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Pythonista & Techno-Geek
PyCon Update
by David Goodger
January 3, 2007
What I'll be doing at PyCon 2007 ("Idiomatic Python" tutorial, Docutils sprint), and a reminder of the early-bird registration deadline.


In my last entry, I asked for talk ideas. I received a few ideas which helped me to narrow down my proposals, but not a deluge to pass on to others. Thanks to those who replied! I ended up submitting proposals for one tutorial and one talk.

The talk proposal, “Generators & Iterators 101”, was rejected. There was another proposal covering similar ground that was accepted. The names of proposal authors were kept hidden during the review process and this result demonstrates that the system worked (no favoritism!). There were so many good proposals that the reviewers (including me) had a hard time narrowing them down.

I'm happy to say that my tutorial proposal was accepted:

“Code Like a Pythonista: Idiomatic Python”

In the tutorial I presented at PyCon 2006 (“Text & Data Processing”), I was surprised at the reaction to a couple of incidental techniques I used (advanced “%” string formatting, and decorate-sort-undecorate). Many of the attendees were unaware of these tools that experienced Python programmers use every day without thinking. Feedback from some of the attendees told me that they got a lot out of these sidebars. So this year's tutorial will present many idioms & techniques that beginning programmers can benefit from immediately.

Here's the promotional copy:

Are you comfortable with Python's syntax, but have yet to master its idioms? Does Python still feel a bit like a foreign language? Are you looking for more "elegance" for your programs?

In this interactive tutorial, we'll cover many essential Python idioms and techniques in depth, adding immediately useful tools to your belt. Rationale will be provided for all idioms -- the "why" in addition to the "what & how". We'll run through lots of small, practical, hands-on examples.

Attendees should bring a laptop if possible, to try out the techniques they learn.

The tutorial outline is here.

Recently I was fortunate to have been asked to present a similar tutorial to my colleagues at work. It went quite well. Inevitably there were some mistakes and omissions, which I will be addressing. I was asked some good questions whose answers will be incorporated. So 90% of the work is already done, and the material has been tested. We're good to go.

My tutorial is scheduled for the afternoon of Tutorial Day, Thursday, February 22. There are a bunch of morning tutorials, and alternate afternoon tutorials too. You can check out the selection here.


I'll be staying for all four days of development sprints. I'd like to get some work done on Docutils, which I've been neglecting lately. There are lots of bugs to squash and features to add. So I'll coach a Docutils Sprint. Ideas and participants are welcome!

Early-Bird Registration

The deadline for early-bird registration is January 15. After that, the registration fee goes up. If you haven't registered yet, go and do it, now. Doug Napoleone has deployed a nice event schedule web app where you can see and select the talks, tutorials, and other events that make up PyCon.

And don't forget to reserve a hotel room at the conference hotel. Please do it through the conference pages so we get proper credit.

See you at PyCon!

PyCon is a very rewarding event. I'm looking forward to it. Lots of people to meet. Lots to learn. I hope to see you there!

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About the Blogger

David Goodger has been using Python since 1998, and began working on reStructuredText and Docutils in 2000. A proud Canadian, he lived in Japan for 7 years, where a stint at a document processing company in Tokyo began his love/hate relationship with structured markup. David is a Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) Editor and a member of the Python Software Foundation. He currently lives outside of Montreal, Quebec, with his Japanese wife and their two children.

This weblog entry is Copyright © 2007 David Goodger. All rights reserved.

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