Circus sprint at PyconFR

Last Thursday to Sunday, Pycon France took place, in Paris. It was the opportunity to meet a lot of people and to talk about python awesomness in general.

We had three tracks this year, plus sprints the two first days. We sprinted on Circus, the process and socket manager we're using at Mozilla for some of our setups.

The project gathered some interest, and we ended up with 5 persons working on it. Of course, we spent some time explaining what is Circus, how it had been built, a lot of time talking about use-cases and possible improvements, but we also managed to add new features.

Having people wanting to sprint on our projects is exciting because that's when making things in the open unleashes its full potential. You can't imagine how happy I was to have some friends come and work on this with us :)

Here is a wrap-up of the sprint:

Autocompletion on the command-line

Remy Hubscher worked on the command-line autocompletion. Now we have a fancy command-line interface which is able to aucomplete if you're using bash. It seems that not that much work is needed to make it happen on zsh as well :)

Have a look at the feature

On the same topic, we now have a cool shell for Circus. If you start the circusctl command without any option, you'll end-up with a cool shell. Thanks Jonathan Dorival for the work on this! You can have a look at the pull request.

Future changes to the web ui

Rachid Belaid had a deep look at the source code and is much more familiarized to it now than before. We discussed the possibility to change the implementation of the web ui, and I'm glad of this. Currently, it's done with and we want to switch to pyramid.

He fixed some issues that were in the tracker, so we now can have the age of watchers in the webui, for instance.

Bug and doc fixing

While reading the source code, we found some inconsistencies and fixed them, with Mathieu Agopian. We also tried to improve the documentation at different levels.

Documentation still needs a lot of love, and I'm planning to spend some time on this shortly. I've gathered a bunch of feedback on this

Circus clustering capabilities

One feature I wanted to work on during this sprint was the clustering abilities of Circus. Nick Pellegrino made an internship on this topic at Mozilla so we spent some time to review his pull requests.

A lot of code was written for this so we discussed a bunch of things regarding all of this. It took us more time than expected (and I still need to spend more time on this to provide appropriate feedback), but it allowed us to have a starting-point about what this clustering thing could be.

Remy wrote a good summary about our brainstorming so I'll not do it again here, but feel free to contact us if you have ideas on this, they're very welcome!

Project management

We've had some inquiries telling us that's not as easy as it should to get started with the Circus project. Some of the reasons are that we don't have any release schedule, and that the documentation is hairy enough to lost people, at some point :)

That's something we'll try to fix soon :)

PyconFR was a very enjoyable event. I'm looking forward to meet the community again and discuss how Circus can evolve in ways that are interesting to everyone.

Tarek and me are going to Pycon ireland, feel free to reach us if you're going there, we'll be happy to meet and enjoy beers!