Last Thursday November 17, 2016, there was a Python meetup in Barcelona1, 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it was interesting to see how they have lots of legacy applications written in J2EE, with Java frameworks, that are outdated, difficult to maintain, and they mentioned the idea of migrating them to new, more modern technologies.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 account2, 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.