This was the first in-person PyCon since the start of the pandemic. It had slightly changed format as well, now being mostly single-track (plus workshops) and not having a teacher/youth day. Overall I found the changes welcome. I’m generally a big fan of single track conferences because they simplify the choices and help concentrate the conversation amongst the attendees.
A lot of talks were by developer advocates but some of the most interesting talks came from the core language maintainers talking about the challenges in balancing the needs of different parts of the community while the least interesting were from the company sponsors who generally didn’t seem to have refined their content for a general audience.Typescript
A simple lightning talk about the need to sanitise the input of the builtin int function was illuminating about the challenges of reconciling web needs versus data science. However the general point about whether unlimited number functions are necessary or not was interesting. Similarly the challenge of when to adopt new syntax and keywords in the case of the addition of Exception Groups to the language.
There were a few talks about how the process of maintaining a language and community actually works. How conferences get listed on the Python website, how performance benchmarks are built and used and the desire to have a single place to centre conversation about the language.
There were talks about how to interface to various technologies with Python (Kafka, Telegram) and the inevitable talk about how to improve the performance of your data science code by using NumPy. There were also quite a few talks about Hypothesis; which probably still isn’t used as much as it should be in the community. The library now includes a test generator that can examine code and suggest a test suite for it which is quite a cool feature and certainly would be a boon for those who dislike test-first approaches (whether it has the same quality benefits is another question).
The other talk that had a big impact on my was the introduction to using PyScript in static websites. Python is going to start targeting WebAssembly as a platform which will help standardise the various projects trying to bring a fully functional interpreter to the browser and provide a place to pool efforts on improvements.
Cardiff remains a lovely venue for the conference and I think it is worth taking time out from the tracks to enjoy a bit of the city and the nearby Bute Park.
- Pyjamas, a 24 hour online conference
- Pyrogram, a Python library for interacting with Telegram
- HPy, an updated API for writing C extensions in Python
- Discuss Python, the general Python community forum
- Trustme, a testing library that allows local certificates as testing fixtures
- PyScript, Python in the browser via Web Assembly
- PyPerformance, benchmarks for testing Python implementations