(though it makes my song obselete)
To my gittip I have added Russell Keith Magee, Jacob Kaplan-Moss, Anssi Kääriäinen, Ramiro Morales, Preston Holmes, Josh Ourisman, Thomas Sutton, and Roger Barnes in appreciation of the recent patch to the Django user model. I'll be giving them a small weekly gift for the next five weeks.
I want to make sure that everybody realizes how significant a change this is. The technical ramifications are fairly straightforward - one can now define a User model with attributes and methods relevant to a specific project. No more need for a "UserProfile" model to house the extra fields. No more joins in your custom methods to access basic user data.
The social implications, however, are difficult to overstate and very important.
For the past 6 years, my primary occupation has been teaching people who think of themselves as traditional "activsts" about the tactics and techniques of the open source movement.
I am amazed at how quickly (and astutely) people - reading 'code' for the very first time - can identify elements that they find important. For folks who are concerned about the state of social justice, this usually means an examination of the assumptions made about person-ness and the authority structure.
The Django User model, prior to this change, made certain assumptions about the users of a django app. I write a song last year (to the tune of Big Rock Candy Mountain) that summed them up:
Many of these assumptions rub up against social and cultural boundaries. Obviously, most people in the world don't have a "first name" and a "last name," nor does everyone have the same order of given and family name, if they have those attributes at all.
Like clockwork, my students say "wait a minute!" when they come across these assumptions about identity and power.
My explanation is always fairly straightforward: That Adrian Holovaty, one of my favorite developers on the planet, was trying to build a CMS for readers of an American English newspaper. He proceeded with the required haste and made a fantastic product in the process. The lesson is: Adrian got the code written and tested. It's far from perfect (in this case it's pretty bad), but his efforts are the reason we can even have this conversation now.
With this changeset in the bag, I submit to you that the most powerful and substantial argument against adoption of django is removed. For those of us that so strongly believe in django's other maxims: that perfection is a reasonable goal, that tests are important, that documentation is even more important, that good code is DRY, and that rapidity and perfection needn't be regarded as mutually exclusive, this is a powerful, deep change.
For those of us who regard django as a community as much as a web framework, this change is the punctuation of an unwritten statement about the importance of inclusivity and human dignity in that community. And that's the stuff that keeps me and my students involved.
If you too are motivated by these kinds of changes, consider a gittip like mine. If 100 people give, these folks still won't have been reimbursed for the added value of this awesome framework.
Sadly, I'm not at PyCon this year, but if you are, buy one of these people a drink for me.
In what ways can our location be better?
Tell us what you think.
cjdns author among presenters, open-mesh.com to sponsor event
SlashRoot will host engineers and developers from amatuer to expert at a summit on the subject of “mesh” networking this Saturday, March 31.
“Mesh” is a style of computer networking that uses a series of small devices, called “nodes,” to pass information through local areas. It is sometimes referred to as “neighbor-to-neighbor style” networking. Some prominent network engineers have suggested that it may soon drive much of the infrastructure of the Internet.
“Although mesh is very new in terms of mainstream attention, the technology and techniques are fairly well tested - we’re going to be ready to deploy in New Paltz by the fall,” said Justin Holmes, SlashRoot’s founder. “As such, we’re obviously overjoyed to bring internationally known experts to New Paltz to convene on the future of this technology.”
Among the attendees registered for the summit is 24-year old Caleb James Delisle, a Massachusets engineer and author of cjdns, a popular and quickly-growing routing software. “If you were going to make a short list of the rising stars in network programming today, I think you’d have to include Caleb,” said Holmes. Delisle’s software was recently selected by “darknetplan,” a reddit-based group of 25,000 mesh enthusiasts, as their software of choice. Delisle will be entertain a one-hour internet-broadcast interview by Holmes at 1:00PM.
The event is sponsored by open-mesh.com, which bills itself as a provider of “ultra low-cost, zero config, plug and play wireless mesh networks.” Open-mesh will provide the networking gear for the event as well as coupons for registered attendees.
WHAT: Northeast Mesh Networking Summit
WHEN: Saturday, March 31 from 10:00AM - 6:00PM
WHERE: SlashRoot Coffee House and Tech Dojo, 60 Main Street, New Paltz, NY 12561
WHY: Up-and-coming network technology being discussed and developed in the Hudson Valley.
here is Caleb James Delisles interview from the event.
Bloody TemplateSyntaxError will now occur only upon... errors... in... the template syntax...
Have you tried to sit down and teach anyone Django lately? Maybe run them through the tutorial?
Have you then watched as they made a slight mistake, including but not limited to: Typing the database host name incorrectly, bugling the queryset syntax, mis-typing the name of a variable in the view, etc? All the while with a perfectly fine template?
....and have you then watched as Django raised TemplateSyntaxError?
This problem was very annoying for us at SlashRoot - it was a major hurdle in making new django developers feel empowered and informed about the state of their app. On a daily basis, one can hear shouts of "but the template looks fine!" coming from our dev stations.
I made this problem my mission at the sprint at Djangocon.us 2011. With a great deal of help from the very patient Carl Meyer, I banged out a fix. You can see the ticket here.
This is SlashRoot's biggest contribution so far to Django, and we're super proud and happy to help.
I just got the word that my application to volunteer at Twiliocon has been accepted - the standards must be pretty low these days! :-)
Anyway, I get to help put on a great conference for one of SlashRoot's favorite service providers! And I get a free ride for doing it! Woo!