PUN meeting at a farm

The trip to the meeting was almost surreal. Instead of driving there it felt like a trip trough the heavens.  Outside pieces of clouds flew by whilst inside the car music set the mood.

Unlike previous meetings this one was held in farm near Utrecht. I was driving there from work with Jan (a collegue of mine). He drove ahead and I followed behind him. Because of the dense mist we couldn’t see more than a few meters ahead. After a few detours we made it to the meeting location.

Stani and his girlfriend really put in a lot of effort to make people feel at home. They even had food prepared to nourish the hungry.

The meeting was well attended and after a while a large group (around thirty people) gathered for the first talk. Martijn Faassen introduced us to Grok. This little cave man seems to introduce a new flavour to Zope 3 development. And from what I have seen it might be the yummiest to date.  I think Grok is best explained in an analogy to Apple. You see, Grok is to Zope 3 what the Mac is to Unix. Just like the OS X you get a nice interface (no more ZCML and other low level plumbing). But the best is that it still allows you to code against the low-level framework whenever needed.

Grok is a huge step forward and one that will attract a lot of new people to Zope.  Just like Apple made Unix accessible for the masses this system enables people from all scripting or programming backgrounds to quickly become productive with Zope.

After a short break we continued with a talk on test driven development. Doing such a talk always gets some crowd participation (sollicited or not) on which framework to use etc. I think Frank Niessink did a good job of explaining the underlying principles. It was also nice to hear his experience and point of view.

In line with Frank’s talk the next presentation was on AOP with a focus on (unit)testing. Remco Wendt told us his experience with testing complex systems. He showed how to use AOP to write tests against a remote service by replacing the implementation run-time. It won’t replace my stubbing/mocking habits but its always nice to rethink your choices.

To wrap the evening up Stani gave a presentation on the Copacabana Cybercafé project. This is one of the things I like best about being in the Python community. Although it may seem (at least to me) that everyone is developing web apps this is certainly not the case. Stani used Python in this case to create a cyber cafe in which reality is subtly though drastically changed. Basically he wrote a proxy which substitutes words on a web page with different words. An example of this is changing terrorist for martyr. He also showed us some more examples.

It was a great evening and I want to thank everyone involved for making it happen. Etienne was definitely right that to much time had gone by without a meeting.


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