PyCon 2011 – Quick Review

Thursday – The rest of my team shipped out Wednesday afternoon, my wife asked me to stick around another night to help with the boy which resulted in me leaving crazy early on Thursday. The good news was that I made it to Atlanta without incident (there were four different screaming children around me) and that I also was able to hook up with my team for lunch. Cosmin’s tutorial on deploying Python Apps to AWS EC2 was great.

Friday – Day 1 of PyCon and I was already a little worn out. I was the session chair for the first three talks in the “testing” track by Michael Foord (Mock), Gary Bernhardt (Units Need Testing Too) and Kumar McMillan (Tox). I figured since I would be attending all three talks anyway plus all three guys are friends that session chairing would be easy. As expected, each of them gave great talks (all under time!) and had a question and answer session. I ended up hallway tracking it most of the remainder of the day.

Saturday – Day 2 of PyCon. I got to see Jason Huggins’ talk on Selenium 2 and Jcon Kaplan-Moss’ talk on writing great documentation. I caught the tail end of Alex Martelli’s talk on API Design Anti-Patterns. Mike Pirnat’s talk entitled “An Exhibition in Atrocity” was really my favorite talk of the day with Zed Shaw’s talk on ZeroMQ a very close second. I was also able to catch part’s of C. Titus Brown, Ned Batchelder and Augie Fackler talks.

TiP BoF – As the organizer “shit gets real” for me about 3:00 PM on Saturday. Given some of the issues that happened with the Chef and Scotch BoF’s the previous night, I officially declared this “alcohol free” (notice the quotes). Paul Hildebrandt and Disney provided the pizza, Titus Brown and Doug Hellmann did a soda run and here’s the list of lightning talks that we did.

Feihong Hsu – Stretching
Terry Peppers – Opening Remarks
Terry Peppers – Nagaconda
Alfredo Deza – Konira: A Testing Framework DSL
Augie Fackler – Mecurial’s Unified Test Suite
Marty Alchin – Lab Coat Test Framework … Thingy
Roman Lisagor – Freshen Your Code
Kumar McMillan – Fudging It With Mock Objects
Anthony Scopatz – Scientific Testing in Python, A Hell Of A Workflow!
Feihong Hsu – How My Comic Book Obsession Birthed a New Functional Testing Tool
Michael Foord – Shiny New Stuff in Mock 0.7.0
Alex Gaynor – Writing 5 Lines of Codes, 16 Tests And Speeding Stuff Up
Jason Huggins – How to Test Canvas Based Web Applications
Gary Bernhardt – Isolating Isn’t Magic
Armin Ronacher — Modern Approach to Monitoring
Brett Cannon – How to Pronounce PyPi: The Python Package Index
Mike Pirnat – Mock: It’s Not Just For Testing Any More
Brett Cannon – Why You Don’t Want to Get a Ph.D. in Comp Sci
Steve Holden – Ask the Chairman of the PSF
Jesse Noller – Ask a Board Member of the PSF
Tavvi Burns – Keeping Your Expected Files in Sync
Gary Bernhardt – Python Mock Library Comparison
Doug Napoleone – In Defense of Golden File Testing

A couple of more observations on TiP BoF. I think 2011 was clearly bigger than 2010. I also think having the additional space was a solid idea. All in all, everyone looks forward to the TiP BoF and it was rather amazing to see how many people were attending for the first time. I’m glad everyone turned out and made it a great open space. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep doing this year after year! I know people are working through photos, but there is a Flickr pool where you can post them (Testing in Python).

Sunday – Final day of PyCon never seems long enough. Chris McAvoy’s keynote about Threadless was great, and it was even better to see Luke Opperman mentioned as “the vanguard.” Peter Portante’s talk on Co-Routines really kind of blew my mind in a good way. I was able to catch Mark Ramm’s talk on scaling Python which was also good.

The Results Are In!

So I finally had a followup to my MRI last week with my Podiatrist. It turns out I have a couple of things working against me:

#1. Focal marrow edema in my ankle

#2. Chronic tears of anterior talofibular ligament (ATF)

The current writeup is that a prior injury has wiped out the ATF in my left foot. This is the most commonly sprained ankle ligament and while I still have one, it isn’t attached to one another which basically means that lateral movements are tougher for me to make – think Tennis. Since I don’t have this ligament, it’s making my Achilles work extra hard to stabilize my foot and somehow this has caused a bone edema.

I think this makes the most sense. An x-ray a month ago ruled out bone spurs, the location of the pain is too low to be achilles tendonitis. So really that leaves achilles bursitis or this focal marrow edema.

The good news is that this is mainly biomechanical in nature. I was casted for a pair of carbon-fiber orthotics a couple of weeks ago, and my doc thinks that once I have these I’ll be in better alignment and have better support – so eventually the pain will subside. The more good news is that I don’t need a walking boot or a cast.

The bad news is time. It’s going to take awhile to heal and really the only thing I can do is ice water therapy. The Flector patches and NSAIDS aren’t going to really reduce the swelling, they may help on extra bad days but long term usage isn’t going to help.

At least I can walk and continue to work out. That’s the important thing, I’ll just need to deal with the pain.

Twilight Singers – Dynamite Steps

I’m pretty excited for the next release by The Twilight Singers. I was looking around today and found this excellent track on Sound Cloud called “On the Corner.” It’s got one of those great Afghan Wigs-y breaks @ 2:40 …

The Twilight Singers – On The Corner by subpop

Yeah, it isn’t Gentlemen but really what is?

It is the middle ground between light and shadow …

The SyFy (formerly Sci-Fi) channel had it’s bi-annual Twilight Zone marathon over New Year’s Eve. I DVR’d a bunch of episodes, but we got to talking today at work about favorite episodes, and I started rattling them all off – by title – much to the amazement of some of my co-workers. Here’s a sampling of some of my favorite episodes of all-time.

Season 1

Time Enough At Last
The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street
A Stop at Willoughby
The After Hours

Season 2

A Thing About Machines
The Eye of the Beholder
Long Distance Call
The Silence
The Obsolete Man

Season 3

Five Characters In Search of An Exit
To Serve Man
The Dummy
I Sing the Body Electric

Season 5

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
Living Doll
The Old Man in the Cave
The Masks