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Candidates for the 2010 PSF Board of Directors

The following people have been nominated as Directors of the Python Software Foundation for the term beginning in February 2010. Their self-written summaries follow.

There are currently 10 seats on the Board of Directors (ref.).

Raymond Hettinger

Incumbent PSF board member. Director of Technology at SauceLabs. Certified Public Accountant. Ten year contributor to the Python core (itertools, sets, collections module, etc).

Recurring speaker at Python and OSS conferences including PyArgentia, Pycon Italia, in Montreal, EuroPython in Geneva and Vilnius, PyUK, OSCON, and US Pycons in Dallas, Chicago, and Atlanta. Currently co-leading the Python Swallowed Whole book effort (a community book with many authors and all proceeds donated to the PSF). Also working on an update to the Python Cookbook. This year, have lead the PSF effort to get all of our contributor agreements signed and collected (or re-signed and re-collected where the originals had been lost). Serving as Assistant Treasurer for the PSF.

Jesse Noller

Jesse is a prominent member of the Python community. His accomplishments include:

  • Python committer and maintainer of the multiprocessing module
  • PSF member
  • Chairman of the PyCon 2010 program committee
  • Python blogger

David Mertz

I have served on the PSF board for one year, and would enjoy the opportunity to continue doing so. Beginning prior to membership on the board, and on a continuing basis, I serve on the PSF Trademarks Committee, currently as its vice-chair. During this last year, I successfully proposed the adoption of a diversity statement by the board, following on work by the Diversity Committee. I also drafted and proposed the striated sponsor membership levels now in effect.

By background, I am a recovering humanities academic, tempted away from post-structuralist political philosophy by the intrigue and wiles of algorithms and data structures (always best expressed in this language Guido gave us).

I am the author of Addison Wesley's Text Processing in Python, of the IBM developerWorks' column Charming Python (since 2001), and of various other articles advancing and explaining the use of Python and its tools and libraries. I have created some moderately well-used FOSS Python tools (most collected in Gnosis Utilities). I will be co-author of the forthcoming 3rd Edition of O'Reilly's Python Cookbook (with Raymond Hettinger, and using recipes from the Python community maintained by ActiveState). Sometimes speaker at PyCon and OSCON. I have been an advocate for use of Python by several public-interest software projects, including in the voting software developed by the Open Voting Consortium (I am CTO and board member of that organization). I recently have been a minor advisor to the developers of Gnumed (an excellent project that needs volunteers, that existed well before I knew it). I also have been a consultant with a number of notable Python-using organizations, at the margins helping to expand that use.

Jeff Rush

Incumbent board member. I've been a consultant since 1984 and first got involved with Python in 1997 by porting it to OS/2 (with patches into the Python core) and then for a number of years produced RPMs for Python that were picked up by Red Hat. I've worked with Python, Zope and Twisted ever since.

I started the DFW Pythoneers usergroup in 2005, became a member of the PSF in 2006, and co-chaired PyCon in Dallas for 2006 and 2007. I was hired by the PSF to be Python Advocacy Coordinator for two six-month terms in 2006/2007 and have produced a number of screencasts about Python at I also coordinated in 2007 the community response to the Forrester Research study on dynamic languages that rated Python highly.

I've presented about Python at the Vancouver Python Workship (2004), PyCon (2006-2009), Texas Regional Python Conference (2007), PyArkansas (2008) and Texas OpenSource Symposium (2008) and numerous DFW Unix and DFW Pythoneer usergroup meetings.

Tim Peters

Your longest-standing Board member remains ever ready to mentor the young, or to chide them, depending on which medications he forgets to take from day to day.

2009 was a challenging year for the PSF, primarily for financial reasons. I'm pleased to say the Board responded appropriately without going overboard, continuing to make grants at a lower but sustainable level, while establishing new accounting and budget procedures. Exciting as watching rocks sleep? Yup, but essential - the glory of serving on the Board isn't for everyone ;-)

Allison Randal

Steve Holden asked me to submit a nomination. I'm the lead developer of Pynie, an implementation of Python 3 on the Parrot VM, as well as architect of Parrot (yes, the VM is named after a Monty Python sketch, you see, it all started with this April Fool's joke...). I'm not a PSF member yet, but hope to join in the future. I'm currently studying at the University of Bristol in the UK, where I'm subversively working for student rights to do assignments in Python.

I have experience in open source foundations and communities. Together with Dave Neary of GNOME, in 2005 I founded a group called FLOSS Foundations to bring together leaders from a broad array of open source foundations. I'm chairman of the board of the Parrot Foundation. I was on the review committee for the GPLv3. I was president of the Perl Foundation at one point, and still serve on the board as a legal advisor, though I'm no longer actively involved in daily operations.

I might be best described as a fresh perspective and a voice of experience in the school of hard knocks. I'd be happy to serve the Python community in some useful way.

James Tauber

Incumbent board member. Have been doing Python for 12 years and open source for 17 years. CEO of Eldarion. Lead developer of Pinax and Django core developer. Chair of the PSF Trademarks Committee. GSoC PSF mentor 2005-2007 and PSF administrator 2007-2008. Frequent conference speaker.

Steve Holden

In my first interview with Guido van Rossum, when I asked him about the Foundation he said he felt it needed "adult supervision." That it should look to me to provide such supervision is a true measure of the paucity of talent this august body possesses.

This year I am trying to make sure that we have an interesting election, and so rather than pushing a slate of nominated members I have been goading people with at least some Python involvement and good connections to open source and/or the software industry to lend us their experience.*

The Foundation now has a CPA office supervising its accounting, and continues to revise its bylaws to accommodate a changing interest in the language and its development. At this year's members meeting I shall be proposing further changes to

  1. Make it easier to terminate the membership of non-contributing members of any grade; and
  2. Introduce a new class of '''associate''' membership, which members will pay an annual fee and receive diverse benefits such as a quarterly magazine and concessions of different types from industry suppliers.

In the last year I have provisioned MSDN licences for a significant number of core developers, and hope to continue to expand this scheme so that Windows support remains for as long as it is a significant market requirement. The Foundation is grateful to Microsoft for the subscriptions, and solicits similar (nominated) member benefits from other industry vendors.

Any companies wishing to provide benefits to the new associate membershp category should please contact me, or the PSF Administrator Pat Campbell, patcam at python dot org.

I am trying to provide leadership by example. Since real life intrudes on my plans just as much as it does on yours I try to temper my expectations of volunteer results; the type of people I want to encourage are those who can take on a project and run it to completion with minimal supervision.

If this describes you then read and consider nominating yourself. You will be elected by the members, so don't expect an easy election if you don't have good open source credentials ...

  • I am, however, planning to nominate one or two ...

Marc-André Lemburg

Steve Holden kindly asked me to step up as PSF board member candidate for this years election.

I've been working with Python since 1993/4 and on Python since 1997 as core developer. Many of you may know my company and the mx* extensions (mxDateTime, mxTextTools, mxODBC, etc.). As Python core developer I designed the Unicode integration, the codecs subsystem, wrote the platform module and helped with lots of details that I found useful during my consulting work over the years.

From 2002-2004 I already served on the PSF board and was PSF vice president in 2003/2004. Back then I got the Public Support Committee (PSC) off the ground with the aim of finding ways to generate income for the PSF and initiated the work on getting Python contributor agreements in place.

This time around I'd like to help initiate some more visible projects as board member:

  • organizing fund raising in a professional way
  • starting with some real PR work for Python
  • getting a web firm to give the site a face-lift, make it more attractive for users (pupils, students, novices, developers, educational institutions, governments and businesses), donors and the press
  • giving the PSF a face at various important IT- conferences by sending delegates there to give talks, setup and run a booth, etc.
  • establishing the PSF as lobby organization in the political sphere in order to participate in projects where Python and its mindset can help, e.g. open-source, scientific and educational projects
  • establishing and running services for the community, such as those needed for running small- to medium-sized conferences or meetings

I hope to add a more a business-like mindset to the PSF board, in order to enable the PSF to mature both in terms of figures and responsibility.


Greg Stein

Incorporator of the Python Software Foundation, and Prior Director.

I contributed directly to Python and its ecosystem from 1995 through about 2001(?), but have been pretty much absent since then (focusing my development activities into Apache projects, WebDAV, and Subversion).

Steve Holden asked me to throw my name into the ring, based on my experience with the Apache Software Foundation (which was used as the initial model for the PSF). At the ASF, I've been a Member since 1999, a Director since 2001, and its Chairman for five years (2002-2007).

I believe my experiences at the ASF can contribute to the continuation and evolution of the PSF. We have grown the ASF into a large, worldwide, influential entity, and I believe many of the hurdles that we needed to solve and to cross are before the PSF. These remain in the "operational" aspects of the Foundation, rather than in the day-to-day technical development and management of Python (the Board its the corporate structure should serve the development community, but not direct it).

Gloria Willadsen

Steve Holden requested that I submit myself for consideration.

I've been working with Python for over ten years, written articles and blog posts about it in numerous places. I ran an "I Love Python" code snippet series on DevChix, I submitted articles to The Python Papers and Python Magazine.

I have started two different apprenticeship groups where I have taught/still teach Python development and all of the necessary peripherals (Apache and WSGI, Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora OS maintenance, how to start and maintain your own projects from scratch, etc). One group was called GrrlCamp, exclusively online and for women, and is now defunct. Several of those women have moved on to form similar groups in their respective countries (one in The Sudan!). The current apprenticeship group is face-to-face in NYC, still active, and I'm trying to focus on ways to foster apprenticeships worldwide. This group is growing too quickly, and may have to split into two groups soon.

I do tutorials around the world, at many smaller Python conferences such as PyOhio, PyArkansas, and the /etc in Europe (A European tech/art festival for Women, where Python is heavily used for Pure Data and web scraping, data feeds to firmware, etc)

I've used Python commercially in all of my projects since 2001, and I've converted about ten different companies from PHP or Perl to Python development simply by tutoring them, and showing them the ease of use and quick prototyping capabilities of my own code.

I have served on the board of a small company back in 2000, that I and several colleages started, called Aviom Corp. I am familiar with the politics and procedures of such a position, and I do think I would be a good candidate for this reason as well.

Martin v. Löwis

In the last year, I had been focusing on infrastructure issues (hardware upgrades, PyPI, bug tracker, XS4ALL liaison). In the coming year, I'd like to continue that as the PSF infrastructure committee chair (taking over that role from Brett Cannon). I also remain interested in international diversity (even though non-U.S. board members will probably remain a minority in the next year, as well).

Douglas Napoleone

Steve Holden requested that I submit myself for consideration.

I have been active in the python community for the past 7 years, been developing with python for the past 10, and am a contributor to a number of open source projects written in python. I have worked with and helped organize three local python user groups. Over the past 5 years I have become increasingly involved with the organization of PyCon.

I wish to see the PSF grow to meet the needs of the greater python community. The PSF needs to take a more active role in helping user groups, and incubating new projects; started by the PSF or the community. The board need not take on all responsibilities, but must have a clear means of delegating work to the PSF membership, with clear oversight. We have a large pool of talent in the PSF membership, eager to help out but lacking impetus. Better organization and outreach are needed to break down the imagined ivory walls of the PSF and more specifically the Board.

Right now there is no infrastructure for creating new projects, or doing outreach. Instead of specific projects, I want to work on the framework for the management of projects in general, and opening up the PSF to the greater community. It should be easy for a person or persons with a good idea and the determination to follow it thorough to create a new community jobs board, and get official oversight and help from the PSF. The biggest barrier to getting many of the projects discussed done, is not having any clear way to start them.

Existing PSF responsibilities:

  • PSF Trademark Committee
  • PyCon US
  • Core Organizer
  • Program Committee
  • Volunteer management
  • Software Coordinator
  • Website Maintainer
  • Indentured Servant

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