Sunday, March 23, 2008

Misc from PyCon II

I wasn't active on the Pycon-organizers list this year but this game suggestion did get some laughs at the python-dev core sprint. So I give you:

German, American, or Other?

(All of these guys have svn commit privs on the core, as listed here)

Hettinger: American
Brandl: German
Lundh: Other (Swedish)
Reifschneider: American
Doerwald: German
Diederich: American (my great^8-grandfather was German)
Martelli: American/Other (originally Italian)
Dalke: American
Kuchling: Other (Canadian)
Ronacher: German
Warsaw: American
Janssen: American
Heimes: German
Tismer: German
Goodger: Other (Canadian)
Wolever: Other (Canadian or just in Canada?)
Forsberg: Other (Swedish)
Yoshida: I have no idea but I'm hoping this is a trick question
Stein: American
Niemeyer: Other (Brazilian)
Seutter: Other (Canadian)
Kaiser: German (?)
Gustaebel: German
Lemburg: German
Loewis: German
Klose: German
Norwitz: American
Schemenauer: Other (Canadian)
Oussoren: Other
Heller: German
Wouters: Other (Dutch)
Seilnacht: Other
Petursson: American (probably, he speaks fluent Icelandic but I think he converted as a youth)

[highlight the text after the ':' to see the answer]

No doubt there are some errors in there so please leave corrections in the comments. Google isn't great for determining nationality and I didn't even google the answers I already "knew." Also, apologies to any Austrians who got lumped in with the Germans (a friend's grandmother at the age of 90 told her son she was Austrian after saying she was German for a lifetime. When confronted she replied "German, Austrian, whatever.")

Update (July 27, 2008) German ancestry is dominant in 17% of Americans or about 50 million people. You can be 1% German and have a German last name or 99% German and have a Spanish last name but if people mate randomly* the number of people with German last names would be at least as high as the number of people who self-report that they are mostly of German ancestry. There are 80 million Germans and somewhere near that number of Americans with German last names so this quiz becomes somewhat less surprising in hindsight.

* and mate randomly they do. The urge to mate is much stronger than any weak favoritism for ethnic continuity. In the US the idea that like-marries-like doesn't last for two generations (see "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"). And the idea is weakest in the majority (aka white people). Growing up I was amazed that the O'Dea kids down the street were 100% Irish. They weren't recent immigrants so the only thing in my mind was: wow, what are the odds?

If you want another anecdote, here's one: my father's father (who's last name I have, obviously) did not like the Pennsylvania Dutch ("Dutch" being the popular corruption of "Deutsch") . He was a 3rd generation New York German but he didn't care for the country bumpkin Pennsylvania Germans who got on a Westward boat 10+ generations before his own ancestors. His bias was entirely theoretical and limited to jokes and stereotypes. He didn't consider my mother (100% Dutchy) or any of her family as "Dutchy" because they were doctors, lawyers, businessmen, and engineers. He was encouraged to not bring it up and everyone else was reminded that he didn't really mean it. "Etlay itway opdray" is our family motto so this was rarely a problem.

NB, if you ever read a story about harsh race relations in America please take the last paragraph into account. My grandfather's rhetoric far exceeded reality. His words (accurately quoted!) would have been an indictment but were far different than his beliefs in practice.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bonus PyCon Day!

I was supposed to fly back to Boston tonight after a successful PyCon but the fates intervened. Or United Airlines sucks - take your pick.

Well, United isn't entirely useless because they did manage to get my bags to Boston. Bastards.

I do get to sprint for an extra day and I was able to get a room in the conference hotel. Joe, the all knowing bartender, says that the airlines booked a block of 250 rooms here for tonight. It should be a pretty ecclectic and angry crowd at the bar.

Update: I made it home the next day (Friday) but last I saw David Goodger his flight was canceled and he was expecting to get out Saturday. From the customer service lines at the airport David probably had some company.

NB, perhaps my mistake was traveling without a towel. That's like asking for trouble.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Misc from PyCon I

Don't stay at the Double Tree (the hotel next to the conference hotel) and if you own their stock sell now. I was impressed when checking in because they gave me a hot cookie (that is not a euphamism). I asked about it and they pointed out the OVEN behind the counter. I thought these people really have their shit together - even thouogh I didn't want a cookie. But the clocks in every room were wrong by an hour. Worse, the clocks are set by a radio signal and have no way to manually set the time. The hotel knows about the problem but isn't trying to fix it. That hour is because congress, in its infinite wisdom, wanted to save us all money at no expense to themselves by screwing with Daylight Savings. Congrats congress: you have cost three hundred million people five minutes of inconvenience a week for a year and counting.

Do stay at the Crown Plaza (the conf hotel). It has some rough spots - the bar doesn't open until 4pm - but has fewer signs of dysfunction than the Double Tree. I left a book in a common area yesterday and today asked a waitress if they had found it and saved it. She told me they had found one book but asked me to describe it instead of showing it to me. It turns out I had used a $20 bill as a bookmark and they wanted to make sure they had the right guy first. Actually I had two book marks in there and the other one was a plane ticket stub. Another employee had left a message for me at the desk. So yeah, the Crown Plaza franchise might be average but the local staff are honest and hard working.

Monday, March 17, 2008

PyCon Core Sprints

Sprints have started. The core python sprint has 30 guys this year which is huge (about 12 are core committers). The Django sprint is maybe twice that size. Thankfully no one has revoked my privs since last year even though I haven't committed anything in ten months.

First I'll be investigating PEP 3115 (Metaclasses in 3k). I tried some of the syntax yesterday and couldn't get it to work so either the implementation or the PEP is off. It's probably the PEP in which case my first checkin will be a doc fix.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

PyCon is Over

Well, the main conference anywawy. I'll be around for sprints.

I prepared a lightening talk but didn't get to do it (the talks were a bit disorganized and the slots were full instantly). Mine would have been on class decorators in python. Originally it was titled "in python 3000" but someone back ported decos to 2.6 recently. A pdf of the slides is available here. Most of the content was to be spoken so the slides are sparse.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

See You at PyCon

I thought I procrastinated last year -- but a friend just asked me what I was doing for St Patrick's day and I said *!#@(*%. The good news is that this morning I was able to book a hotel room and a flight. The bad news is that I couldn't get the conference rate at the hotel and I have to stay next door on the 13th. Live and not learn, I always say.

If you are looking for me I look pretty much the same as I always have, but mustachier.