European Python Meeting report

Marc Poinot Marc.Poinot at
Wed Jul 11 04:35:32 EDT 2001

Hi you all galactictely spread out lovers of Python,
here's a little report of Libre Software Meeting Python Track.

The meeting starts Wed, 4th of July with a plenary session*.
Each topic has presented its agenda, including the goals they would
like to reach within the week. The Python track goals were:
- Meet together
- Learn Python things
- Try to gather European Python users in some annual event.

LSM stops Staturday evening, with a plenary session. The Python track
conclusion was:
- Presentations were always interesting and lively
  (We often explode the schedule, but discussions were fruitful for us)
- We enjoy meet together and share our ideas (actually, Python is way of
  thinking, I think there is kind of osmosis between the langage and the user).
- We were not a lot of Python users (about 20), and it looks like we have
  a lot of work to make it an European event. But the Python users there
  though it was worth trying again.

About 500 people were expected, while the actual total people
at LSM, during all the week, has been evaluated as 400+
As a matter of fact, we had German, Dutch, Italian, UK, Portugal...
and French people.
The Python track had an audience of 10/25 persons, depending on the
presentations, and including the speakers themselves in most cases.
There also was some "private" discussions in classrooms, about
many questions or topics related to Python. This is a specific point
in LSM, there are a lot of open classrooms, and people spontaneously
gather in little work groups.

There was a Python-LSM-attendees-group of about 10 people, not including
some of the speakers, and this look likes starting a European group.
Actually, there is a need for such an event. Many users do not money
and/or time enough to flight to the USA or to register to a
open-but-not-free-of-charge-conference. Now it seems we do not
make enough announces around the event, or the annouces were to late.

We also had the first European Python Meeting supper in Bordeaux 
downtown (with foie gras and wine), nine of us where there.

We thank here the LSM organisation, which was a little surprised by
the success of this 2nd LSM, but always succeed in solving our tiny problems.
I also want to thank all speakers for the quality of their work,
for their patience, and for the spirit they gave to this Python track. 

All presentations (PDF, html... and source code) will appear on
the LSM web site by the end of July. You can also find there
a lot of pictures, or links to other web sites including pictures,
flow the "LIVE" link of first web page.

The Python European speakers we had were:

- Marc-Andre Lemburg
  - Marc-Andre explains us some secrets of Unicode, and the implementation
    he has done into Python. Now, thanks to Marc-Andre, we know about 
    the UTF-32 in strings.
- Martin von Loewis
  - A very complete presentation about the XML libraries for Python.
    It was a struggle between Martin and XML, but Martin won !
- Konrad Hinsen
  - He explains us Numerical Python, how to make Python arrays.
    This was a robust and portable presentation, with slides and blackboard.
- Moshe Zadka 
  - He made a lively presentation about Python Mailing System.
    (we adopt here Moshe as European user ;)
- Dinu Gherman and John Precedo
  - They presented the ReportLab libs and tools.
    A nice presentation with tax forms examples :( and color demos. 
- Benoit Lacherez
  - He has driven the French translation group. We had a very interesting
    afternoon work with Martin von Loewis about doc translation, either on
    the contents point of view, but also about the structure of the docs. 
    We will share our ideas and have a proposal soon in the DOC SIG.
- Stefane Fermigier
  - He presents internet with Python, and then explains some basics about
    the Zope way of life. The audience was so interested that they continue
    with a half a day Zope training in a classroom.
- Marc Poinot
  - I had a two-half-days first-level tutorial in French**
    We had a really nice feedback, and this definitely shows the need of
    slow, easy and introductive Python lessons, even in very technical

And at last, but not at least, I'd like to thank Tim Couper for his lively
and continuous support during all these days. I'm pretty sure we will have
a chance to finally have a drink at "the Frog and the Rosbeaf" pub in Bordeaux.

Now, we are thinking about the 2nd European Python Meeting. I don't know
yet if this is worth creating a private mailing list. Let me know...
I'm starting to think and organize this meeting... now!
Comments are welcome, as well as help!

Marcvs [alias Don't ask me about an UTF-128 encoded XML tree of this report]

*  Yes, it was the 4th of July, but there was no champagne around. So we
   decided to have an UTF-8 oyster-pizza party, with PDF cherry champagne, 
   but it looks like we had no success at all :(
** The choice of making it in French has lead to many discussions, before and
   after the tutorial.

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