Last weekend, I attended PyCon 2007. I hadn't originally intended to go, but I could hardly miss my father giving the final keynote.
The keynote was riveting as expected. To be honest, I hadn't expected much of the conference beyond that. The first PyCon was an amazing experience, but as the topics drifted more towards "web frameworks" and away from more general programming, later ones were progressively less interesting. I missed last year's and nothing I read caused me to regret it much.
I'm happy to say that this expectation was completely wrong, and this conference was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed it on many levels.
In previous years, a lot of my time was soaked up by justifications, answering questions like "why does Twisted make me do foo" or "why haven't you made Nevow do bar yet". This year, the discussions I participated in were all productive and engaging, including the two, multi-hour Twisted birds-of-a-feather sessions which I attended.
Many of the exciting developments that I enjoyed while I was there aren't ready for public consumption quite yet, so I can't say much here. I can give you some incredibly vague hints though! It was a very rewarding conference both from a business and community development perspective. (Those of you with privileged information, please do not add anything revealing to the comments. Seriously.)
One cool thing that I can shout from the rooftops already is that Guido, a group of concerned hackers, and I got to have a meeting of the minds, which Guido has already blogged about, addressing many upcoming concerns we all had about Python 3. That, and several other discussions with the responsible developers about the proposed transition plans for the 3.0 release have put my mind at ease. That's not to say that I agree with every decision that has been made - and I definitely need to participate in a few more mailing list discussions - but I feel much more comfortable that the whole thing is in good hands.
My major regret for this conference is that I was completely unprepared for the truckload of great stuff that happened. I thought I would take it easy for a few days and get back to work. If I had a better idea of what would be happening, I would have prepared at least a few lightning talks, a more structured BoF session, and better allocated my time to the many interesting folks who wanted to bend my ear so that I wasn't rushing from conversation to conversation.
I told a lot of people that I'd be doing a lot of things as soon as the conference was over. Unfortunately the first thing I actually did when the conference was over was develop the worst cold I've had in the last 5 years, and promptly stay home sick from work for a week, sleeping most of the time. To make matters worse, the conference and the illness coincided with the blackberry software on my phone crashing very badly and a not-quite-perfect beta-test of the Divmod migration process on my email account.
In other words, if I told you I'd get back to you at the conf, I probably haven't. I'm trying desperately to claw through my backlog right now, but it's going to take a while. Please be patient, and if you haven't heard from me in a week or so, feel free to send some repeat emails and nag me. If I said I wanted to get back to you, I really do.
I should warn you that I'm still not quite back at 100% HP/MP yet, and I have lots of actual work work to do as well, so you might want to wait a few days, but please, everybody, stay in touch.