Saturday, January 08, 2011

The Python momentum and PyCon 2011

In light of TIOBE's recent announcement, I was again reminded of what a great time it is to be a Pythonista and part of the Python community. This was also a week of great excitement around PyCon 2011 with the announcement of the final list of talks and tutorials for the conference, in what's shaping to be the best PyCon to date.

On that note I wanted to share a message from Jesse Noller, PyCon's Program Committee Chair:
I'm very pleased to announce, on behalf of the PyCon 2011 Program
committee, and entire PyCon 2011 volunteer staff, that the full list
of PyCon 2011 talks is now public, and available!

This was an especially hard year for the PyCon program committee: we
had over 200 proposals for only 95 total slots, so we ended up having
to reject a lot of excellent proposals. We've spent the better part of
the last few months in reviews, meetings and debates selecting which
talks would be in the final PyCon program. It was not and easy task -
all of the proposal authors really came through in their proposals -
the number of high quality proposals we had to chose from was simply

That said - the program committee completed it's work yesterday
morning. Acceptance and rejection letters have been sent, and you can
now view the full program on the site:

This obviously complements the list of tutorials also available:

Personally, this is my second year acting as the Program Committee
chair (and hence, my last) - and between the talk list, and the list
of tutorials, our current keynote speaker
( and the emerging line of up
poster sessions - I'm extremely proud to have been part of the
process, and extremely excited about the upcoming conference. It is
going to be amazing

One behalf of the entire PyCon 2011 staff, I want to again thank every
single talk author for their submission(s), and I look forward to
seeing all of you, and them at the conference. PyCon is an amazing
conference only because of the quality talks, tutorials and community
we have. I'm confident this one will knock it out of the park.

As a reminder: Early Bird registration
( closes January 17th - and we have
an attendance cap of 1500 total attendees (speakers are counted
against this number, and guaranteed a slot) so be sure to register

Jesse Noller
PyCon 2011
I was fortunate enough to be part of PyCon's Program Committee this year and be involved on the selection process for these talks, it was a great process (and a lot of work) and we're all thrilled with the final outcome and hope this year's PyCon reflects the great momentum Python is currently enjoying.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Review: Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

Jonathan Stark
I really have to say this book has everything a great development book should have, very readable, tons of code, links to useful websites, walkthroughs for setting up your environments, etc. It is indeed a great step by step guide to turning your HTML websites into almost-native Android Apps in a very short time.

The author assumes you have good working knowledge of HTML, CSS and Javascript, in fact the whole point of the book is to teach you how to leverage that knowledge for building native Android Apps without having to learn additional technologies like Java or Eclipse. That being said you certainly don't have to be an expert, as the book also includes a crash course and some basic info as technologies are introduced on each of the chapters.

Even being an Android specific book, I'm sure I'm not the only one who had an epiphany mid-book about applying these technologies for iPhone development, and in fact is possible! All these technologies are standards based and not limited to the Android ecosystem. That reason alone makes this book “double great”, since you're not only getting a guide to building Android Apps, but you're also getting a head start for doing the same for the iPhone and Apple's App Store all in one book!

Although I'm enthusiastic about the book, it is far from perfect. it does feel as an on-line tutorial sometimes and the author recurs to repetition a bit too much for my taste. Again beginner users might find this very valuable, but for professional devs it might be a little frustrating even if you can easily skim through those sections. I'm also on the fence about the code provided on the book's website, I find that a finished version of the code projects would've been a great addition.

Disclosure: As showcased on the right pane of this blog, I’m writing this post as part of O’Reilly’s blogger review program. While I’m not getting paid to review books, I do get a complimentary eBook copy of this title.