Cpython Core Developer Sprint and Outreachy at Tapia : What I did !!

Joannah Nanjekye
Oct 9 · 5 min read

From September 9th to 21st, I was in London and San Diego taking part in the annual Cpython core developer sprint at Bloomberg and representing Outreachy at Tapia conference 2019.

This was my very first set of trips that was entirely dedicated to open source. Special thanks to the Python Software Foundation (PSF) and Outreachy for fully funding these my travels!!

I will take this opportunity to share what I did during this time.

Cpython Core Developer Sprint 2019

This year I attended my first core developer sprint guided by Eric Snow who stood in for Victor Stinner as mentor. I was one of the two non core developers at the time that attended the sprint.

It was good to meet core developers in person. My high light was to meet core developer Benjamin Peterson especially. Benjamin reviewed by book “Python 2 and 3 Compatibility : Using six and Future Libraries” so it was good to meet him in person. Also other developers but most of them I had met at the Language summit early this year during Pycon in Cleveland.

It was a productive week for me guessing from the discussions I had and the work I did guided by Eric. I will try to summarize:

PEP 554 : High Level Implementation of subinterpreters Module

I had a list of things I wanted to work for the week but priority was to work on PEP 554 which provides multiple subinterpreters in the stand library. I was able to expose all of the currently existing low level subinterpreter functions. I got an initial review from Eric (aka the subinterpreter guy) on the direction since he is the PEP author.

We also did a lighting talk with Eric on our progress at the end of the sprint.

Future work

I did some good amount of work but what is pending for this particular work is;

  • Implementing some missing low level methods related to buffers and channels.
  • Get an extended review

Garbage Collection

One of the discussions I had was with Pablo Salgado and Thomas Wouters on garbage collection. My goal was to understand the current state and see where I can help.

From the discussion, I got to know about some experiments done by Thomas in implementing a GC for Cpython based on libgc. He said it was very experimental and that he doesn't yet have hopes of integrating it to Cpython.

I also found out that the cyclic GC would benefit from improving the object promotion process from Pablo. This is something I plan to touch base with Pablo when my current schedule improves.

Support for Local Time Zones in the Standard Library

One of the planned discussions I had was with Paul Ganssle on supporting local time zones in the standard library. We had started this discussion after the language summit. We agreed that I will do some research on a viable implementation direction.

There is a problem currently insynchronization If implemented by making system calls. Again, may the gods give me time to look into this.

Dinner chat with Guido

So Guido van Rossum decided to share a story I told him during a dinner chat about how I started to use computers. I now regret telling him because he shared it and now my mum knows we used to escape to use the internet cafe behind her back with my brother.

I think I liked how Guido cares about every user of Python. If you chat with him for even 1 minute, you will know how he cares for the Language and its users. He is very open to new ideas and improvements to Python.

For those who are curious, I asked him for a friend If he knows all parts of Python. He says his first code was simple, then some smart people came along and made new and complex adjustments due to the changes in computing over time that he has lost track of what was where. That is the beauty of Open source!! Python is in good hands.


Outreachy at Tapia

My other trip was in San Diego. Representing outreachy at Tapia. I did an interview with Sage Sharp on my outreachy experience.

https://video.twimg.com/ext_tw_video/1174410952193662976/pu/vid/640x360/6uStkAj6GWZNT9p_.mp4?tag=10

We spent most of our time at the outreachy booth during Tapia. Me, Sage Sharp, and Branden another outreachy Alum.

There was also a raffle run to win a book on open source that was run at the Open source BoF event during the Tapia conference. Two people took home hard copies of the book.

Conclusion

It was a pleasure having a trip that had fully open source goals. Am grateful for the opportunities that outreachy gives to people through their open source remote internships. I was glad to have gone through outreachy so am a beneficiary and was glad to give back using my time at Tapia.

Recently, I was promoted to Core developer of Python. I cant believe that the open source journey that I started at Rails Girls Summer of Code and Outreachy has brought me this far.

Its a great honor to join the Cpython Core developer team that has facilitated the Python users and community with quality Python releases over the years. But most importantly am glad to be part of a warm community.

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