Post-EuroPython Grok sprint report

This is a report on the Grok sprint that followed EuroPython. Thanks to the EuroPython organizers for giving us the space!

At EuroPython I was thrilled to meet Laurence Rowe. Laurence is the author of zope.sqlalchemy, the low-level integration layer between Zope 3 (and therefore Grok) and SQLAlchemy's transaction machinery. Also thanks to a lot of communication with Laurence in the last few months, I was inspired to write z3c.saconfig on top of this, which integrates SQLAlchemy's configuration system with the Zope 3 component architecture in what I think is a nice way.

This in turn is all resulted in massive improvements in megrok.rdb recently. megrok.rdb is the SQLAlchemy integration layer for Grok. megrko.rdb tries to make integration with SQLAlchemy to feel "Grok-like" (grokonic?) and as smooth as Grok's integration with the ZODB. At the sprint, Laurence and I talked a lot and we sat together to improve megrok.rdb so it can support database generated primary integer keys as container keys in relation containers.

Besides this, I also worked a bit on megrok.rdb's support for converting SQLAlchemy database schemas to Zope 3 schemas, so that nice forms can be generated automatically. I added some doctests for this, but it still needs a lot of polishing.

Jasper Op de Coul and I worked on a package called megrok.rdf. Jasper is very familiar with RDF, so his experience there was invalabule. The megrok.rdf package uses the approach from megrok.rdb to expose RDF content as a first-class citizen in Grok. It was surprising and satisfying to see how well the approach fits RDF-based data as well. The megrok.rdf package will make it to soon. If we can form a group of interested contributors around this package Grok can grow a powerful way to build web applications on top of an RDF triple store. If you're interested, please join us at grok-dev!

Kit Blake worked on an mockup of the "local utilities configuration" screen for the Grok UI. It's very common that applications expose things to be configured (think relational database connection settings, catalogs, email configuration, user authentication, etc). It would be nice if the Grok UI had a screen that allowed per-application configuration that applications can plug in to. Kit has a lot of experience with configuration issues in a Zope 2 context (Silva in particular), so he had some good ideas on how to go ahead.

Sylvain Viollon and Eric Casteleijn worked on applying Grok technology (in particular grokcore.component and Martian) to Silva in a Zope 2 context. They worked on a lot of Silva-specific grokkers to make it easier to write Silva content objects and configure Silva in general. It's exciting to see that the Zope 2 community is now starting to use Grok technology more and more. This thursday and friday Godefroid Chapelle is hosting a two-day sprint to work on Grok in a wider Zope 2 context.

I also had some discussions with other people who were trying to learn Grok technologies (grokcore.component and Martian), also to see how to apply it to their own Python projects. Ignas Mikalajunas suggested it would be good to see a PyGTK-based example that used Martian, which is an interesting idea I hope someone will explore. I also talked with Christian Scholz about integration of grokcore.component with a non-web application package that was already using zope.component for configuration.

Thanks to all the sprinters for the work and feedback! As a post-conference sprint it tends to be less focused than a dedicated Grok sprint, but I still feel we made a lot of progress.

It wasn't all work, we also had fun and games. It was a very warm couple of days in Vilnius, Lithuania. I enjoyed the various dinners I had with people. I also enjoyed playing Galcon with a bunch of the sprinters at the end of the day on saturday. ME GROK CONQUER GALAXY