Million Dollar Ideas Wrap-up from PyGTA

Great fun at PyGTA this evening.  We had an overly complex voting scheme, basically you could vote from 0 to 5 (5 being the highest) for each project, total count wins.  We had quite a few proposals, and laughed rather a lot during the process.

My take-aways:

  • Concurrency matters in multi-core systems, Python needs work here
  • Performance/scaling matters, we want to take Python to smaller hardware and mobile devices particularly
  • PyPy is seen as the vehicle for radical improvements to the language, not CPython
  • We want to make public services better
  • We want to help educate people
  • We'd like to stop spam
  • Disinterest in Python 3000 is strong, but not universal, and seems to be weakening
We also discussed the sorry state of the PyGTA web-site.  We really need to get it updated.  I'm thinking a simple CMS-type site, with:
  • a calendar
  • a trace of the announcements (a blog...)
  • the ability for a few people to post notices/topics (i.e. I shouldn't be the single point of failure)
  • maybe an RSS feed
  • pointers to the mailing-lists

The Wiki features just don't get used enough to bother with them it seems.  I've got the domain registered with Vex, so we can redirect it wherever we want once we know where we want to direct it. [Update] Since the PyGTA-general list is subscriber only, here's the summary reposted:

   o 1 million (CDN) dollars
   o around 5 years (maximum) for core benefits to be realized
   o must enhance Python in some way or use Python to provide some
     benefit to the world
         o you need to explain how your project will benefit the world
           and/or investors
         o you are trying to convince "us" to invest, so make it good
   o can be commercial, philanthropic, Open Source or what have you

   o Concurrency  45
         o Threads (coarse grained concurrency)
         o Multiprocessing module
         o Twisted constructs into the core (syntactic extensions)
         o HTTP Client Library (beyond all current C or Python versions)
         o CPython GIL Elimination

   o Mobile Applications 35
         o Frameworks for developing mobile applications for cell
           phones, smart devices etceteras
         o Unified application development framework
         o Optimization
         o Experts for devices
         o IDE Development/GUI tools
         o Money-maker

   o PyPy finishing 34
         o Performance
         o Concurrency
         o Targeting low-level hardware (mobiles)

   o Public Transportation System 33
         o Cooler signaling system for the subways
         o Timing for bus-stops and bus-stations
         o Electronic monitoring system for the public transport system
         o Central server in Python
         o Mathematicians
         o Money maker, increases ridership, no monthly-pass increases
         o On-demand signaling and routing?

   o Training for non-programmers in Python (or Programming)  29
         o Extending the utility of computers in non-technical environments
         o Mechanism for replacing spreadsheets and the like
         o Reduces effort for getting jobs done
         o Seminars, presentations, TV programs

   o Kids need to be empowered with computers 28
         o Programming education for the young (8 years)
         o Gulag method versus fun and games education
         o Game writing, game sales
         o Robots, turtles, lego mindstorms
         o Good of the world
         o No top-end to the language involved
         o It's an Empowerment Project, Not a Programming Project

   o Write a game to teach kids history/geography  25
         o Grade school or high-school level
         o Fun (constructivist) games
         o Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego
         o Commercial quality games
         o Educational input from government or the like
         o Some programmers required, user testing
         o Postgresql, Python, Web Application
         o Test driven environment, agile development methods
         o Google Software:  E-Learning

   o Seneca's Tuition 25
         o ???

   o UI Design, user feedback 22
         o Video camera showing the screen
         o Tracking and correlation of details and video of user
               + Eye tracking mechanism
         o Analytics regarding task-oriented completion (statistical
         o Frustration measurement instrumentation
               + Heartbeat, pulse, blood pressure monitors
         o Adjustable screen arrangements
               + UI design in-test
         o Meta queries for optimizations
               + Feedback in the middle the tests
         o Maybe money maker

   o CPython JIT 20

   o Eliminate Python 3000 19

   o Genome Study 19
         o Non-academic access to genomic research
         o Organization/body to grant access to non-professional or
           non-academic researchers
         o Open Access
         o Python as the server for the data
         o Python on a cluster to perform ad-hoc processing of genomic data
         o Sci-Py/Numpy and distributed cluster
         o Money maker

   o Voting Software 18
         o Web-base ad-hoc voting systems

and the after-the-vote proposal:

Create an AI-like system that can respond to all incoming spams in a way which requires the spammers to respond with a non-trivial response, something that convinces the spammers that they have a mark. Installing on millions upon millions of machines, the spammers are deluged with possible marks and must spend real time and effort to sort out the back-spams from the real marks. We effectively hide the marks in a forest of fake marks to target the spammer's ability to make money.


  1. André

    André on 11/19/2008 7:04 a.m. #

    Any chance to get the list of proposals on a public site? (login is required...)

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