OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
Center for Applied Systems & Software ยป

OSU Open Source Lab

The OSL at PyCon

by OSU OSL

The month of June opened with the annual PyCon event at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, the largest annual gathering for the Python community. This year, the OSL had the opportunity to send one of its own. Matthew Johnson presented a poster on Pymesync, a tool of Python.

But first, what exactly do all these Py- words mean?

Python is a programming language that is easy to read, write, and understand. This simplicity saves developers hours of work. Even beginner programmers can learn it with ease, at least at the most basic level. However, even the simplest of languages are complex in their own right and a program like Python needs to be streamlined. That's where Pymesync comes in.

Pymesync is an application programming interface (API) library for Timesync, a time-tracking API. Both were developed and are used here at the lab.

For just a little more context, an API is a tool that helps build software and applications. It's comprised of preset functions that are commonly used by programmers so they don't have to continuously enter in certain codes. Most commonly, it comes in the form of an API library, such as Pymesync. This is where explicit code is simplified to make large tasks easier. A time-tracking API essentially tracks how long it takes to do a certain task. In other words, Pymesync is designed to simplify the process of talking to Timesync. PymeSync allows a developer to communicate with TimeSync using simple Python method calls and Python native data structures.

This was the basis of Matthew's poster presentation. With the most experience in Python and Pymesync here at the lab, he was the most qualified to accompany the poster to the sold-out event. While the variety of subjects was extensive, many of the attendees were beginner or intermediate users. Pymesync is a fairly basic application, but the combination of demographic and prime real estate (right in front of the doors) made the poster a hit! Matthew said, "I was talking to crowds of people at different points and I never stopped talking the full three hours." We couldn't have asked for a better first experience with PyCon and hopefully next year we'll be able to send more people to give poor Matthew's voice a break!