Lightning talk: Hacking (with Django)

I gave a lightning talk yesterday at the EuroPython conference about my little MyEuroPython mashup. The intention of the talk was not to promote the site but to raise a conversation about how to make better conference websites (and especially

Main points of my presentation were that conferences are about communication and interaction. Current does not give any tools for that, and it would be great to have something more 2.0 for the site.

For example:

  • Simple site structure with good (live)search
  • Registration and personal preferences using OpenID
  • Allow commenting of sessios
  • Provide a personalizable timetable (that is useful for example when using a mobile phone)
  • Free the data; RSS feeds (and possibly other APIs?)from everything
  • Aggregate blog entries, images, links to the main site

Good thing was, there was talk about the presentation afterwards, and we actually volunteered for doing the with Django next year. Hopefully the discussion lives on!

At EuroPython 2007

I arrived at Vilnius Lithuania with my colleague on saturday. We spent the weekend by exploring the beautiful old city and today we’re getting into the business with EuroPython.

Only a couple of weeks late, I today published MyEuroPython, which provides an alternative to the EuroPython conference schedule (powered by Django — of course). It’s very untested and unpolished at the moment, but at least I’m using it myself 🙂 I’m giving a lightning talk about the site later on today.

Hopefully we’ll get a some kind of Django-meetup arranged this week. I’ll be posting more on the conferense soon. Meanwhile, my Jaiku page updates somewhat often and Flickr images, too.

Django: Say Hello to Unicode

After weeks of testing, the Django unicode-branch was merged into trunk today. This changeset brings huge improvements to unicode-awareness of Django and it also fixes a lot of unicode-related bugs. From the announcement at django-users list:

This should be backwards-compatible for all practical purposes (providing you only use ASCII data). The only real difference you will notice in that case is that model fields are Unicode strings instead of bytestrings in type, but since they are ASCII data anyway, that shouldn’t make any real difference.

See Unicode data in Django and Porting Applications (The Quick Checklist) for more.

Furthermore, there was also another great commit today fixing a bug that has always been in top five of my personal “The things I hate most about Django”-list. Changeset 5608 adds finally “unicode-aware slugify filter (in Python) and better non-ASCII handling for the Javascript slug creator in admin”. Until today, slugify-function converted a typical non-english title like “Tässä on älyttömästi ääkkösiä” into (totally unreadable) “tss-on-lyttmsti-kksi” which of course sucks big time when every other slugify function on the planet makes it something like “tassa-on-alyttomasti-aakkosia” (which is totally readable).

I’m really, really happy that Django is slowly but firmly maturing into a unicode-friendly framework. Kudos for Malcolm Tredinnick for his huge efforts on the unicode-branch and also big thanks to everyone who helped with testing and bugfixes!