Returned from PyCon

Got back from PyCon 2006, in mostly one piece. Picked up a terrible cold at the conference, I suppose scrounging food off the same buffet tables as 400 other people wasn't the most hygenic thing in the world.

Attended the mainly web-oriented sessions, came away very impressed with Django. I had sort of blown it off before because I didn't like the look of the templating language, and the ORM seemed weird. But after seeing what's coming in the Removing the Magic branch, I think it will be much much nicer. Was even inspired to spend the little time I had there Monday morning and afternoon sprinting with the Django guys, but I don't see how one can sprint effectively in such a short time with the limited knowledge of the codebase I had. Maybe if I go next year ... and I know more Django ... and can spend more than a day there, then I could accomplish something useful during the time.

The TurboGears guys demonstrated some nice things with AJAX widgets, but the SQLObject part of TG has given me trouble in the past when working with an existing DB, and seems to get in the way more than it helps. Even so, the TG guys, and Ian Bicking seemed pretty cool, so I hope they polish things up a bit more. Maybe SQLObject 2 will be the answer, or maybe a switch to SQLAlchemy (which wasn't represented at the conference), would make TG a nicer environment to work in.

I've been struggling with Zope for some years now. From a user standpoint I guess it's OK, from a programmer standpoint it's a nightmare, both 2.x and 3.x. The documentation and community attitude have rubbed me wrong for a long time. I attended a couple Zope sessions at the conference, but didn't hear anything to inspire me to keep up with it. I'll probably switch what little Zope things I have going to Django/TurboGears/CherryPy/whatever.

The PyParsing presentation on writing an adventure game was interesting, wish I could have attended the more in-depth one but it conflicted with a Django session. PyParsing looks to make a hard job pretty easy, and I'd love to play with it somewhere.

The party at NerdBooks had some decent food, they had a pretty deep selection of books, and the prices on some of the things I looked up were much better than Amazon. Will definitely look there next time I need something.

Lastly, I hope Django or someone who was at the sprint uses the codename "Vacuum Assassin" somewhere. That would just be too cool.