PyCon '10 Recap

Here are some belated highlights from PyCon2010, straight from the Ministry of Silly Talks. The talks are all published on the PyCon website and all the video are now posted and organized at

This year I participated on the PyCon video team, and helped record the tutorial sessions. After being burned a few years ago trying to get volunteers to do post-production for hundreds of hours of conference video, PyCon borrowed a few tricks (and people, and software) from the Debian Linux community and started mixing their conference captures - live, in real-time. Now, using an inexpensive laptop as a mixing board, the audio, video and VGA streams are all mixed and captured using the libre DVswitch.

This kind of setup used to cost thousands of dollars just a few years ago, and it was pretty amazing to participate in a video production project at this scale. Most of the videos were published within a day or two of being recorded. Projects like OpenCast are poised to continue to improve their encoding and publishing workflows - a complex problem with so much footage being processed so quickly. The a/v squad documents their process - these are the best notes I have found so far.

Some of my favorites:

These two talks really helped me understand the nosql landscape -

A tutorial on the alphabet soup of standards driving data portability and web programming Hacking the Social web w/ python (video)

This was my first exposure to VisTrails: A Python-Based Scientific Workflow and Provenance System - a Yahoo Pipes graphical programming environment, but one that saves a full versioned history of your changes, and is designed to produce graphical representations of the data. The tool is meant to help researchers graphically develop visualizations of their data, but also helps keep track of which data any visualization is based on. Could this represent an emerging programming paradigm?

This was a great talk about diversity, from a practical/pragmatic perspective Diversity as a Dependency making the case that organizational innovation improves with diverse participants.

And a talk presented by a partner of ours working on Professor Modi's Network Planner - How Python is guiding infrastructure construction in Africa

There was plenty more - lighting talks, keynotes, django, gis, pinax, turbogears, plone, zope, and lots of lang level stuff - please share any treasures (and recipes) you discover.