[Urwid] Wrapup from LFNW

Rob Lanphier robla at robla.net
Tue Apr 27 18:42:29 EDT 2010

Hi folks,

Just wanted to let you know how things went at LinuxFest Northwest, and what
I think worked and what didn't.

There were only about 10 people there...not too surprising since I'm
guessing there were 200-300 people at LFNW, of which many were there to
learn about Linux for the first time.  The people that did show up were very
engaged, and I got the sense that probably 2-3 of them seemed pretty likely
to use urwid in the near-term, and most (all?) were asking questions.  In
some ways, that's a great size of a group to talk to, since few people feel
nervous about speaking up in that context.

What I think worked really well was going in depth on one example, comparing
it to the same problem tackled with other toolkits (newt, ncurses, dialog,
stfl).  I'm planning to post my other examples later to bitbucket and
probably mirror it to github (links at the bottom of this mail).

There's one thing I probably did out of order in my urwid example.  I should
have presented the bit about how to get the field data out as the very first
improvement to the process, rather than putting it toward the end, though My
"FieldManager" in the final versions is probably overly complicated for the
job at hand.

I can't decide if my use of closures and passing functions as values was a
good thing or a bad thing.  Since some of the audience was there to learn
more about Python, that might have been a good thing, since that's something
that other languages don't let you do, and I don't think I was using those
features gratuitously.  On the flip side, it may have turned some people
off, since closures aren't terribly easy to understand for the newcomer.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how it went.  I'm hopeful there's going to be
more people at my OSCON session, so having the opportunity to hone the
presentation in front of a small but engaged audience was great.


Demo URLs:
Bitbucket: http://bitbucket.org/robla/urwid-demo
Github: http://github.com/robla/urwid-demo
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