Candidates for the PSF Board of Directors
The following people have been nominated as Directors of the Python Software Foundation for the term beginning 23 February 2007. Their self-written summaries follow.
The obvious questions are:
"Who is this guy?"
I have been a professional software developer for over twenty years using, whenever possible, Open Source tools.
In 2005 I began experimenting with a variety of dynamic languages and quickly fell on Python as the one with the most promise for large, long-lived systems. For the last year I have experimented with a number of python applications for XML and Web development, focusing on Zope/Plone most recently.
"Why is he here?"
The short answer is David Goodger extended an invitation to assist.
But of course it isn't quite that simple. I feel Python is a great technology; very well thought-out with tremendous potential. I am interested in contributing to the growth of it. Furthermore I have a good amount of free time through 2007 and I feel contributing to Python is the best use of it.
This begs a number of questions that do not seem to be appropriate for this space but I can be reached at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
"What can he do for the PSF?"
As a software manager for many years, I came to learn that most of the work to support a company, even one that is tax-exempt and for the betterment of the universe, is not fun, challenging or even interesting. But it is critical.
I reviewed the Director Duties and am comfortable in whatever role assigned to me. I see my main tasks in this role as:
- Help out where needed and participate as an audience member in discussions. I will try my best to perform whatever tasks are assigned to me.
- Spread the influence of Python via advocacy and making it more visible to the software community at-large.
I have been programming in Python for six years. I currently serve as the administrator of the Python database special interest group (db-sig). I write a blog at http://halfcooked.com/blog where Python is one of the main topics of discussion. I have presented papers at the UK Python Conference in 2003 and the Open Source Developers Conference in 2005 and 2006.
I would like to serve on the board of the Python Software Foundation to give a little back to the open source community that has given me so much. I'm happy to contribute wherever I can and am comfortable that I can fulfil the duties and responsibilities of a director of the PSF. As an example of my contribution to other open source projects I developed the documentation format and web site for the PythonCard project at http://pythoncard.sourceforge.net/ as well as contributing code patches and a couple of complete sample applications.
- open source developer since 1993
- Python developer since 1998
- have led numerous open source projects in Python including Redfoot, Cleese, Leonardo and Pyjamas
- wrote first Python implementation of numerous standards: TREX (precursor to RELAX NG), Atom Publishing Protocol, Unicode Collation Algorithm
- PSF mentor for Google Summer of Code 2005 and 2006
- Chief Scientist at mValent where I introduced Python as scripting language for large-scale Java-based product (and converted numerous developers to Python in the process)
- outside of Python have been involved in numerous committees including standards (W3C, OASIS), former member of Apache XML Project Team, UWA Graduates Association (including membership drive and fundraising)
- am Australian and would like to work to help make PSF donations tax-deductible for Australians
I am an independent trainer, consultant, and technical editor and writer, specializing in C++, Qt, and Python. I write the tools to support my everyday work in Python (and PyQt), and consider Python to be the most productive and enjoyable language I have ever used.
My contributions to the open-source world have mostly been behind-the-scenes, for example, my involvement with the Lout typesetting language, but some have been more visible, such as the Qt books I have co-written.
I think that I would be useful to the PSF and am open-minded about how I contribute.
A vote for me is a vote for the status quo :-) -- I've been doing Python since 1991, and have served on the PSF Board since its start. I'd like to continue, if only to provide historical perspective and to represent developers' views. No grand visions here, just a wish to continue steady (albeit snail-like) spare-time progress.
I have been contributing to Python for a decade now; for the last few years, I also contributed to organizing activities in the Python community:
- For some time, I actively responded to questions on python-help
- On the PSF board, I worked (with others) on setting up the contribution forms that contributors are asked to fill out
- Also on the PSF board, I lead the grants committee.
- Recently, I initiated the move of the Python source repository from SourceForge CVS to python.org subversion, I setup the buildbot infrastructure for automated testing, and contribute to the transition from the SourceForge bug trackers to roundup.
If I get re-elected to the board, I would like to concentrate on the licensing issues, in particular trying to collect contributions form from past contributors.
I have been participating in the Python community since 1994, when I picked up the language for a class project and ended up giving a short talk at the Third Python Workshop the following year. For the past two years, I've been co-chairing the PyCon organizing committee.
This year's PyCon will be my last; the conference will be taken over by a new chair. I'm still running for a PSF director's seat, but will have new focuses for 2007-2008:
- Making it easier to add content to python.org. The site redesign has been successful; the underlying software, less so, and I think this is reducing contributions and making it too difficult to add new pages.
- Working on PyPI enhancements.
- Writing Python-related documents: first white papers such as the AdvocacyWritingTasks, then Python documentation (such as how-tos or a user's guide).
- Raising Python's profile. In some circles we've become the outdated legacy language; we need to remind people that the Python community is still developing and innovating.
- Assisting the revival of Jython development. Interest in dynamic languages on the JVM is growing with the GPLing of Java, and we want to be relevant in this domain.
- Possibly organizing a relatively small hackathon focusing on core Python development.
I've had an interest in object-oriented programming since 1973, and have been a Python user since version 1.5. Python seemed such a natural way to express OO designs that I adopted it enthusiastically, and eventually wrote "Python Web Programming".
I have been a sporadic but voluminous contributor to discussions on the comp.lang.python newsgroup, and organised and chaired the first three PyCon conferences. It was for this activity that I was originally nominated for PSF membership by the BDFL. I still retain responsiblity for soliciting PyCon sponsorship, which helps keep the costs down and the conference available to as many as possible. I believe that an active and involved community is important to the health of open source projects, and have management experience from other user groups as a former chair of the Sun UK USer Group and former Treasurer of DECUS UK.
As the Board grows it would be nice to take an ambassadorial role and help to expand the Foundation's relationships with its sponsor members and other open source projects. In the meantime I will continue to help the Board build a solid basis for support of the Python language and its users.
I first learned Python in 1998 and immediately became an enthusiastic Pythonista. The Python community has become very important to me. That's why I became a PEP editor and started helping out with the web site. I was elected as a member of the PSF in 2003, began helping out with PyCon in 2004, then got involved with the Board of Directors, first as Assistant Secretary in 2005 and as a Director and Secretary in 2006.
I believe in the principles of the Free Software movement in general, and Python and its community in particular. Working with the PSF as a Director is one way for me to give something back.
Contributions to the PSF & the Python community:
PEP editor since 2002
A maintainer of python.org, including the website conversion
PyCon volunteer since 2004
Director & Secretary since PyCon 2006, Assistant Secretary in 2005
As Secretary (and Assistant Secretary before), I maintain the minutes of the Board and Members' meetings, and am in the process of organizing our paper records. As a Director, I have taken on many tasks large and small, perhaps too many: I currently have the distinction of the most pending action items in the Board meeting minutes.
As a Director, these are some of the things I would like to accomplish and see accomplished:
- Establishment of an annual budget and budget policy, and a strategy/action plan (e.g. a grants process)
- Organization of the PSF's records
- Simplification of the web site's toolchain
- Creation of effective advocacy materials
- Reduction of my PSF to-do list
A little about me:
- Co-founder of Wingware, maker of Wing IDE for Python
- Created Pythonology, one of the early Python Advocacy sites
- Member of the PSF
- Using Python since 1998
Some of my past contributions to the PSF:
- Chairman of the Board of the PSF since 2004
- Worked with legal counsel on the trademark policy
- Drafted parts of the license FAQ
- Supported funding of the website redesign, and participated in the work as a volunteer
- Supported paying nominal salaries for the critical work done by the Treasurer (Kurt Kaiser) and Secretary (David Goodger)
- Championed funding Jeff Rush in the current six-month trial period for the Python Advocacy Coordinator position position, which I now oversee together with Neal Norwitz
- Respond to email questions re: trademarks and licensing
Things I would like to see:
- An easier-to-use web framework for python.org
- Continued support for advocacy, if this proves effective
- Revival of the grants process in some form
- Development of a more effective fund raising capability (more like a "normal" charity)
I am also chairman of the Python Support Committee, which is charged with fund raising, but haven't had much time for this so there is little progress.
My company, Wingware, was previously a sponsor of the PSF, under its legal name Archaeopteryx Software Inc, but converted to Emeritus status when I started putting time into the PSF.
I live in Cambridge NY, a rural town in upstate NY where "pie ala mode" was invented and life is good.
I was elected to the PSF membership during the first PyCon in 2003. Shortly after that I become a committer on Python itself. Over the years I have made various contributions to the Python community, the largest of which was writing the python-dev Summaries for over two and a half years.
At PyCon 2006 I joined the PSF board. I was also elected chairman of the Infrastructure committee which is nearly completion on moving Python's issue tracking from SourceForge over to our own Roundup installation.
My, people write a lot about themselves here. All right, for those who don't know me, I'm a father of two, with an interest in baking the perfect lemon tart and on a quest for the best French baguette in Vancouver. More relevant perhaps:
- I co-authored two books on Python published by O'Reilly (Learning Python with Mark Lutz, and the Python Cookbook, with Alex Martelli & Anna Ravenscroft)
- I'm the CTO & VP Engineering for ActiveState, a maker of development tools for dynamic languages like Python.
- I've been a director of the PSF since its inception
- I tend to accumulate and value my connections with other open source foundations (mozilla, apache, perl, dojo, etc.), as it helps cross-fertilization across these related cultures, and helps us build a broader within the open source ecosystem.
- I'm a French & American citizen, living in Vancouver, Canada
My current feelings regarding the PSF and Python is that both are quite healthy, and in no need of fundamental restructuring. The language is changing but useful, attracting new converts and buzz while keeping most of its adherents on board. The foundation shows no fundamental problems, with a good financial basis, constant (if slow) progress on intellectual property issues, and a growing base of members, both individuals and sponsors. I'm glad to see new blood in the community, membership and foundation board, and I feel the board is pretty a pretty healthy organization.