The BoulderSprint is a regular activity of the FrontRangePythoneers. We held six sprints in 2007, and we hope to do this or better in 2008. If you are interested in holding a sprint with us, please contact FRP leader Jim Baker (jbaker AT zyasoft DOT com).

For more information about sprints in general, read the SprintIntroduction page. SteveHolden has a useful article in the OnLamp Python DevCenter on how to run a sprint.

Sprints have both short-term and long-term value. If you attend a sprint, you are going to get an immediate and immersive introduction to an opensource codebase. It's quite possible that code you write that day will get accepted immediately into the project, via its trunk or a branch. And then there is the long-term payoff, where the sprint leads into a longer journey. The newcompiler project for Jython 2.5 (sprints Jan 6, Feb 3, Aug 4) was merged into trunk on Jan 7, 2008, and is part of two students' master and dissertation research respectively. The modern branch (expected to be merged in soon) generated some interest for Django on Jython, and soon perhaps ipython on Jython too (also due to another local Pythoneer) (sprints Sept 14-15; Dec 1); the Boulder-Oracle branch was merged April 19 into the Django trunk for its Oracle support (sprint Nov 4, 2006). (Fill in more long-term stories.)

Previous Sprints

(Fill in details for the last 3 sprints.)

TurboGears World-Wide Sprint: Jan 12-13, 2007

Django World-Wide Sprint: Dec 1, 2007

Django World-Wide Sprint: Sept 14-15, 2007

Jython Sprint: Aug 4, 2007

IPython on Jython

For the Jython sprint on Aug 4, there's strong interest in getting IPython working on jython. Jython's ability to explore the large and complex ecosystem that is Java is one reason it's such a great tool. In particular, I (Jim Baker) like using Jython on Jython, as well as to explore functionality we are in the process of adding. It's much better to use an object shell than the alternatives (mostly painful).

But IPython is a much better object shell, as we know in using it to explore Django and other projects. Hence the sprint. x IPython support: Getting IPython to run on Jython (ideally the upcoming 2.2 release). Fernando Perez will be attending as a domain expert we can tap, although he plans to squash bugs in the CPython version.

Jython 2.5

The upcoming Jython 2.2 release represents a huge milestone for the Jython community, but in the next step we want to catch up on 2.5 (or even 2.6) features. The principal reason is to enlarge the community: as long as there's such a lagging between CPython and Jython, it means that supporting even core packages is shouldered by Jython implementers instead of being shared across the Python community. In addition, certain 2.5 functionality addresses portability concerns. Resource Allocation is Initialization (RAII), as enabled by the with-statement, makes it much easier to do the right thing and have deterministic resource destruction instead of relying on reference counting doing this implicitly, but creating an incompatibility with non-refcounting GC as is the case with Java/Jython. 2.6's Class decorators and function annotations, in addition to 2.5's function decorators and 2.2's import hooking, make it possible for Jython to consume and produce annotation metadata and type signatures.

Two of our Google Summer of Code students have confirmed their participation, Damien Lejeune and Tobias Ivarsson. Damien has been working on the new AST parser based on Antlr, and Tobias has been working on a new bytecode compiler based on ASM. In this sprint, we would like to help them out and especially help with their integration of the compilation pipeline. In addition one of us (Jim Baker) is planning on finally getting to work on support for Java annotation metadata.

IPython1 Sprint

Summary: IPython1 is a beefed-up version of the python interactive interpreter that enables parallel computing. It's the next generation of the indispensible IPython shell.

We're going to caffeinate and code and get this amazing codebase to beta status.

Your homework:

This shouldn't take more than an hour or two, and will ensure we all have a base level of familiarity with the project that will help us hit the ground running.

In addition, Fernando plans to use Mercurial for distributed version control during the sprint, so you should install and familiarize yourself with that software if time permits.

Jython Sprints

Update Jython. Brian Zimmer's proposal is an useful outline of what needs to be done technically. Perhaps even more importantly, there are some key engineering challenges to be addressed to ensure overall project success. Because of the scope of the work, we are looking at this as preliminary to a 4-day sprint at PyCon. More here at JythonSprint.


  1. Eric Dobbs
  2. Bill Simons
  3. Matt Boersma
  4. Kip Lehman
  5. Jim Baker

Django-Oracle Project

November 4, 2006 (Saturday), 9 AM - 6 PM

Complete support for Oracle in Django in time for 1.0. Suggested by Matt Boersma.

UPDATE: Thanks to the hard work of Ian Kelly, this code is basically complete. We're submitting a patch for Oracle support back to the trunk today (April 19, 2007). Lots of people had a hand in these changes, so congratulations are in order for everyone!

Specifically, we would like to build on the good work already done by the Django community to produce a single patch that can be applied to current subversion sources, enabling Django's ORM to pass basic tests against an Oracle database. The current patches available have Oracle-specific conditional tests in many locations; we will try to confine such code to the django.db.backends.oracle package.


The bug report stipulating Oracle support by Django version 1.0 is here: http://code.djangoproject.com/ticket/1990

Preliminary Tasks

(Many of these are refinements and performance improvements that we won't get to, since we're focused only on correct behavior right now. But several of us reviewed the code and didn't want to lose any feedback. After the sprint, we will enter the outstanding issues in the Django project Trac.)


  1. Jim Baker
  2. Matt Boersma, Aries, the man with the plan
  3. Eric Dobbs
  4. Ian Kelly, Pisces, he who shall do all the work
  5. Matt Drew, Capricorn, master pizza orderer
  6. Michelle Cyr, Cancer, senior ice cream fetcher
  7. Jacob Kaplan-Moss, lead Django developer!
  8. Malcolm Tredinnick (working remotely from Sydney -- with the flu, no less!)
  9. Mitchell W. Smith, Virgo, schwag coordinator

Post Sprint Party

Some of us are planning to go to the Cuban Connection fundraiser, 6 PM - 1 AM, St. Julien Hotel (our favorite meeting place for FrontRangePythoneers). In addition to raising money for a good cause, this will be a chance to stretch our weary coding muscles while dancing salsa to Quemando and Havana NRG.

Photo Stream

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