Sunday, December 17, 2006

Call for Nominations of PSF Directors

The Board of Directors of the Python Software Foundation is issuing this call for nominations of new Directors. Self-nominations are the norm, so don't wait for somebody else to nominate you. If you are interested in serving as a Director, please write to Directors need not be PSF members.

Since the PSF is a small organization, the Directors and Officers are the PSF's executive in more than name: we not only discuss the work to be done, we also initiate and oversee the work (through committees), and we get a lot of the work done ourselves. It is therefore beneficial to have a large number of active Directors. As Tim Peters eloquently put it,

This is pragmatic: volunteer time is hard to come by for PSF busy work, and, overall, directors seem to feel more compelling obligation in this regard than non-director PSF members. So, the bigger the board, the more gets done.

At the annual Members' Meeting in 2004 nine people stood for election to the Board, but there were only seven positions, so two candidates were not elected. This was a mistake; we cannot afford to turn away volunteers. In 2005, when eight people stood for election, the Board was first increased to eight positions, allowing all the candidates to serve. The size of the Board can change again. (Section 5.4 of the PSF bylaws states: "the number of directors shall be fixed by the members at each annual meeting of members.")

The PSF's Directors and Officers conduct business via monthly meetings (one hour on IRC) and an active mailing list. We discuss the work being done and the work to be done, and Directors vote on resolutions.

David Goodger, PSF Secretary
On behalf of the PSF Board of Directors

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Remember the PSF in your year-end donations

We ask members of the Python community to please keep the Python Software Foundation in mind in your "year end giving".

The PSF is the 501(c)3 non-profit organization that holds and protects the intellectual property rights behind Python. We deal with the licensing, contribution agreements, and legal requirements of copyright and trademark in order to keep Python open and free of legal claims.

The PSF also:

  • Provides the financial backing that makes PyCon possible.
  • Funds special projects such as the website redesign and the current Python Advocacy Coordinator experiment.
  • Funds grants.
  • Responds to legal queries about the license, trademarks, or US export control registration, owns/renews the key Python domain names, and other such administrative chores.

See our donation page for instructions on donating via credit card, checks, wire transfers, or PayPal.

Donations are tax deductible for US citizens and for any business where donations or sponsorship can be considered pre-tax business expenses.

Businesses can also consider becoming a sponsor member of the PSF or a sponsor of PyCon 2007.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

PyCon 2007 - Fifth Annual Python Community Conference

ADDISON, TX, November 30, 2006 - PyCon 2007, the fifth annual conference of the Python community, will take place February 23-25 at the Dallas/Addison Marriott Quorum hotel. The keynote speakers will include Ivan Krstic, from the One Laptop Per Child project; Adele Goldberg, a developer of Smalltalk; Robert M. Lefkowitz, an expert on the use of open source in business; and Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python.

PyCon annually attracts hundreds of attendees interested in the open-source Python language, ranging from novice programmers to developers of the language core. This year's conference will include a record sixty-four sessions, covering the use of Python in a broad range of contexts, such as web development, testing, and cross-language integration; case studies in industry, science, and education; and Python implementations for the Java and .NET platforms.

The program will also include intensive half-day tutorials, impromptu Open Space talks, Birds-of-a-Feather topical gatherings, and the ever-popular five-minute Lightning Talks. One new feature this year will be the Python Lab, a collaborative, hands-on problem-solving environment. Following the conference, many developers will stay for Sprints, extending the Python language and Python projects through several days of intense, cooperative coding.

PyCon is organized by members of the Python community, and made possible by the Python Software Foundation and conference sponsors.

For more information or to register, please visit the PyCon 2007 website:

Information for members of the press is collected at

Contact information

Publicity coordinator: Catherine Devlin
IntelliTech Systems
catherine.devlin at gmail dot com
Conference chair: Andrew M. Kuchling
amk at amk dot ca
703-471-2104 x120

Alternately, send e-mail with a phone number to psf at python dot org and someone will call you as soon as possible.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Status of the Grants Committee

A report by Martin von Löwis on the status of the PSF grants from 2004, and his thoughts on the past and future of the Grants Committee.

PSF adopts a trademark policy

The PSF holds a registered trademark on the word "Python". Every few weeks someone writes to the board and asks permission to distribute a program with the word "Python" in its name or to do something with the Python logo. The PSF's board wanted to have a document explaining the PSF's goals for the trademark and discussing common use cases.

During Monday's board meeting, we voted to adopt the policy available at This document is version 1.2.2 because it went through a few rounds of rewriting on the board and PSF-members mailing lists, as well as some checking by the PSF's counsel.

We hope the policy is reasonably clear and understandable. If in doubt about any usage of the trademark, please write the PSF at (psf at python dot org).

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Infrastructure committee moves forward with Roundup as the issue tracker for Python

In a previous post we pointed out that the Infrastructure committee had come to a recommendation for a new issue tracker for Python development. As part of that recommendation we stated that if enough volunteer administrators stepped forward to help administer a tracker installation the recommendation would switch from JIRA to Roundup. I am happy to report that more than enough volunteers stepped forward! Four admins (Paul DuBois, Erik Forsberg, Stefan Seefeld, and Michael Twomey) have been chosen to initially lead the handling of the tracker. We have also accepted a generous offer made by Upfront Systems to host the tracker. Our next steps are to begin planning out how to administer the installation, what we want from the tracker, and how to migrate off of SourceForge. These discussions will take place on the tracker-discuss mailing list to make sure that the tracker meets the needs of the Python development team. Thanks to all of those people who came forward to volunteer for the tracker to make all of this come together!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Python 2.4.4 released

Today release manager Anthony Baxter announced:
On behalf of the Python development team and the Python community, I'm happy to announce the release of Python 2.4.4.

Python 2.4.4 is a bug-fix release. While Python 2.5 is the latest version of Python, we're making this release for people who are still running Python 2.4. This is the final planned release from the Python 2.4 series. Future maintenance releases will be in the 2.5 series, beginning with 2.5.1.

The new release can be downloaded from the Python 2.4.4 page.

September PSF Board Meeting Minutes Available

Minutes of a Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Python Software Foundation, September 18, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What's the point of Planet Python?

One of the PSF's servers hosts, which collects postings from a long list of weblogs and displays the most recent ones. (Not to be confused with, which does the same thing but was doing it first. is run by Ryan Phillips and has a slightly different list of weblogs.)

Right now I'm the only maintainer of the list of weblogs. People occasionally send e-mail to <webmaster at> asking for their feed to be added or moved. I read myself, and if someone notes they're abandoning a weblog or moving it, I make that change too. The editorial decision is sort of random on my part; there's no stated policy about it. Recent events make me think it's time to be more explicit about the rules.

Last week I changed the feed for Phillip J. Eby's weblog, from his full weblog feed to his programming-related feed, which is a subset of posts from his full weblog. Phillip sent in a note pushing back against this change, suggesting that he gets a significant number of readers for his non-Python postings through; this means that some Planet Python readers like these non-Python posts.

Back in 2003 when projects first started running Planet aggregators (Planet GNOME was one of the first), programmer weblogs were mostly focused on what-I-did-today with the odd digression. Reading a Planet therefore let you see all the activity in a particular development community: what's being developed? what's getting committed? what's being discussed?

Today weblogs have more digressions -- photos, political griping, cutesy memes, here-are-10-songs posts -- and Planets therefore contain all sorts of off-topic things. This isn't necessarily bad -- it can be interesting to see what your fellow developers have as other interests. But is it what people want? I'd like to see some discussion of this question, whether in the comments or on your own weblogs.

Question: should Planet Python be "posts from Python programmers" or "Python-related posts from Python programmers"? I've always leaned toward the latter view and chosen feeds with this in mind, but not everyone has a Python-specific category in their weblog and the selection of posts is therefore very imperfect. Should I try to be stricter about this?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Infrastructure committee recommends a new bug tracker for Python

Brett Cannon, chair of the infrastructure commitee, has posted the committee's recommendation for a new bug tracker.

The PSF thanks everyone who set up a bug tracker and performed a trial import of Python's bug database -- a considerable amount of effort on their part.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Python 2.5 released

Today release manager Anthony Baxter announced:
On behalf of the Python development team and the Python community, I'm happy to announce the FINAL release of Python 2.5.

The new release can be downloaded from the Python 2.5 page. A description of the new features in Python 2.5 can be found in the article "What's New in Python 2.5", or you can read the release notes for every last detail.

A note for journalists: if you want to talk to a PSF director about the new release, please send us an e-mail at and a director will contact you to arrange a discussion.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Vancouver Python and Zope User Group donates over $5000

The Vancouver Python Zope User Group has donated the proceeds of the 2006 Vancouver Python Workshop, amounting to CAD$5770, to the Python Software Foundation. The PSF thanks the user group for their support.

The organizers of the Workshop would like to thank their organizers, speakers and everyone who attended. They would also like to thank their sponsors: ActiveState, SafeSoftware, and - your support was invaluable!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Jeff Rush is the Python Advocacy Coordinator

The PSF has signed a contract with Jeff Rush of Tau Productions, Inc to fund his proposal to act as Python Advocacy Coordinator for six months. In this position, Jeff will work full time on developing and implementing an effective advocacy strategy for Python. His tasks will include writing content for the website and printable brochures for conferences, expanding Python's coverage in technical journals, and building a more effective network of advocacy volunteers from the community. Jeff is known for his work on PyCon 2006, and will be reporting to a group of several PSF directors and officers (initially Stephan Deibel, Chairman of the Board, and Neal Norwitz, Assistant Treasurer).

Thursday, August 31, 2006

PyCon: Call for Proposals and for Tutorials

The Call for Proposals and Call For Tutorials for PyCon 2007 have been posted. Talk proposals must be received by October 31st, and tutorial proposals must be received by November 15th.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Announcing the PSF CafePress store

Thanks to Tim Parkin's volunteer work, the PSF now has a CafePress storefront at

You can order T-shirts, hats, and stickers featuring the blue-and-yellow Python logo and the yellow-and-black PyCon logo. About 25% of the sale price will be returned to the PSF to help fund our activities.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Four issue trackers submitted for Infrastructure Committee's tracker search

Back in June, the Python Software Foundation's Infrastructure Committee asked for help in the search for a new issue tracker to replace SourceForge. We asked people who wished to help with the search to install their favourite issue tracker and import a data dump of our issues from SourceForge. We placed a deadline of August 7th to have the installation up and going. We realized that this was a large request to make of the community, but we needed to make sure that we got to evaluate any candidate trackers with the amount of issues that Python has so as to get a real-world feel. Not surprisingly, the community stepped up to the challenge with four different test tracker installations by the deadline! We have one for JIRA, Roundup, Trac, and Launchpad. The current schedule calls for the Infrastructure Committee to spend the next month evaluating the four trackers and making a decision on which one to go with. This might slip, though, since this overlaps with traditional American and European vacation time. But the slippage will not go beyond October 1. On behalf of the Infrastructure Committee, I thank the people who took the time and effort to set up a test tracker to help improve the development of Python.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

2005 & 2006 PSF Members Meeting Minutes Available

2006 PSF Members Meeting minutes 2005 PSF Members Meeting minutes -- David Goodger, PSF Secretary

April PSF Board Meeting Minutes Available

April board meeting minutes. There was no May board meeting, due to the lack of quorum. -- David Goodger, PSF Secretary

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A request for trackers from the Infrastructure Committee

Currently Python's bug/patch tracker is hosted on SourceForge. While it has served its purpose over the years, the decision has been made that it is time to move on to another tracker. The Python Software Foundation's Infrastructure Committee has been charged with selecting a new tracker to use for Python's development. To do this, the committee is asking for volunteers in setting up test trackers. Candidate trackers are to load data from a dump of the current bug data from SourceForge. In this way, the committee can properly evaluate the plethora of trackers that are available. If you think you can help by installing and maintaining a test tracker for the duration of the evaluation period, please see the detailed request on the Python wiki. Thanks to anyone who is able to help out.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Results from the Need For Speed sprint

The Need For Speed sprint in Reykjavik, Iceland, is winding down today, and Steve Holden has posted a summary of the results. The gains are impressive:
  • Several string methods such as .find() and .replace() are now much faster; some methods are up to 4 times or even 25 times faster! (Work by Andrew Dalke and Fredrik Lundh.)
  • Exception handling is now 30% faster than in Python 2.4. (Work by Georg Brandl, Richard Jones, and Sean Reifschneider.)
  • The struct module now precompiles format strings and is about 20% faster. (Work by Martin Blais, Bob Ippolito.)
  • The interpreter can be built using Microsoft Visual Studio 8's profile-driven optimizations. (Work by Kristjan Jonsson, Richard Tew.)
  • Georg Brandl and Jack Diederich began a rewrite of the decimal module into C, laying the foundations for a Summer of Code student to complete the work.

And there's even more! A complete list of the improvements made at the sprint are recorded in the Successes wiki page.

Thanks to the participants, to CCP Games for their support, and to the sprint's sponsor, EWT LLC.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Summer of Code projects selected

A slate of Python-related projects has now been selected for Google's Summer of Code initiative.

The Python Software Foundation (PSF) was allocated 25 projects, tying with the Apache Software Foundation for the largest number of funded proposals. The PSF's list of the accepted projects is now public.

The accepted projects include 5 enhancements to the CPython interpreter or standard library, 3 PyPy projects, 3 SciPy projects, and 2 projects relating to the Soya3D library for 3-dimensional graphics. There are also individual projects to enhance PyGame, SQLAlchemy, Python support in Eclipse, and Mailman; to port the Cells extension for object-oriented programming from Common Lisp to Python; to add automated code analysis to the Python Package Index; and to write a Python API for Mozilla browser plug-ins.

The PSF would like to thank everyone who helped assess and rank proposals, and all the volunteer mentors who offered to assist students with their projects.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Eighteen Pythonistas Sprint for Speed

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, 17 May 2005: Two Python Software Foundation directors (Steve Holden, Tim Peters) and a former director (Fredrik Lundh) are among a group of eighteen Python developers traveling to Iceland this weekend to start a six-day meeting dubbed the "Need for Speed" sprint. Participants are coordinating through the NeedForSpeed wiki page in the Python wiki.

The sprint is sponsored by EWT, LLC of Beverly Hills, CA, with local support from Icelandic gaming company CCP. The technical goals are improvements to Python's performance, but this event is also an experiment in collaboration between the open source and the commercial worlds.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

PyCon 2007 date announced

The planning committee has set the date for the next PyCon conference: PyCon 2007 will be February 23 to 25 2007, in Addison, Texas.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Submission for Summer of Code proposals is now open

Students can now submit their Python-related proposals for Google's 2006 Summer of Code. Please see the Summer of Code wiki page for ideas and application instructions.

We're also still accepting volunteers to mentor students. The wiki page also has instructions for mentors.

Foundation Supports PyWeek with Hosting

May 1, 2006. PyWeek is a game programming challenge in which participants must write a game in one week using Python. The second PyWeek challenge placed heavy stress on a donated server infrastructure, highlighting the need for more professional hosting facilties.

To ensure that PyWeek can continue to meet this growing demand the Python Software Foundation today announced that it will support PyWeek by funding the hosting facilities that are required to keep the increasingly popular event as responsive as possible to participants.

Richard Jones, PyWeek's organizer, said "PyWeek challenges entrants to develop a complete game in Python in a week. Inspired by similar programming challenges and National Novel Writing Month, the event capitalises on the extraordinary work people can produce under the combined influence of a very short deadline and a community of like-minded people. This year there were approximately 100 entries, of which about 35 were completed. The next PyWeek will be in about 6 months.

"Response to the challenge was a little overwhelming for the volunteer hosting but new hosting has been found with the PSF's help and PyWeek lives on!".

For further information please see the PyWeek and Python Software Foundation web sites.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

So you want to host PyCon 2008...

Now is a good time to start thinking about the location of PyCon 2008. This posting is a call for interested groups to begin considering and planning sites for the 2008 conference.

Dallas TX was chosen as the location of PyCon 2006 and 2007 because the local Python user group prepared an excellent set of web pages describing the proposed location.

We'll repeat this procedure for 2008: interested groups can prepare bids describing their city and suggested venue. The selection of the 2008 location might be made at the 2007 conference, or the PSF and the conference chair might choose a location after mutual consultation.

Do you have an idea for where PyCon 2008 could be held? Here's what to do:

  • Form a group of people interested in helping with the conference planning.
  • Read the list of location requirements. This list is modelled on the Perl Foundation's venue requirements for their YAPC conferences and on past PyCon experience.
  • Consider how your location meets the requirements, and research issues such as transportation and costs.
  • Write up a bid describing your location. This bid should cover all of the areas listed in the requirements: facilities, catering, accommodations, audiovisual equipment, etc.

Feedback on the requirements is welcome; you can either e-mail me at (amk at or post to the pycon-organizers mailing list.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

PyCon 2006 presentations online

Some of the presentations from PyCon 2006 are now available from Unfortunately not all of the authors have made their presentations available, but about half of the presentations are there.

If you presented a talk at PyCon and want to have your slides added to the archive, please e-mail them to (webmaster at HTML is preferred and PDF is OK; PowerPoint or OpenOffice presentations will also be accepted.

-- Andrew Kuchling, chair, PyCon 2006.

Monday, April 17, 2006

PSF participation in Google's Summer of Code

The PSF is planning to participate in Google's Summer of Code again, and is calling for help from the community. Here's how you can help:
  • Suggest project ideas by recording them on the SummerOfCode wiki page.
  • Volunteer to mentor a student. Send an e-mail to Neal Norwitz (nnorwitz at gmail dot com) to volunteer.
You can discuss any SoC topic on

Monday, April 10, 2006

Minutes of PSF Board meetings available

In full colour: (board meeting at PyCon)

— David Goodger, PSF Secretary

PyCon 2006 financial report

I am pleased to report that the financial outcome of PyCon 2006 was profitable.

The profit was about US$19000. This money will go into the PSF's general funds.

Not taken into account in the above profit figure:

  • Drew Moore arranged for the manufacture of the travel mugs and, once his costs were recouped, donated the remaining proceeds to the PSF. Wesley Chun also donated proceeds from the sale of the tutorial notes. I believe this amount is somewhere between $1000-$2000.
  • The PSF spent $6000 to help people attend PyCon by paying for their plane flights, hotel rooms, and registrations. I view this as a PSF grant program, not a conference expense, so have left it out of the calculation.

I'd like to draw attention to the amount of money saved thanks to the work and effort of the local volunteers. One example would be the power strips that were available in the ballroom and the quiet room and during the sprints. Having the hotel provide power strips would have cost about $6000 over the course of the conference; the sprints alone would have cost about $800 per day. Instead, Jeff Rush purchased $1000 worth of power strips, and the local volunteers spent hours taping them into place. Thanks to everyone who volunteered!

Also, thanks to the conference's sponsors. See the sidebar at for the list of sponsors. Registration and tutorial fees alone wouldn't have covered the conference's expenses, and sponsorship was critical to helping PyCon stay profitable.

PyCon 2007 will stick to the goal of remaining low-cost while not losing money for the PSF. This year's profit means that we can spend more money to improve the conference next year.

-- Andrew Kuchling, PyCon 2006 Chair (and PyCon 2007 co-Chair)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Python 2.5 Licensing Change

[To avoid any uncertainty on the part of later readers, this article was part of an April Fool's joke. No such licensing changes are currently anticipated. SH]

April 1, 2006 -- The Python Software Foundation today announces a significant change to the licensing conditions for the Python programming language. Since this change will require payments by commercial users this article explains the reasoning that led the Board to the decision to change Python's licensing terms and conditions. First, the details of the change: Section B, clause 2 is modified to read (our italics):
2. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License Agreement, PSF hereby grants Licensee a nonexclusive, world-wide license to reproduce, analyze, test, perform and/or display publicly, prepare derivative works, distribute, and otherwise use Python 2.5 alone or in any derivative version, provided, however, that PSF's License Agreement and PSF's notice of copyright, i.e., "Copyright (c) 2001-2006 Python Software Foundation; All Rights Reserved" are retained in Python 2.5 alone or in any derivative version prepared by Licensee. License is royalty free for applications and derivative products distributed under any approved open source license. Other applications and derivative products are required to pay the Python Software Foundation a royalty of $US 1.25 per installed copy.
The Board realises that this change will be contentious. There are many advantages to making it, however, which we feel will benefit the Python community at large and the PSF membership in particular. Users who wish to make commercial use of Python on a royalty-free basis are encouraged to continue using Python 2.4, whose licensing conditions remain the same. The decision has been borne of necessity: the Foundation is supposed to promote the advance of the Python language, but to do this properly would involve many expenses that the Foundation simply cannot afford to incur without increasing its income. The additional money will be put to good use, funding several adventurous programs:
  • We anticipate being able to pay individuals to speak about Python to encourage the growth of the user community; this will in turn increase revenues still further.
  • The treasurer's projections indicate that by the year 2010 we should be able to make PyCon a completely free conference.
  • A further round of grants will be awarded for the development of new language features, including a) making strings mutable; b) re-implementing regular expressions to give better conformance with Perl; and c) porting Python to the simple CPU.
Python has always been a community-based language, and the Board of the Foundation sincerely hope that users will send us their own ideas for taking advantage of the significant funding that this change is likely to provide. The Board is grateful to the Advanced Program for Research In Licensing, whose First Object-Oriented License was a model for these changes. Interested readers can find out more about this license on this page.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Announcing the new PSF weblog

The Python Software Foundation is pleased to announce that we now have a weblog for posting announcements, requests for help, calls for discussion, organizational news such as meeting minutes, and PyCon-related news. The PSF does many things, but often hasn't been very active in publishing the details. I hope the existence of this weblog will provide the community with more insight into what's going on. At today's IRC meeting of the PSF Board, we voted on, and accepted, a weblog policy that forms a set of guidelines about what can be posted here. No weblog editor has been appointed yet. Some of you may remember that I posted a call for an editor to psf-members last summer and got a number of responses at the time. I've since ditched the SVN-based approach and set up this Blogger-hosted weblog instead, so I'll be contacting the volunteers to see if they're still interested.

Draft minutes of February 14 PSF Board meeting available

I have also posted the old-style HTML to my account so that
you get the pretty colors on action items:

Adding support for colored action items to the new stylesheet is on my to-do list.

Coming soon: minutes of the PSF Members Meeting at PyCon 2006, and minutes of the board meeting at PyCon.

— David Goodger, PSF Secretary

Monday, March 06, 2006

Redesigned site launches

Today the PSF is pleased to announce a redesigned version of

The new page design was created by Tim Parkin of Pollenation Internet. It uses modern CSS for page styling, making it possible to choose between normal and large-font versions of the site, and suppressing the page headers and sidebars in the printed version. Try previewing the printed version of a page to see the effect.

Pages are now closer to being valid XHTML 1.0, though not quite -- there was a lot of content to convert. Much conversion work was done by the participants in the pydotorg sprint at PyCon 2006.

We welcome comments and bug reports for the new site. Please see the 'About the website' page for instructions on creating a new problem ticket. You can also send e-mail to the address <webmaster at>.