Twill lives!

One of the advantages of this year's PyCon was that it was (again) held in Chicago, the home town of Leapfrog Online. Since they use twill quite a bit, and were bothered by some of the poor design decisions and bugginess, they were keen to get together with me to move twill forward. So we scheduled a sprint for the Monday after PyCon.

In preparation for the sprint, I did a bit of research into how widely twill was being used. Downloads only roughly correlate, but I was surprised to discover that in just the last year, there were over 6,000 downloads from my site; this doesn't count Debian users, who can install it from one of the Debian dists. I'd also been surprised by the number of people at PyCon who came up to me and told me that they were using twill internally in their companies -- at least two very expert groups had settled on it for some of their internal monitoring and testing. Very cool! What this told me is that twill is very nice, simple and usable for many people and we shouldn't get too adventuresome; good thing to know ;).

The sprint basically consisted of us talking through a few fundamental issues like bundling and future development, then fixing a few items, while I forwarded on all of the bug reports I've gotten over the last two years.

The source code has now moved to code.google.com/p/twill and you can see all of the issues in the usual place.

During the sprint we made a few decisions:

  • 0.9.2 is Coming Real Soon, as a largely feature/API-stable release that fixes a number of simple bugs and integrates the latest mechanize.
  • for 0.9.2 and 1.0 we will provide both bundled and unbundled versions of twill; the bundled versions will contain BeautifulSoup, mechanize, ClientForm, and pyparsing. The unbundled version will simply specify what versions of those packages it needs. This unbundling will help packagers out while letting individuals (like, say, Windows users) install twill easily.
  • 1.0 is further down the road, but will only add a few features. The main goal of 1.0 is to be nice & stable.
  • 2.0 and beyond is on the table but exactly what it will be is unclear. I have my own ideas but since I'm not doing much Web developing I may let others take over.

Since the sprint, Pam Z. finished putting the issues into the tracker and we've been slowly trying to work through them.

Props to Pam Z., Nat W., Kevin B., and Jesse for coming to the sprint, and to Terry Peppers and Leapfrog for pushing it! And thanks to Leapfrog for an excellent steak dinner afterwards ;)

--titus


Legacy Comments

Posted by pam on 2009-04-12 at 14:55.

Hey, and thanks for actually having the sprint. I had a surprisingly
good time. (And I'm continuing to have a good time, in case my antics
weren't making that clear.)

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