000 grant to help in the organization of the upcoming edition.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

PSF supports 2010 SciPy India


The Python Software Foundation has awarded a USD $1250 grant to help fund sprints at the 2010 SciPy India Conference, being held in Hyderabad between December 13th and 18th. The conference consists of two days of talks, three days of a combination of morning tutorials and afternoon coding sprints, as well as an additional full day of sprints. The conference focuses heavily on tutorials and coding sprint, as the adoption of Python for scientific programming is not as wide-spread in India as it is in the US and Europe.

Since the Scipy India Conference targets students and faculty, it is essential that costs are kept as low as possible for attendees. To that end, most of the conference costs are covered by FOSSEE (Free and Open-source Software for Science and Engineering Education). PSF support will help in the overall organization, especially now that the conference more than doubled in size this year.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Python Jobs Board Maintainer Changing

The Python Job Board has been maintained for over 4 years primarily by one person: Martin Thomas. Recently, Martin has decided to pass the reins to Chris Withers. The PSF would like to thank Martin for his hard work and wish him well on his new endeavors. We would also like to welcome Chris to his new position an d applaud him for taking up this new responsibility.

Don't Know About the Job Board?

Some members of the community may not be aware of the Python Job Board, a free list of open positions using Python and related tools. You'll find career opportunities working with Django, Plone, SQLAlchemy, CSS, HTML, Database Administration, and much more. Although the jobs are in a variety of industries, and located all over the world, the common thread that ties them all together is Python.

For more information, see the website.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Michael Foord receives Third-Quarter PSF Community Service Awards

The Python Software Foundation has presented the Community Service Award for the third quarter of 2010 to Michael Foord in recognition of his incredible work in promoting Python everywhere he could.

Michael is active on IRC channels, mailing lists, conferences, sprints and similar events. On the development side, he has been doing incredible work on unitest and unitest2. Michael also helps maintain the Planet Python RSS feed and website, and with organizing the Europython meeting and Summit.

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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

John Pinner Receives PSF Community Service Award

The Python Software Foundation awarded the second quarter Community Service Award to John Pinner in recognition of his organizational skills and contributions as one of the primary organizers of PyCon UK and EuroPython.

The awards ceremony at EuroPython 2010 was presided over by Steve Holden, chairman of the Python Software Foundation. Video of the ceremony is available on the EuroPython channel on

The Python Software Foundation is honored to give this award to this worthy member of the Python community.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bug weekend Nov. 20-21

The development team of the Python interpreter (a.k.a python-dev) is organizing a bug weekend on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of November.

We would like to encourage anyone who feels interested in participating to give it a try. Contributing to Python is much less intimidating than it sounds. You don't need to have previous experience with modifying the Python source; in fact bug days offer a good opportunity to learn the basics by asking questions and working on relatively simple bugs (see "how to get prepared" below). And most core developers are actual human beings!

How it happens

The bug week-end will happen on the #python-dev IRC channel on the Freenode network, where several core developers routinely hang out. No physical meeting is scheduled, but anyone is encouraged to organize one and announce it on the official Python channels such as this one.

Participants (you!) join #python-dev and collaboratively go through the Python issue tracker at . From there, you can provide patches and/or review existing patches. Also, you can help us assess issues on any specific topic you have expertise in (the range of topics touched in the stdlib is quite broad and it is more than likely that the core developers' expertise is lacking in some of them).

Or, if you feel shy, you can simply watch other people work and get more conf ident about participating yourself. Development is public and lurkers are welcome.

What you can work on

Our expectation is that Python 3.2 beta 1 will have been released a couple of days before the bug week-end and, therefore, one primary goal is to polish the 3.2 branch for the following betas and the final release. There are many issues to choose from on the bug tracker; any bug fixes or documentation improvements will do. New features are discouraged: they can't be checked in before the official 3.2 release.

How to get prepared

If you are a beginner with the Python codebase, you may want to read the development guide available here (courtesy of Brian Curtin):

There's a small practical guide to bug days/week-ends on the wiki:

And the development FAQ holds answers to generic development questions:

You can also do all of the above during the bug week-end, of course. Please, don't hesitate to ask us questions on the #python-dev channel.

Monday, October 18, 2010

GSoC Comes to an End

The Python Software Foundation supported many Google Summer of Code (GSoC) Projects this year by recruiting mentors and supporting projects from around the community. As the summer comes to a close, we thought it would be a good idea to let you know how things turned out, so we contacted a few of the participants to ask them about their experience.


Carl Meyer from the pip project told us that "the primary goals for the summer were setting up a continuous integration server for pip, speeding up the tests and making them runnable without network access, and porting pip to Python 3. The first and last got done fully, the middle one mostly done. And Hugo Lopes Tavares closed a number of miscellaneous tickets along the way as well."

Carl also told us that he enjoyed being a mentor for the project. Hugo went on to join when GSoC was over and thinks that his experience with GSoC helped him get hired.


Laurent Gautier of the rpy2 project also enjoyed being a mentor. His project was to get rpy2 compatible with Python 3 on the C-level and to do some custom R graphical devices with rpy2. They were able to complete their project.


Fernando Perez was the mentor for the IPython work done by Omar Andrés Zapata Mesa and Gerardo Gutierrez. They worked on separate but related projects that dealt with a multi-process model of kernel hosting for IPython and some client software using the ZeroMQ messaging library.

You can check out the code at and


The folks at sympy went all out and posted all their GSoC information online. Their projects are well detailed, and they're very technical. Be brave and read them anyway!


Julian Habrock, the student for the PyGame project, posted his work as he did it on a blog. He worked on a new draw module for pygame and pygame2 with mentor, Marcus Von Appen. Julian thought the project was fun and he learned how to organize bigger projects and encourages other studentswho have the time and motivation to join GSoC next year.

Tell Us About Your Project

Let us know what your project did this summer! The Google Summer of Code website lists many Python-related projects, but the level of detail online is inconsistent. If you would like to let us know what your project accomplished, please send an email to mike at pythonlibrary dot org.

Learn More

For more information, see the wiki page

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Funding for PyCon PL'10

The PSF Board has offered a grant of $750 to the organizers of the PyCon Poland 2010 conference.

Conference Details

PyCon Poland 2010 will take place from October 8 to 10, which is a little earlier than the previous conference. The conference will be held at the Centre for Leisure-Training "Gwarek" in Ustron Jaszowiec in Cieszyn Silesia, the same location as last year.

The conference website mentions a planned hot grill, barbecue on Saturday 9th, and also names the possibility to burn off those calories in the gym or sauna.

Presentation topics include programming Python and Ajax, optimization and profiling, physics, math, administrative tasks, GPU programming, and more.

See the conference website web site for more details about the conference.

Monday, September 06, 2010

New member election

During July the members of the Python Software Foundation elected four new nominated members and one sponsor member to the foundation.

New Nominated Members

Nominated members are individuals or entities who have demonstrated a commitment to the Python language and community. They are nominated and elected by existing members of the foundation.

Noah Gift

Noah is the co-author of Python for Unix and Linux System Administration by O'Reilly, and also a speaker, consultant and community leader. He is a regular contributor to IBM Developerworks, RedHat Magazine, O'Reilly, MacTech and Manning.

He had spent a lot of time making the movie industry aware of Python's capabilities and attractions, especially among animation studios. Learn more about Noah on his website

Laurens Van Houtven

Laurens is one of the major voices on the #python Freenode's channel. Known by the nick of lvh, he spends countless hours helping people that want to learn more about Python or that have some doubts about code they are working on.

Follow Laurens on Twitter @lvh_

Terry Peppers

Terry is one of the co-moderators of the Testing-in-Python mailing-list and one of the organizers of the related BoF sessions at the past two PyCons. Apart from that, he has been active in the organizational work and proposal reviews on the PyCon Program Committee.

Check out Terry's blog.

Stephen Thorne

Co-maintaner of the #python channel on Freenode, Stephen has been one of the most active Python advocates in Australia. He has been involved with the local Open Source community, directed OS Developers' Conference and assisted with the Linux.Conf.Au.

He also organizes meetings of the Brisbane Python User Group, BrisPy,
held at the NetboxBlue for the locals that want to attend. Get a glimpse into Stephen's activities via his blog.

New Sponsor Member

In addition to the nominated members, a new sponsor member, Exoweb, was approved. Sponsor members are also nominated and voted by the PSF's current members, but they have to pay a yearly fee to the Foundation.

Exoweb has been pro-active in helping the PSF to ensure the domain and Facebook page are properly managed. Also, the company hosts the Chinese Python bulletin-board and is well known among the Asia-Pacific Python community. Internally, Exoweb takes advantage of Python capabilities on various systems for sys-admin scripting and uses Django and Twisted in their product pipeline. The main reasons they adopted Python are the ease of use, excellent performance, and development optimizations.

PSF Membership

The FAQ contains more information about membership in the Python Software Foundation.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Python Job Board: Anything But Boring

Some members of the community may not be aware of the Python Job Board, a free list of open positions using Python and related tools. You'll find career opportunities working with Django, Plone, SqlAlchemy, CSS, HTML, Database Administration, and much more. Although the jobs are in a variety of industries, and located all over the world, the common thread that ties them all together is Python.

Are you hiring?

Listing an open position on the job board is free. If you have a Python-related job opening, email with your information. Be sure to check out the current listings to get a feel for how you should write yours and follow the provided reStructuredText template.

Volunteer Maintainers

The job board is maintained by the web team, including Martin Thomas who took over as the primary maintainer from Peter Kropf over 4 years ago. According to Martin, new job listings come in at a rate of anywhere between one a week to ten per day!

In the near future, Martin is planning to add a Twitter feed so you can get your job listing fix in real time. We'll have more information about that when the feed is active.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Frank Willison Memorial Award Recipient Selected

The 2010 Frank Willison Memorial Award for Services to the Python Community has been awarded to Christian Tismer.

Christian's contributions to the technology behind Python have focused on performance. For example, he is the founder of the Stackless Python project, a micro-threading system with the first implementation of generators and continuations. You can learn more about Stackless from the project's history page and this IBM developerWorks interview with Christian by David Mertz.

Christian also co-founded PyPy, an implementation of Python in Python, with Armin Rigo and Holger Krekel. Christian worked on PyPy full time for a period, using EU funding. Later, he worked on the JIT compiler Psyco with Raymond Hettinger to create Psyco V2. Most recently, he has been employed by CCP Games to work on combining Stackless and Psyco and updating them to support 64-bit systems.

In 1997, as one of his earliest contributions to the Python community, Christian launched the Starship Python website. That was a time when setting up your own server online required considerable effort, and hosting services were nascent and expensive. Starship filled an important gap as a free playground and hosting site for Python programmers. Members of the Python Software Activity (the forerunner of the PSF) were given preference when requesting accounts on the Starship, which had the effect of increasing membership in the PSA from 60 to 300

The Starship site was quite popular (by 2000 it had over 250 "crew members"), and moved several times, with several other volunteers helping with the system administration. Old versions of the site are available through the Internet Archive Way Back Machine. A revived version is running on one of Christian's servers now, but because hosting services are much easier to find today, he is looking for another concept to give it a renewed purpose.

When he's not working on Python, Christian enjoys watching movies, reading, and practicing playing piano. You can follow him on twitter @ctismer.

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 Martin von Löwis (2008) and Steve Holden (2007).

More details about the award, including a complete list of past recipients, are available on the Python web site at

Updated: The award is for 2010, not 2009.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Python Language Summit EuroPython 2010

This summary was written by Tim Golden.

Before the main events of EuroPython 2010 a Python Language Summit took place at the Conference venue in Birmingham. Present were (in the order they sat around the table):

  • Brett Cannon
  • Guido van Rossum
  • Holger Krekel
  • Amaury Forgeot D'Arc
  • Georg Brandl
  • Péter Szabó
  • Ezio Melotti
  • Michael Foord
  • Mark Dickinson
  • Martin von Loewis
  • Ronald Oussoren
  • Tim Golden
  • Marc-André Lemburg
  • Richard Jones

Implementation Status Reports

Michael initiated a round-up of current and prospective Python versions for various implementations. CPython and IronPython have both just released v2.7 with IronPython offering some Python 3 compatibility via a command-line switch. The recent/current migration of Numpy and SciPy to Python 3 should give a boost to uptake.

Amaury confirmed that PyPy currently supports 2.5.2 but is looking to target 2.7. The PyPy guys also announced a C API bridging layer which should enable a range of Python extension modules to work directly with PyPy. This is only a stepping stone by way of broadening support.

Brett suggested that the Unladen Swallow merge to trunk was waiting for some work to complete on the JIT compiler and Georg, as release manager for 3.2, confirmed that Unladen Swallow would not be merged before 3.3.

email Module

The email module needs some work in Python 3. David Murray has been given some money by the PSF but needs more from other sources to complete the work. This is hampered by the legalities around commercial organisations making donations to not-for-profits when those donations are earmarked. Various suggestions were put forward with no-one sure of the legal issues. Guido suggested that we should move forward rather than stall for want of legal advice.

WSGI Update

A broad discussion arose concerning the issues debated on web-sig concerning the WSGI protocol and the bytes vs string issues. Marc-André brought up the cgi module which has similar issues under Python 3 and other examples were given, including ftplib, urllib, and some os functions.

Various solutions were put forward including a hybrid bytes-with-encoding object. This proposal was widely unpopular, but two proposals met with broad approval: that certain stdlib functions might be polymorphic, returning the type of their input as output; and that the encoding string should include its error-handling. An example of the first would be that os.getenv("HOME") would return "/home/tjg" while os.getenv(b"HOME") would return b"/home/tjg". An example of the latter would be "utf8:strict". Something of the sort already works for PYTHONIOENCODING.

The issue of a __format__ equivalent for bytes was also raised as was the idea of object methods to render an object as string or bytes, which could be used in the polymorphic functions above.

Stable Application Binary Interface

Martin spoke about the state of the stable ABI PEP (PEP-384), indicating that he was targeting 3.2. This work would reduce the need to recompile extension modules separately on Windows for every version of Python -- something especially pertinent when code has been orphaned but is still useful.

The versioned .so files PEP (PEP-3149) being worked out by Barry Warsaw overlaps with PEP 384, and would only be useful for extensions which don't target the stable ABI.

Garbage Collection

A messy discussion turned on the question of garbage collection of module objects, and the order in which finalisers are called if at all, especially when reference cycles exist. Marc-André was proposing a __cleanup__ magic function for Python modules, which would enable the implementer to define the order in which resources are released / closed down. This is quite a subtle area and raised the issue of unfinalised objects in a reference cycle whose memory has been freed out from under them but which still exist. Martin described the Java approach where finalisers are called once and then flagged so they are not called again, even if their object is resurrected. This sounded like a useful approach for Python, but would break code which expected to be able to resurrect an object during its __del__ method, which is not expected to account for much code.

Guido pointed out that no-one can be expected to hold enough of the complexities of this area of Python's implementation in their head, and that an implementation of some sort would need to be written so that the corner-cases could emerge.

Mac OS X

Ronald described the issues around the version and architecture differences on Mac OS X and especially around Tkinter (and therefore IDLE). It was agreed that two installers could be provided: one targeting OS 10.3 on 32-bit Intel/PPC; the other targeting 10.6 on 32 and 64-bit Intel. This latter would then be able to use the system's Tk 8.5. The 10.6 binary would also work for 10.5, which would be indicated in the install docs.

Mercurial Migration

The Mercurial migration should move forward once Dirkjan has finished work on his thesis. Martin insisted that a for-real repository would have to be set up so that people can really see how it would work. An outstanding issue in hg-svn prevents the Python history from being imported, but it should be fixable. Martin & Tim brought up the issue of externals, which the buildbots use on Windows to bring in and build slightly patched versions of external libraries such as OpenSSL and sqlite3.

Brett confirmed that he would like to see the stdlib broken out into its own repository which could then be shared between the different Python implementations.

Python Package Index

A discussion on the Cheeseshop / Package Index highlighted the fact that the packaging infrastructure has become increasingly important, especially since setuptools, buildout, and pip all download from it. Richard produced graphs showing the increase in package downloads over time, and attributed the recent slight tail-off to the fact that the tool-chains are now becoming more canny with respect to caching and mirroring.

Martin & Richard confirmed that mirrors are now in place, and Marc-André confirmed that he would be putting together a proposal to have PyPI hosted in the cloud. Guido pointed out that if an AppEngine implementation were desirable, he was sure that AppEngine team would support it with resources as needed. Martin didn't feel that there was a problem with loading on the box in question; it's the uptime that's behind people's concern as it's now so essential to installing and deploying Python applications.

Several people outlined the recent heated discussion over the addition of a checkbox to the PyPI user-registration pages. Tarek has already undertaken to patch PyPI to move the checkbox back one step, allowing existing distutils users to register from the command line. At the same time, Brett advised removing that functionality from distutils2 as signing up on a web page is no great hardship.

Monday, July 19, 2010

PyCon India 2010 Grant

The PSF Board has offered a grant of $1,000 organizers of the PyCon India 2010 conference to fund the travel expenses of one foreign delegate from the U.S. or Europe to attend the conference.

Conference Details

PyCon India 2010 will take place on September 25 and 26 at the M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore. The organizers are seeking proposals for presentations until July 31.

See the PyCon India web site for more details about the conference.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

EuroPython 2010 Grant

The PSF Board has offered a $2,000 grant to the organizers of EuroPython 2010 to fund sprints and the travel expenses of selected sepakers who could not otherwise attend the conference.

Conference Details

EuroPython will be held July 19-22 in Birmingham, UK. As previously mentioned, this year's conference marks the first time a PSF members' meeting will be held outside of the United States.

See the EuroPython web site for more details, including the list of confirmed speakers and conference schedule.

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Trademarks Committee Chair

David Mertz has been appointed Chair of the PSF's Trademarks Committee for 2010-2011.

The use of all trademarks is governed by specific legal requirements. Those rules apply to trademarks for open source software projects such as Python, just as they do for commercial products. Failure to meet the requirements may result in the loss of the trademark, so the PSF takes this responsibility seriously.

The Trademarks Committee is responsible for assessing the use of PSF trademarks for compliance with our policies and advising the Board if questions arise. Most requests are related to the use of the name "Python" or the official logo by groups or conferences promoting Python. When the use is appropriate and the logo is unaltered, permission is usually easy to grant.

Other members of the committee are:

  • David Goodger
  • Marc-André Lemburg
  • Van Lindberg
  • Doug Napoleone
  • James Tauber
  • Trevor Toenjes

Besides the regular members of the committee, Carl Tracthe and Gloria Willadsen have acted as advisors at the request of the Chair.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Infrastructure Committee

The PSF Board has approved the appointment of Sean Reifschneider as chair of the Infrastructure Committee for 2010-2011. Prior to this, Sean has served as a committee member and handled system adminstration tasks for the servers. He works for, a Linux hosting and consulting company, and has years of experience with system administration and hosting.

The Infrastructure Committee

The Infrastructure Committee is responsible for the technical details of the Foundation's presence on the internet. They manage web server space, email, DNS registrations, software application hosting for tools such as bug trackers and PyPI, and all of the other tasks around maintaining a professional presence on the net. If the PSF puts something on the internet, the Infrastructure Committee is involved with it in some way.

The other members of the committee are:

Thomas Wouters is the liaison between the PSF and XS4ALL, the Dutch ISP that generously hosts many of the servers for Thomas has been contributing time and energy since the servers were originally moved from CNRI to XS4ALL, and still handles a lot of the on-site hardware service when needed.

Martin v. Löwis handles a lot of the system administration tasks on the PSF's servers. He manages DNS and development tools like subversion, Buildbot, and the Roundup issue tracker instances for Python-dev, Jython, and setuptools. Martin is also the primary developer of the software behind the Python Package Index, PyPI.

Andrew Kuchling joined the committee during the migration from SourceForge to Roundup several years ago. He also wrote the templating system used for content, and is still involved with the content management.

Barry Warsaw is another long-time member of the committee. He has been intimately involved in the email infrastructure, including the development and configuration of the Mailman mailing list management software. Today he acts primarily as an advisor to the other team members.


Besides the formal committee members, there are two teams of volunteers who do a lot of the day-to-day work for us.

The postmaster team, including Brad Knowles, Skip Montanaro, Ralf Hildebrandt, Patrick Ben Koetter, and Martijn Pieters, run all of the email services for That includes individual accounts and aliases for contributors with addresses along with the Mailman mailing lists and an NNTP-SMTP gateway for the newsgroups. Their motto is "Low spam, high deliverability!"

The pydotorg-www group serves as webmaster for Their responsibilities include typical webmaster duties, content management, and wiki curation. For example, Michael Foord helps with moderation of the python-dev mailing list as well as editing website content, including managing the Planet Python feeds; Martin Thomas adminsters the Job Board and news sections of the site; and Aahz triages and responds to email sent to the webmaster alias and handles some of the site updates directly.

Upcoming Initiatives

The Infrastructure Committee has several projects planned for this year:

  1. Establishing a ticketing system for managing internal Foundation business (not Python development). The Board and designated committees will use the new system for managing tasks and project plans.
  2. Complete the move from Subversion to Mercurial for Python development, including any changes necessary to host the new repositories.
  3. Seek an increase of our bandwidth to better handle recent spikes in traffic to the sites, especially from users downloading new releases of the installation program for the interpreter.


To volunteer to help with the pydotorg-www team, see the Maintenance and Administration page for instructions.

If you're interested in volunteering to help with the Infrastructure Committee, contact Sean directly at jafo at

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Montréal-Python Packaging Sprint

The Montréal-Python user group is holding a sprint to work on the Python packaging system Monday July 5, 2010.

Montréal-Python has been sprinting together since November 2009, and this will be the fifth in a series of sprints on packaging the group has held since March 2010. The goals for this week are being coordinated with Tarek Ziadé and the other developers from the team working on Distribute and distutils2, the new packaging libraries for Python. Returning participants will resume work that was begun at the previous meetings, and new sprinters will be given assistance learning their way around the code and configuring a development environment.

Details for Participants

The sprint will be held at Brasseurs Numériques, 1124 Marie-Anne, Suite 11, starting at 6:30 PM EDT (UTC -4). The facility is limited to 12 persons so if you plan to attend in person please RSVP on the wiki. You can also participate online by joining #montreal-python on

For more information about the planned activities, see the Montréal-Python wiki page for the event:


The PSF is pleased to be able to sponsor food and drinks for the event as a pilot project for the new Sponsored Sprints program. For more information about applying for funding of your own sprint, visit

Thursday, July 01, 2010

What do you want to know about the PSF?

One purpose of this blog is to deliver news from the PSF to the Python Community. But the broader goal is to deliver information, even if it isn't new.

With that in mind, what would you like to know about the Python Software Foundation? Leave a comment below, and we'll put the suggestions into the queue for upcoming articles.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Leadership for PyCon US 2011

The PyCon organizing committee has started making plans for PyCon US 2011, to be held in Atlanta, GA on March 9-17 of next year. One of the first steps is ensuring that the conference committee leadership is in place.

Van Lindberg returns as Conference Chair this year. Van manages all of the activities related to running PyCon US, including organizing the volunteer and paid efforts.

This year Jesse Noller will be assisting Van as Vice Chair. Jesse's primary responsibility is serving as the Program Committee Chair, but he will work with Van in other areas as well.

Doug Napoleone will be the Technical Chair. He is overseeing the redevelopment of the PyCon web site, including the talk selection and schedule management software. Doug will also be responsible for coordinating the technical vendors for the conference, including A/V, networking, and recording.

Greg Lindstrom is returning as Tutorials Coordinator. Greg has been organizing tutorials for a number of years, and his patience and skill have been a big factor in the successful tutorial program that has grown from eight tutorials several years ago to the 32 sessions we regularly have now.

Vern Ceder is returning for a second year as Poster Sessions Coordinator. The poster sessions were one of the big hits at PyCon 2010, and we expect that they will be much bigger for 2011.


Although having good leadership is important, five people cannot organize a conference as big as PyCon. The organizing committee depends on the participation of dozens of volunteers from the community to do most of the work. If you would like to help, join the PyCon organizers mailing list and follow the blog to keep up with other announcements.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Connect with the PSF on Twitter

If your Python user group, conference, or major project has a Twitter account, send a message to @ThePSF so we can follow you and help spread your news.

Follow ThePSF on Twitter

Updated: We want to follow your user group on twitter. There are just too many individuals to make following one at a time realistic. Sorry for the confusion!

Monday, June 21, 2010

PSF Officers for 2010

The 2010-2011 Board of Directors for the PSF has appointed officers to oversee activities of the Foundation.

Returning Officers

Guido van Rossum returns as President of the PSF. As President, Guido serves as the principal representative of the Foundation.

Steve Holden is Board Chair. He is responsible for organizing and presiding over all Board meetings and keeping the Foundation focused on fulfilling its mission.

Van Lindberg will serve as PyCon Chair again this year. Van manages all of the activities related to running PyCon US, including organizing the volunteer and paid efforts.

Most officers are volunteers from the community, but there are two paid positions on the Board. The Secretary and Treasurer both require regular and timely activity in order to keep up with their duties, so nominal compensation is provided for these officers to make that possible.

Pat Campbell is Secretary, and keeps all of the records of the Foundation. She also prepares the minutes of the Board meetings and delivers formal notices, for example before the start of official voting periods.

Kurt Kaiser continues as Treasurer. Kurt manages the finances of the PSF, receiving income and making payments. He reports the financial status of the Foundation to the members regularly through the members' mailing list.

New Roles

In addition to the traditional organizational roles, the Board is working to identify other areas where focused attention is needed and appoint officers to oversee them. Positions for overseeing Membership, Voting, and other areas are planned but not yet filled.

As Communications Director, Doug Hellmann is responsible for publishing information from the Board, with priority given to any actions taken at Board meetings. He will also be helping to connect other members of the community with information channels to publicize the work they are doing.

More Information

Friday, June 18, 2010

Follow the PSF on Facebook

The Python Software Foundation now has a page for sharing news through Facebook. If you're a Facebook user, follow us at for updates on PSF activities.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Members' Meeting at EuroPython 2010

The PSF is organizing a second members' meeting this year, and the first ever held outside of the United States.

In the past, official meetings of the members of the Foundation have been held at PyCon US. This summer, a meeting is being organized for 19:00 GMT+1/BST Monday, July 19 to be held in conjunction with EuroPython in Birmingham, UK.

An agenda for the meeting is being prepared online. It currently includes proposals for increasing the presence of the Python Software Foundation in Europe through a partner network and/or branch of the Foundation. As with the meeting in February, official voting on resolutions put forward will take place online a short time after the in-person event.

The meeting is open to all PSF members, not just those from Europe. If you plan to attend, please contact Marc-André Lemburg so he can make sure a large enough room is reserved.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

PSF Sponsored Sprints

At their May 10 meeting, the PSF Board create a new Sprint Committee to organize a series of sprints for working on Python. Jesse Noller is the committee chair.

This new "focused sprint" initiative is part of a concerted effort to attract more contributors to Python's development team and to speed the adoption of Python 3. The PSF has agreed to provide funding to groups interested in organizing sprints related to:

  • Python core tasks such as bug triage and evaluating patches
  • Python core documentation work
  • Porting existing third-party libraries to run under Python 3
  • Enhancing with new content, organization, or design work
  • Development of PyPI

Over time, other projects may be added as the committee identifies them. Complete instructions for proposing a sprint for your group will be posted once they are worked out.

In the mean time, the Sprint Committee needs volunteers to help launch this project. The first steps will be to set up some communication channels, and then start developing several guides for new contributors. If you want to help out, contact Jesse Noller via

See the announcement on Jesse's blog for more details.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Have You Signed a Python Developer Contributor Agreement Yet?

A key aspect of the Python Software Foundation's mission is managing the intellectual property for the Python language. This includes the source code for the C implementation of the Python interpreter, the Python standard library, and any related tools and documentation. In order to share the source code and documentation with users of Python, the PSF needs to hold a valid license that gives us permission to do so. The licensing requirement applies to every contribution, so the PSF board is contacting all contributors to make sure they have filled out a contributor agreement.

In June 2009, Andrew Kuchling analyzed the svn repository for CPython and compared the actual contributor names with the list of people who had signed an agreement. 39% of the lines in the Python 2.7 portion of the tree were committed by developers without signed agreements. Around 31% of the lines for Python 3.1 came from unsigned contributors. Through the efforts of Andrew and other PSF members, those statistics improved to 8.5% for Python 2.7 and 9.9% for Python 3.1 by February of 2010.

Our goal is 100% coverage, so if you have contributed source code or documentation, either directly or via a patch in the issue tracker, please make sure you have submitted a form. If you are unsure of your status, you can check your issue tracker account by logging in and then clicking the "Your Details" link in the left sidebar. The account details page includes a "Contributor Form Received" field, which will show the date the form was filed. If the field says no agreement was received, please take a few minutes to fill out the contributor agreement and send it in. If you think you have already signed an agreement but the tracker does not show it, contact so we can check our records.

More PyCon 2010 Conference Grants

At their May 10 meeting, the PSF Board approved grants for two PyCon conferences.

PyCon Ukraine

PyCamp Kyiv, held in January 2010, attracted over 200 attendees so the organizers are planning to host another event this fall. PyCon Ukraine 2010 is scheduled for October 23-24 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The PSF Board approved a grant of $750US to support the new conference.

SciPy 2010

SciPy 2010 will be held in Austin, Texas from June 28 to July 3. SciPy is focused on the intersection of scientific computing and Python development, and offers scientists and developers an opportunity to collaborate and share tools and techniques. The PSF Board approved a grant of $1,000US to sponsor the conference.

Organizers for other conferences who would like to apply for a grant should send details of their request to the board at

Thursday, April 29, 2010

PSF Board of Directors for 2010-2011

The members of the Python Software Foundation (PSF) have elected a new Board of Directors, consisting of 13 members:

  • Raymond Hettinger
  • Steve Holden
  • Marc-Andre Lemburg
  • David Mertz
  • Doug Napoleone
  • Jesse Noller
  • Tim Peters
  • Allison Randal
  • Jeff Rush
  • Greg Stein
  • James Tauber
  • Martin v. Löwis
  • Gloria Willadsen

The 2010 Board of Directors

Raymond Hettinger has been a contributor to the Python core for 10 years, and has worked on many of the standard library modules, including itertools, sets, and collections. He regularly speaks at Python and Open Source conferences around the world. He is currently working on an update to the Python Cookbook, as well as the Python Swallowed Whole book project. In 2009, he lead an ongoing effort to ensure that we have signed contributor agreements from all contributors to Python core or the standard library. Raymond is Director of Technology at SauceLabs and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Steve Holden joined the PSF in 2003, its Board of Directors in 2004, and became Chairman in 2008. He founded and chaired the first Python community conference, establishing PyCon as the premier event for Pythonistas in North America. He again chaired PyCon in 2004 and 2005. He received the Frank Willison Memorial Award in 2007 for his services to the Python community. He is the author of Python Web Programming and for two years wrote the monthly "Random Hits" column in Python Magazine. Steve runs Holden Web LLC, a consulting and training company with a strong Python focus.

Marc-André Lemburg been working with Python since 1993 and on Python since 1997 as core developer. His major contributions include the design for Unicode integration, the codecs subsystem, pybench, and the platform module. From 2002-2004 Marc-André served on the PSF board and was PSF vice president in 2003-2004. He started the Public Support Committee (PSC) as a way of looking for income sources for the PSF. He also initiated the work of having signed Python contributor agreements for all contributors. Marc-André's company provides Python project support and produces several Python extension libraries for working with dates, text processing, and ODBC connectivity.

David Mertz is currently Chair of the PSF's Trademarks Committee, and served as Vice Chair last year. He proposed the adoption of a 2009 diversity statement by the Board. He is a developer and author, most notably of Text Processing in Python and the IBM developerWorks' column Charming Python. He is also co-authoring the updated 3rd Edition of The Python Cookbook. As CTO and board member of the Open Voting Consortium, David advocated for the use of Python to create an Open Source voting platform. For the last couple years, David has been consulting for D.E.Shaw Research, builders of *Anton*, the world's fastest supercomputer for doing computational biochemistry.

Doug Napoleone has developed with Python for the past 10 years and has been active in the community for 7 years. He is the lead developer of the PyCon-tech project, the application for managing most aspects of the PyCon US conference. He is also active on several organizing committees for PyCon US. Doug has worked with and helped organize three local Python user groups.

Jesse Noller is a prominent Python-dev team member, especially noted for his contributions to the multiprocessing module. He has been working with Python for over five years, on a variety of projects including distributed systems and automation frameworks. He writes on his blog and has contributed to Python Magazine as both author and editor. He also chaired the PyCon 2010 Program Committee. Jesse is a Senior Engineer at Nasuni Corporation.

Tim Peters has served on the Board since its inception. He corresponded extensively with Guido about Python's design before its first public release in the early 1990s, and contributed to many areas of the language implementation over the years, especially to optimization of time-critical paths. Other contributions include the first POSIX thread implementation, the first Python port to a 64-bit machine, the Emacs Python mode, The Zen of Python, SpamBayes, doctest, and Python's sorting algorithms.

Allison Randal is architect of the Parrot VM, as well as the lead developer of Pynie (an implementation of Python 3 on Parrot). In addition to sitting on the PSF board, Allison chairs the board of the Parrot Foundation, and is on the board of the Perl Foundation. In 2005, together with Dave Neary of GNOME, she founded FLOSS Foundations to bring together leaders of open source foundations to share resources and knowledge. Allison is currently studying at the University of Bristol in the UK.

Jeff Rush first became involved with Python in 1997 by porting it to OS/2. He started the Dallas Ft. Worth Pythoneers user group in 2005 and co-chaird PyCon in Dallas in 2006 and 2007. Jeff worked for the PSF as Python Advocacy Coordinator in 2006-2007. He frequently gives talks at Python and other Open Source conferences and user group meetings.

Greg Stein is one of the original members who incorporated the PSF, and is a prior Director. In addition to his many contributions to Python, he blogs, works on several Apache projects, the WebDAV specification, and Subversion. He is a member of the Apache Software Foundation's board of directors, and was its chair from 2002-2007.

James Tauber has been working with Python for 12 years and open source for 17 years. He is lead developer of Pinax as well as a Django core developer. He was a mentor for the PSF's participants in the Google Summer of Code program from 2005-2007, and an administrator for the project from 2007-2008. He is a frequent conference speaker and currently sits on the PSF Trademarks Committee. James is CEO of Eldarion, a web startup that uses Django and Pinax and helps others do the same.

Martin v. Löwis is a Python core developer. Over the last year, he has been focusing on infrastructure issues such as hardware upgrades, PyPI, the bug tracker, and acting as a liason to the PSF's hosting provider XS4ALL.

Gloria Willadsen has been working with Python for over ten years. She has written online and in articles for The Python Papers and Python Magazine. She also had a regular column called "I Love Python" for DevChix. Gloria teaches tutorials at conferences around the world and has started two apprenticeship groups to teach Python tools and techniques to developers.

The Python Software Foundation

The mission of the PSF:

The mission of the Python Software Foundation is to promote, protect, and advance the Python programming language, and to support and facilitate the growth of a diverse and international community of Python programmers.

About the Board

PSF Directors are elected annually and are responsible for managing the business of the foundation, as outlined in the bylaws. They fulfill two responsibilities:

  1. Completing or overseeing administrative tasks related to the legal standing of the Foundation. These include responding to trademark or licensing queries and monitoring the Foundation's financial health.
  2. Completing "special projects" such as fund raising, administering grants, and supporting day-to-day operations of the Python community.

A director's specific duties depend on the office and any sub-committee memberships held. The board meets monthly via IRC. Minutes from the meetings are available online. Most Directors are volunteers, although some Officer positions (Treasurer and Secretary) do receive a nominal salary.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PyCon 2010 Conference Grants

At their April 12 meeting, the PSF Board approved grants for two PyCon conferences.

PyCon Italia

PyCon Italia Quattro is scheduled for May 7-9 in in the old city centre of Florence. The organizers are planning three tracks of talks and anticipate more than 400 delegates. The PSF Board approved a grant of $4000US to help with conference expenses.

Kiwi PyCon

Kiwi PyCon is being organized by the New Zealand Python Users Group (NZPUG) and will be held November 20-12 in Waitangi, New Zealand. There will be a series of traditional scheduled talks, as well as BarCamp-style sessions. The PSF Board approved a grant of NZ$1,000 to defray expenses.

Updated: Organizers for other conferences who would like to apply for a grant should send details of their request to the board at

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2010 Q2 Community Service Award Nominations

The Python Software Foundation is soliciting nominations for the second quarter 2010 community awards.

The PSF Community Awards are a way for the PSF Board of Directors to recognize contributions by community members that significantly improve the Foundation's fulfillment of its mission and benefits the broader Python community.

Recognition takes the form of an award certificate plus one of the following:

  1. A cash award of $500; or
  2. Free registration at PyCon, with optionally a contribution of up to $500 towards the recipient's travel and accommodation expenses.

Awards are normally made quarterly, although the Board may choose to consider awards at other times. Membership in the Foundation is not required to receive an award.

PSF members should submit confidential nominations to the Board by sending email to

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Chairman's Report for the Year 2009

As there is desire for more communication from the board I thought I would take the time to summarize the major activities of last year.

This dated list is not complete, and reflects only the formal published board resolutions.


Started the trademarking process in various foreign markets for "Python" (currently on hold for financial reasons).


Ran PyCon 2009.
Funded a laptop purchase for the PSF administrator.


Supported PyCon Italia with a $3,500 grant.
PSF Community Service Award to Stephan Deibel.
Funded Vern Ceder's attendance to present Python paper at NECC with a grant of $500.


Supported EuroPython 2009 with a $6,000 grant.
Offered support for a grant application to the Mellon Foundation.
Supported Libre Graphics Meeting 2009 with an $800 grant to the GNOME Foundation.


Supported SciPy 2009 with a $10,000 grant to enable student attendance.
Funded ($2,000) research into support for video recording of user group meetings.
Published the Trademark Policy under a Creative Commons license.
PSF Community Service Award to Sean Reifschneider.
Funded ($800) materials for the first ever Python booth at OSCON.


Supported PyCon Poland 2009 with a $2,500 grant.


Supported PyCon Kiwi with a $750 grant.
Supported PyCon Argentina 2009 with a $750 grant.
Supported DjangoCon 2009 with a $750 grant.
Undertook to move to a professional membership administration system


Modified mission statement to reflect a desire for greater diversity.


PSF Community Service Awards to Noufail Ibrahim and Barry Warsaw.
Formally adopted the PSF Diversity Statement.
Lent formal support to the European FOSS-ORI organization.


Recommended SEO Moves for sponsor membership.
Supported PyTexas Unconference 2009 with a $150 grant.
Supported DjangoSki with a grant of $750.
Supported the Blender Foundation with of up to $1,500 Euros by matching other funding.
Appointed Wendroff Accountants to provide monthly management accounts and other accounting services including annual tax return.


Although the above apparently represents just twelve hours of board meetings, of necessity many of the actions detailed have required a lot of time in preparatory work such as discussions and negotiations. I am grateful to my fellow directors and the other officers for the work they have put in to try and develop the Foundation.

Besides this formal stuff I personally have continued outreach work to such user groups as I have been able to attend, and I would encourage other directors to do the same. At every meeting I have found a groundswell of interest in and support for the Foundation's activities that is both gratifying and humbling.

I have also undertaken preparatory investigations to allow us to undertake "fiscal sponsorship", a scheme that will effectively let user groups and other affiliated organizations make use of the Foundation's charitable status by raising funds in a way that allows donors a tax deduction without the need for formal incorporation as a 501(c)3 or similar. I hope that this will also allow the Foundation to start sponsoring sprint activities that will get developers together at crucial times to ensure that development velocity can be maintained.

We have produced the first issue of a quarterly newsletter (small quantities were available at PyCon) which will be the primary communications channel with the new associate members I hope we will shortly see swelling our ranks (and our coffers). Without the preparatory work to bring the membership management system on-line this development would not have been practical.

While the Foundation is not yet as organized as I would like to see it we have made some kind of start in a new direction. The financial problems of 2009 did not make things easy. Much remains to be done, but overall we are much better placed to move forward than we were a year ago.

Steve HoldenChairman, Python Software Foundation
(posted by Doug Napoleone)

Friday, March 19, 2010

2010 Q1 Community Service Awards

The PSF Board chose in the first quarter of this year to honor two individuals who have both given outstanding service to PyCon. For the first time framed certificates were actually presented to the recipients in person at the conference.

Ken Whitesell has been a PyCon supporter for a very long time. It's hard to remember a time when Ken wasn't working behind the reception desk to make sure that delegates received all the help they need. Ken has also done sterling work in presenting many tutorials at PyCon, and has evangelized Python to the commercial world over a long period.

Yarko Tymciurak has provided several years meritorious service in developing and maintaining electronic registration and payment systems for PyCon. He has also shown exceptional dedication to providing high levels of customer service to both delegates and sponsors, going above and beyond the call of duty in assisting with registration issues.

Many thanks to both Ken and Yarko. We hope to see you both at PyCon again next year.

Final 2009 Community Service Awards

Only now have I been able to make the time to record the recipients of the final PSF Community Service Awards of 2009. I hope the recipients will accept my apologies for the lateness of this announcement.

Catherine Devlin received her award for her long-term contributions to PyCon, the organization of the first two PyOhio regional conferences, for promoting diversity in the Python community and for education efforts.

Facundo Batista's award came for organizing PyCon Argentia and the Argentinian Python community as well as contributions to the standard library and work in translating the Python documentation.

The PSF's thanks go to both these people (both, as it happens, PSF members though this is not a pre-requisite to be honored).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti's Problems

This post transferred to author's personal blog.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Call for Board Nominations

Under the PSF bylaws, in order to become a voting member you must be nominated by an existing member.

The bylaws do not, however, require that directors be members. Board elections are coming up soon, and so anyone interested in becoming a director is invited to nominate themselves, by editing this Wiki page. There is a link on that page to an outline of the duties and responsibilities of being a PSF director.

As chairman (at least until after the elections) I would be happy to see more competition for the places on the Board - I think a change of lineup from time to time is a very healthy thing, and makes it more likely that new ideas and approaches will emerge. A board seat should be more than just a line to add to your resume - it is also an opportunity to serve the Python community and take a broader role in the open source world.

Nominations close on Friday February 5, so think about nominating yourself, or (with their permission) somebody else you think would be active in managing the Foundation. If you want to discuss the possibility before moving ahead with a nomination please feel free to email me as chairman at python dot org for more information.