Archive for February, 2006

Storytelling

I’ve been at PyCon for a few days, and I’ve been noticing how many stories we tell.

We tell warning stories of failed technologies, stories of bad managers, poor design decisions. We tell bug stories, and all night hackathon stories. We tell stories about how marketing killed our projects. We tell horror stories of overtime and impossible deadlines. We use powerful metaphores ripped from history, such as Edward Yourdon’s book Death March which describes doomed software development projects by reference to a gruling forced march during world war 2 that killed thousands.

Kathy Sierra, writes on Creating Passionate Users, about our tendancy to tell and retell the origin stories for our favorite technologies. And she tells the origin sory for the Head First book series, which seems true enough, but it seems that other people have struggled to make up good origin stories for their company. And sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter if these stories are true or not, they just keep getting repeated by fans.

What is facinating to me is the way we transmit skills, values, aesthetic judgements, and culture through story. People say that computer geeks are all about logic and data and facts — but that’s not how you transmit culture, and if we want to maintain a vibrant, healthy, growing community the only way to do it is to tell the right stories at the right time.

The State of Python

Grig Gheorghiu has very complete notes on Guido’s Python 2006 Keynote talk on the State of Python 2006.

I like co-routines, and I love the idea of getting eggs into the standard library!

PyCon 2006

Ian Bicking suggested yesterday that we have a Python Web Framework developer dinner meeting, and I helped to let people know about it, and get it organized.

I thought it went pretty well, and I hope that there are going to be some interesting developments that come out of it. I just wish I had more time to work on integration projects because there’s a lot of good stuff out there than just needs a little bit of love to make it more widely available.

It also seems pretty obvious that with Zope 3, TurboGears, and Django — Python web development is healthier than ever before, and the next year is going to be very good for web development. WSGI is also becoming more and more of a reality on the ground. And WSGI is going to enable a whole host of powerful new Python Web Development stories.

I think 2006 is clearly going to be the year with the best Python Web Development stories ever. Our job is to build the technologies that enable these stories and to find compelling ways to tell these stories to the wider web development community.

TurboGears 0.9 Release

Kevin Dangoor just announced the TurboGears 0.9a1 release, this should be pretty API stable, so all of you who have been using 0.8 can have access to easy CRUD, widgets, more advanced error handling, and all the other shiny goodness that has only been available in Subversion for the past several months.

If you’re just getting started, I posted a Quick Reference Guide yesterday, and I’ll be doing a TurboGears 0.9 How-To alk tomorrow morning at PyCon 2006. And Kevin has a very cool looking talk on Effective Ajax with TurboGears on Sunday.

There will also be a couple of additional TurboGears learning opportunities coming up in the next couple of weeks. If you’re interested, I’ll be sure they get announced here as soon as they are ready for prime time.

TurboGears 0.9 QuickReference

Quickref-previewI just uploaded a draft of the new TurboGears 0.9 Alpha Quick Reference Guide.

The TurboGears development team has done a great job, and added a ton of new features, so I had to reformat everything in InDesign, just so I could fit everything in, and so that I make it look OK.

If you have any suggestions on how to make this better, let me know and I’ll do my best to incorporate your ideas into the next version.

Of course, a one page reference isn’t the best way to learn a new technology, but it sure does help to make the learning curve less steep when you don’t have to remember the names of all those commands!

I am working to help provide a whole ecology of resources to help people learn TurboGears and increase their productivity. And there are several things aproaching readyness for release in the next few days.