Python Barcelona November meetup notes

Last Thurs­day No­vem­ber 17, 2016, there was a Python meet­up in Barcelona 1, with a set of in­ter­est­ing talk­s.

The first one was host­ed by two rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the gov­ern­ment of Catalun­ya, and Barcelona city, and they pre­sent­ed the tech­ni­cal chal­lenges they are fac­ing, and the new stack pro­posed for on­com­ing project­s. In this re­gard, it was in­ter­est­ing to see how they have lots of lega­cy ap­pli­ca­tions writ­ten in J2EE, with Ja­va frame­work­s, that are out­dat­ed, dif­fi­cult to main­tain, and they men­tioned the idea of mi­grat­ing them to new, more mod­ern tech­nolo­gies. In this sense, there are al­ready projects in pro­gress, and they chose Python + Djan­go for the mi­gra­tion and re-im­ple­men­ta­tion of the lega­cy sys­tem­s.

This was a very in­ter­est­ing in the sense that more than this was ac­tu­al­ly pre­sent­ed. In par­tic­u­lar the idea of how the gov­ern­ment wants to ac­tu­al­ly own their sys­tem­s, and there­fore they are now choos­ing open source soft­ware. It goes be­yond than mere­ly us­ing Python and Djan­go: they are al­so mi­grat­ing the work­sta­tion ma­chines to open source soft­ware (Ubun­tu), and try­ing to earn more con­trac­tors that are star­tups rather than huge multi­na­tion­als with pro­pri­etary soft­ware. The idea is still the same: they want open data, trans­paren­cy, and to ac­tu­al­ly own their sys­tem­s.

These sort of ini­tia­tives are gain­ing more and more trac­tion in the Eu­ro­pean Union, as many cities are start­ing to shift to­wards an open gov­ern­men­t, with open data, and more trans­paren­cy. I look for­ward to see­ing more projects in Python with open source tech­nolo­gies, at their GitHub ac­count 2, in the forth­com­ing month­s.

The sec­ond talk was about Con­da, and short­ly there­after a brief in­tro­duc­tion, the rest of the pre­sen­ta­tion was most­ly a de­mo (live cod­ing! :-), on which we saw sev­er­al ex­am­ples of in­stalling pack­ages, ex­port­ing the en­vi­ron­men­t, cre­at­ing a new one from a tem­plate, etc. It was use­ful to see both the strengths and short­com­ings of the tool, what can and can­not be done with it, and how it can be use­ful for de­vel­op­ers that have to deal with sev­er­al sys­tem de­pen­den­cies.

The third and last talk, was about PLONE, a CMS project writ­ten in Python, and with its 15-year-old tenure, is the old­est Python project (thing that I did not know). It was in­ter­est­ing to learn about its high­-lev­el ar­chi­tec­ture, com­po­nents, and the way they work. Above that, I would like to high­light the re­cap that it was done about many un­der­ap­pre­ci­at­ed zope li­braries, that have been avail­able in Python for a long time, do­ing an amaz­ing job. It is now in my list, to re­view them.

All in al­l, it was a good mee­tup, and I liked very much the tech­ni­cal lev­el of the talk­s, and the fact that the top­ics were very di­verse, yet in­ter­est­ing. I would like to con­tin­ue at­tend­ing these mee­tup­s, and in the fu­ture I might even sub­mit a talk.