Pycon 2009 to include virtual machine & language summit

Pycon presented by the Python Software Foundation is, the world’s largest Python conference. However Python programmers won’t be the only ones coming to PyCon this month. PyCon 2009 is hosting two new summit events that will draw key developers and strategists not only from Python, but also from the Perl, Ruby, Java, .NET, and JavaScript communities.

The Virtual Machine Summit on March 25, and Python Language Summit on March 26, both at PyCon 2009 in Chicago, are invitation-only events that will bring cross-discipline groups together to discuss and strategize on challenges that are common across their projects.

Virtual machines – software layers that sit between machine-specific binary code and language-specific compilers, creating multi-language programming environments – have become a focus of modern language development. Virtual machine developers will attend from a variety of projects, based in a number of language communities: PyPy (Python), Parrot (Perl), Da Vinci (Java), DLR (.NET), TraceMonkey (JavaScript), and MagLev, Rubinius, and JRuby (all Ruby). The summit gives them a unique opportunity to share insights and ideas on their common challenges with an exceptionally broad group.

Allison Randal, architect of the Parrot virtual machine and a director of the Perl Foundation, said, “Virtual machines have become such a crucial part of language development that there are groups working on them from virtually every language community. We’re facing similar challenges, and too often, we’ve been facing them separately. I’m looking forward to this chance to share ideas with some of the best minds in programming.”

Python itself has grown into a variety of Python implementations (CPython, Jython, IronPython, PyPy) and an ecosystem of tools and resouces like the Python Package Index. The Python Language Summit will bring managers of these projects together for focused discussions on topics including the ongoing transition to Python 3.0, better coordination between different Python implementations, and improved packaging of Python libraries and applications. The agenda is at

PyCon 2009 takes place from March 25 to April 2 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare in Chicago, IL. The core conference dates are March 27 – 29; the two summits run concurrently with the tutorials on March 25 — 26. The core conference is followed by development sprints (March 30 — April 2), sponsored by Canonical, where attendees will work with project leads for four days of intensive, cooperative coding to advance major Python projects.

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