Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Postscript to Warehouse Post!

Yesterday’s post described an important development project currently being undertaken by the PSF called Warehouse. This will redevelop and improve the Python Package Index, PyPI. I wanted to let you know about a particular issue that the developers are currently trying to solve–that of translation into languages other than English.
Yesterday, Donald Stufft wrote to the PSF community mailing list, soliciting help from Pythonistas with experience and knowledge in non-English coding, translating, teaching, or other relevant expertise.
The desire is to support translations of the PyPI UI (user interface). Most, but not all, PyPI content is in English, which typically isn’t and shouldn’t be a problem. But the UI aspires to be more welcoming to folks who either are not native English speakers, or may not speak English at all.
The current translation engine for PyPI is L20n.js, but the drawback is that this client-side engine only supports more modern evergreen browsers–those which continually and automatically update. There may be users who have older browsers, especially in non-English speaking parts of the world. 
One possible solution is to write a server-side implementation of L20n, i.e., to port it to Python. But this solution would involve taking development time away from Warehouse itself, as well as losing some beneficial features of client-side translation. Another possibility is to switch to Gettext, which PyPI had been using previously, but this solution is also considered less than ideal. 
If you can help with this issue, or would like to be better informed, please visit:
I would love to hear from readers. Please send feedback, comments, or blog ideas to me at

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Welcome to the Warehouse!

Warehouse is the new codebase being developed to power the Python Packaging Index (PyPI). Python developers and users already know that PyPI is the official comprehensive repository of third-party open source Python packages (see Wikipedia). PyPI, maintained by the PSF, is where developers publish their software modules and from which package managers, such as pip, download packages. Given the important role played by PyPI, the Warehouse project is bound to have a huge impact on the continued use and growth of Python. 
While many volunteers have been working on the project, the biggest contributions have come from lead developer Donald Stufft and web-design specialist, Nicole Harris. Donald, based in the US, is a core contributor to PyPI (as well as to CPython, pip, virtualenv, Django & Cryptography), while UK-based Nicole runs a web development business, Kabu Creative.
The design goals, as stated on Nicole's website, were:
  • To update the visual identity 
  • To make packages more discoverable
  • To accommodate the needs of both users and package maintainers 
  • To give the project the same level of professionalism as a commercial project of the same scale 
  • To ensure that the user experience reflects the Python community–a community that is welcoming, helpful and inclusive
Donald and Nicole have recently released a first look at the new design on the demo sites, Warehouse and Warehouse staging.
Looking great, thanks to Donald and Nicole's hard work, but there is plenty more to be done: writing code, writing the user guide (PyPUG), usability testing, and giving feedback. Details on how to volunteer and more info can be found on Nicole's site.
I would love to hear from readers. Please send feedback, comments, or blog ideas to me at

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2015 Community Service Award goes to Berker Peksağ

Last month I posted about the wonderful work of Terri Oda, who was recognized with a Community Service Award. Today’s post is about another 2015 Fourth Quarter CSA recipient, Berker Peksağ, who will be receiving a Community Service Award  … for his consistent volunteer efforts with pydotorg in 2015 (see Resolutions).
As many of you know, pydotorg has been undergoing renovation for a long time now. It has been, and continues to be, a labor of love involving many people (the Python infrastructure team, Marc-André Lemburg, and Benjamin Peterson, to name just a few). Still, the work done by Berker over the past year has been remarkable, resulting in significant improvement to the site and to users' experience. 
His contributions in 2015 include:
  • Helping get the second redesign working on the staging website
  • Working on the new job board with Marc-André Lemburg
  • Helping fix bugs on (e.g., corrections to URLS for Python downloads; scrolling issues on landing pages and PEPs)
  • Making sure the site uses an up-to-date version of Django
  • Committing code to improve the user experience (e.g., adding a feature for updating board minutes on the site; making a change so broken images would not appear; updating the members' section to allow members to edit their profiles, and non-members to sign up; updating membership using django-admin so staff can download member files; updating the PEP RSS feed; updating Open Graph protocol on the website
  • Updating contributor documentation describing how to install the GitHub repo and how to contribute to the site
  • Improving the contributor experience (e.g., by switching from Chef configuration to Ansible)
  • Reviewing and merging community pull requests
  • Cleaning-up code
Wondering how Berker came to make so many awesome contributions, I asked him about himself and learned the following:
Berker is a software developer, living in Istanbul, Turkey, who first started learning Python in 2010. At the time he had been engaged in web development for over five years, but within a year of learning Python he built his first non-trivial Python project with a friend. 
Desiring to become more active in Python, Berker discovered in late 2011. This discovery gave him the courage and support to contribute to CPython. As he tells it: 
"I still don’t know what I was thinking since I [didn’t] even know enough Python at that moment :). I don’t remember all the names, but Antoine Pitrou, Brett Cannon, Éric Araujo and R. David Murray were really helpful. Brett also merged my first patch to CPython in early 2012."
Berker's enthusiasm and skills increased, and by 2014, he had become a core developer. Today he works as a Python consultant in Istanbul.
I  asked Berker what more needs to be done on pydotorg, and he replied 
"Our stack is little bit outdated (Python 3.3 and Django 1.7), and we have a few blockers before switching to the latest releases of Python and Django. We also need to improve community contributions. I have a few ideas, but I couldn’t find enough time to work on them."
So here’s an opportunity for those of you who would like to help!  And for everyone, please join me in congratulating Berker on his well-deserved award and in thanking him for his contributions to our community.
I would love to hear from readers. Please send feedback, comments, or blog ideas to me at