15 August 2013

My Europython 2013 report

Back from Europython 2013 in Florence for a while now. I had a presentation about my Python compiler Nuitka. You can watch the Video on Youtube. I believe it’s absolutely worth your time. I was not doing a lot of “why” at all now, only “what”, and demo times, and answering questions:

The talk went really well. I believe one can clearly see that I felt really good and at ease. The state presented is very good and progress - there was a lot, so that was great. The slides of the talk may also be interesting.

And it definitely raised a lot of interest.

Last years talk is also there. You can (maybe) see that I was 20kg more weight then, and also much more excited, at least initially. Background: I was surprised then that Guido van Rossum was attending the talk, plus I was kind of not in the state of this year, the confidence that people should believe, that things will work after that, was not yet there. I knew it, but standing in front of a croud and saying, look I am attempting what you consider impossible, or even have failed at, is not easy:

There are also the slides of that talk which may also be interesting, but of course are outdated somewhat now.

Years make differences

So yeah, the progress happened since 2012 made a difference. Nuitka has proven things. Let’s see what this year does to it. I would hope for real type inference optimization and portable mode to be there next year.

Consider that is the a spare time effort. Lots of people lauded it for the out of the box experience, and how it just works. That’s right. I put a lot of focus on stability, correctness, and ease of use. In fact, since my return, I have mostly worked on the feedback I got in that domain.

But for the relatively small amount of time I can invest (outside of holidays), it’s make very fast progress.

Out of the box thinking

The feedback during the conference was great. While Nuitka is not yet seeing a lot of users, and not as many contributions or donations as I would hope for, but that’s kind of expected with my out of the box thinking there.

Few people at Europython really need a Python compiler. The most important exception are scientific people, doing number crunching. And I made some interesting contacts there.

Since my return, I have been receiving a bunch of bug reports. Some of which were unfortunately regressions of 0.4.4, and these got fixed in two hotfix releases. Currently is released, and contains a huge amount of fixes, mostly stuff found by the surge new users.

But I deserved that, having said that I didn’t have to do hotfixes for a while now.


Such a lovely place, and so lovely people. It’s a tourist place, true, but it’s very open minded. The food is extremely good. And going from the conference hotel straight over to the river to meet up and have a few beers was very comfortable for after-conference stuff.

Now that I have been there 2 times, and the conference even 3 times, it’s moving on, to Berlin, which I sort of regret. Knowing the place somewhat definitely is an advantage by itself.

Python Revolution

One thing that came to my mind during the conference, witnessing the large amount of non-satisfaction, was that the community is fed up with the leadership. Questioned about lack of Python3 adoption, a PSF guy in his presentation said they were 3 years into a 5 years plan, and got interrupted by laughter.

It may be about time, somebody actually gets up, removes the GIL and has a Python2.8 that is compatible. Obviously that’s much more useful. It could be a Python3.x with compatibility names of modules, print statement, and dict.iteritems added, probably also making some of the unicode mess more harmless, and providing unicode and long built-in names.

Considering that I have in fact been playing with the idea of forking CPython top versions, to add things, that would allow Nuitka to work better with it, that could be a staging ground, where such changes are nurtured. On the other hand, Nuitka is too irrelevant yet to drive this, and it would detract me away from it.


So Nuitka got a lot more exposure. And one guy watching the talk even created a really nice logo for it. I will make it a separate announcement though, and the next release is going to use it.

And in the aftermath, there were much bug useful reports. And new ideas. And reinforcement that what I am doing is actually useful to some people already.


My travel to Florence was in part funded by donations. Thanks a lot to all of you who have given, and who would like to also make a donation. Should I receive sufficient donations, I intend to go to FOSDEM 2014 as well.

Going to Berlin will be a bit cheaper this time around, as I can travel there via train.


The Europython 2012 and 2013 both are among the times of my life.