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Showing posts from February, 2007

PyCon 2007 is over

PyCon 2007 is now over. At-the-door registration was surprisingly stronger than we had been expecting, and the final attendance figure was 593 registered attendees, a 44% increase from 2006.

The conference ran smoothly -- there were no disasters, only the odd oversight on our part or minor glitches. I personally heard from many attendees who really liked the balance of this year's conference: the daily lightning talk sessions, the selection of keynote speakers, and the featured talks. The rooms mostly didn't seem overly crowded to me, though we'll have to see what the feedback form results say. Jeff Rush and I are both very pleased with the conference, and are glad that the attendees seem to agree.

And now for the sprints...

Photography contest at PyCon

To encourage people to take pictures at PyCon, we're holding a little photography contest to choose the best pictures taken at PyCon 2007, selected by whim of the organizers. Photos might show conference activities, be a portrait or candid shot of someone, or anything else you can think of.

Prizes: First prize will be a free registration for a future PyCon of the winner's choice. Second prize will be 1 or 2 free tutorials at a future PyCon of the winner's choice.

How to enter: post your photos on Flickr, and tag them with "pycon2007". If you don't use Flickr, post the picture to some other photo-sharing web site or to your own site, and e-mail the URL to (pycon at python dot org). All entries must be received by noon on Sunday the 25th. We're planning to announce the winners at the Sunday lightning talk session.

Extracurricular Activities at PyCon 2007

At PyCon this year we are having a significant number of activities besides the keynotes and talks. One group of those are the birds-of-a-feather gatherings being held in the evenings.

The Python community consists of a number of smaller communities and we're encouraging them to hold meetings, dinners and other activities at PyCon this year. The organizers have tried to leave room in the busy schedule for these to happen and of course for some non-Python social BoFs as well.

Here are the BoFs with which you have the opportunity to get involved:
Python in Education Python in Science Healthcare and Python A Content Repository Standard for Python Jython Development Django Pylons Web Framework Trac Users and Developers Keysigning Party Tech that Runs the Python Conference Users of Bazaar Version Control/Launchpad Buildbot Users and Developers Python Advocacy Community Forum Texas Regional Unconference Dinner Meet PyGame Programming/Playing Clinic Board …

Game Programming Clinic and Online Gaming at PyCon

At PyCon this year we're going to have a multi-day game programming clinic and challenge. This is a first-time event and an experiment to find those in the Python community who enjoy playing and creating games. Python has several powerful modules for the creation of games among which are PyGame and PyOpenGL.

On Friday evening, Phil Hassey will give an introduction to his game Galcon, an awesome high-paced multi-player galactic action-strategy game. You send swarms of ships from planet to planet to take over the galaxy. Phil will be handing out free limited-time licenses to those present. He will also be glad to talk about the development of Galcon using PyGame.

After the Friday PSF Members meeting lets out around 8:40pm, Richard Jones will give his 30-60 minute introduction to the PyGame framework so you too can get started writing games.

On Saturday evening, Lucio Torre and Alejandro J. Cura, who have come from Argentina to give the talk "pyweek: making games in 7 days&quo…

Hotel room-shuffling

We received notice from the hotel that they're overbooked for Thursday evening. This means that some people will be forced to stay in a different nearby hotel.
Here's an excerpt from the hotel's message:
Our hotel is currently over sold on this night. We will need to relocate 50 individuals within the PyCon group block. We will be relocating these individuals to the Spring Hill Suites and Quorum Courtyard. These two hotels are located about .5 miles from our hotel.
We will be providing shuttle transportation from these two hotels to our property for the days and times needed. Manny Soto, our Director of Event Planning and Operations and [Heather Halsted] will be calling the 50 Individuals directly to let them know which hotel they will be staying at.

Unfortunately there's nothing the PyCon organizers can do about this. If you're one of the relocated individuals and relocation would be difficult for you, please call the Marriott Quorum (sales: 1-972-855-5785; toll-fr…

Reminder for PyCon speakers: upload your slides

If you're giving a presentation at PyCon, please remember to upload your slides before the conference. Having the slides available gives attendees more information in selecting talks to attend, and they can follow along on their own laptops.

To upload files: Log in to the PyCon conference application. View the conference schedule. Display the tooltip for your presentation. Click on 'Upload File' and complete the form. Click 'Upload'.

More session chairs needed

As PyCon draws closer, we're short on volunteers to chair sessions. Session chairs help ensure that the speakers start and stop on time, and assist with the audience during the question-and-answer period. If you're going to be in the same room for an entire block of talks, why not be the chair, too?

For instructions on signing up, see the SessionChairs wiki page. To find an unchaired talk, look at the conference schedule: the pop-up for each talk will display a link to the signup form if no one has volunteered yet.

Vendors at PyCon

We have always had sponsors at PyCon. In exchange for their generous financial support, sponsors get various forms of exposure (detailed here). All sponsors have the opportunity to supply inserts for the conference tote bag (including insert-only sponsorship).

In previous years some PyCon sponsors have put out marketing & recruiting information on tables in the hall, and some have had representatives stationed in the halls for face time with attendees. This year we made four official vendor tables available in a vendor-specific area, adjacent to the main hallway. All four vendor tables have been reserved:

Elegant Stitches of Conway, AR is a vendor of embroidered garments and accessories. Janet Lindstrom will be selling polo shirts, long-sleeved denim shirts, 1/4 zip sweatshirts, and caps, all embroidered with the Python logo; T-shirts and cubicle posters with a "Zen of Python" design; and travel mugs with handles featuring the Python logo. Elegant Stitches is also suppl…

Alternative hotels

The hotel is now full for some nights of the conference, including the critical nights of Friday and Saturday. The conference rate is no longer available. What to do if you don't have a room yet? (Other than resolving to book earlier next year...)

There is another Marriott across the street, but it's more expensive: the Marriott Residence Inn (14975 Quorum Dr, Dallas, 75254 - (972) 934-1384).

There are two decent, less expensive hotels that are not far away, a Motel 6 and a Best Western. The Motel 6 (4325 Belt Line Rd - (972) 386-4577) is a short cab ride away. The Best Western (15200 Addison Rd - (972) 386-4800) is an all-suites hotel and is a short walk away. They have free breakfast and Internet service. The normal room rate is roughly $85 to $110 per night.