[tor-dev] Damian's Status Report - October 2013
atagar at torproject.org
Mon Oct 28 02:10:06 UTC 2013
Hi all. Here's a quick update of what I was up to this October...
Stem Release 1.1.0
After seven months of work Stem version 1.1.0 is finally out!
This month was primarily focused on pre-release performance and
compatibility improvements in preparation for this...
* Handful of improvements that reduced the memory usage of our
Descriptor classes by 20%. 
* Replaced Stem's custom caching with Python's @lru_cache. This was
added to the standard library in Python 3.2, so Stem includes a
Python 2.x backport to our utilities. 
* Dozens of compatibility fixes for Python 2.6 and 3.x.
* Added test coverage for Stem's interpretor examples, courtesy of
Python's doctest module. 
GSoC Mentor Summit
Nick, Moritz and I attended the GSoC Mentor Summit at Google's main
campus. By and large it was very similar to previous years, with many
of the same faces and discussion topics. Unlike the prior couple
years however I did not focus on keeping notes which, on reflection,
was a mistake. Here's the small bit I remember...
* Had a couple fun language discussions with developers from SciRuby
and Scala. The former mostly concerned the advantages and
disadvantages of Ruby with respect to Python (I use the former
at work, so I've had some time to form an opinion on this). The
later concerned Scala support for issuing database queries via
* Couple discussions with Wikimedia developers regarding Tor abuse.
Unfortunately this is a perennial discussion that never seems to go
anywhere despite having plenty of technical solutions.
* Nick gave me a tour of Chutney's codebase and tried to persuade me
to take on development of it. Nearly worked too. But while Chutney,
SoaT, TorBEL, and a dozen other projects would be a lot of fun to
work on I only have so much I can squeeze in alongside a full-time
* A hackathon organizer with Random Hacks of Kindness discussed what
they've found most successfully attracts contributors. The two
most memorable tips were momentum and recognition. Regularly
organizing events is necessary to maintain a core contributor
group, and engaging local media doesn't hurt as it provides
recognition for the contributors.
* Shadowed Nick during discussions with a Mozilla developer concerning
the upcoming Tor IM bundle. They certainly seem excited for OTR
* Visited with Terry and Arc from the PSF quite a bit. Still no ETA
on when distributions will switch to Python 3, and Mailman 3 is
still a ways off. Momentum on lots of projects though. Evidently
they acted as an umbrella org for roughly sixty students. I would
weep bitter, bitter tears if I had to be the admin for that...
Other news this month includes...
* Karsten, Andrew and I are now all moderators for the tor email
lists. I'm taking point in this area, making daily sweeps through
the moderator queue and tweaking Mailman to reduce friction.
* Handful of DocTor fixes and improvements. Karsten shut down the
Java DocTor early in the month so our shiny, new Python DocTor
is now flying solo!
* Attended events in the Seattle area including 'Go for Python
Developers' at Google Fremont and the second TA3M meetup.
* Worked with authority operators to resolve brief outages with dizum
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