New Year's Python Meme

From Tarek through Lennart:

1. What’s the coolest Python application, framework or library you have discovered in 2009?

Not quote Python, but I've been busy exploring various Javascript libraries and frameworks. I already knew YUI in 2008, and this year I've explored JQuery and affiliated extensions quite a bit.

I think I've had the most exploratory fun with JSON Template (Python and Javascript implementations both).

I started to use zest.releaser and this has made it a lot easier for me to release Python packages.

I only recently started using pyflakes, and it's been quite useful. A neat tool to supplement my toolbox.

There are other things I ran into that do seem cool but I can't really feel I've fully discovered them as I haven't really had a chance to use them.

2. What new programming technique did you learn in 2009?

If I can count techniques I've been trying to pioneer myself: Template-driven development where the web browser renders the templates. This along with the notion of client-side views can lead to surprisingly clean rich client-side apps.

I also learned quite a bit about dependency management in a large collection of related libraries.

3. What’s the name of the open source project you contributed the most in 2009? What did you do?

Grok and the Zope Toolkit. I'm not sure which one comes first, but luckily they're related. The Zope Toolkt is a set of libraries based on a refocused Zope 3. It's used by the Zope community in a multitude of projects, including Grok.

I also contributed a bit to JSON Template, making it possible to distribute its Python implementation on PyPI.

I've created a whole set of libraries:

hurry.resource should get a honorary mention. I actually created it in 2008, but it has seen quite a bit of uptake by others in 2009. People have been wrapping a number of Javascript and CSS frameworks with it.

hurry.resource is a general way to distribute and reuse javascript and css libraries in a fine-grained manner. You should be able to integrate it with any web framework.

In terms of bang for the buck, I think there were two projects I was involved in that had the most effect:

  • refocusing Zope 3 as the Zope Toolkit and improving the way in which it is being developed and managed.

  • cleaning up the dependencies of the Zope Toolkit. Cleaner dependencies help us cut out unused code, making the code base easier to understand, reuse and improve.

    In 2007 we had split up Zope into a collection of libraries. The dependency relationships between these libraries was rather convoluted, however, meaning that pulling in a single library would frequently pull in all the others.

    We had a long-standing wish to clean up these dependencies but unfortunately were making up slow progress. The project was however daunting.

    In early 2009, I organized a sprint that tackled this project head-on, cleaning up dependencies and also developing techniques, insights and tools.

    This project has been picked up by a large group of Zope developers throughout the year. Different people at different time cleaned up this and that, resulting in a vastly improved dependency structure compared to last year.

    The gains made by the Zope Toolkit are now making their way into Grok and Zope 2.

4. What was the Python blog or website you read the most in 2009?, though that's of course lots of blogs really. I've also read the Python programming reddit a lot.

5. What are the three top things you want to learn in 2010?

I find it easier to say what I want to hack on, undoubtedly learning much as a side effect:

  • a new, lightweight publisher for the Zope Toolkit
  • making Grok smaller and more lightweight
  • rich client-side frameworks talking to RESTful backends

There's a lot more I'd like to hack on, so we'll see what I get around to.