I'm enjoying the wonderful weather in Florence this weekend while attending PyCon Italy 2. Yesterday's highlight was Richard Stallman's thought-provoking keynote titled Free Software in ethics and in practice held in the jaw-dropping Palazzo Vecchio. Stallman's alter-ego Saint IGNUcious (of the church of Emacs) even made an appearance.
My presentation on Sunday covers Application Development in IronPython. It's mainly an introduction to IronPython for Python programmers. Being very much an an Italian language conference, there's real-time translation of English presentations to Italian (mine included). Conversely there's translation from Italian to English in one stream.
The conferences organisers and attendees are being patient with my lack of Italian language skills. I feel very lucky that many Italians can speak English. It's easy to be complacent about learning other languages when you already know English.
I've been fortunate to have met some great people including Raymond Hettinger (core Python team), Arkadiusz Wahlig (Skype4Py) and some of the organisers Simone, Giovanni and Lawrence. It's always great to be able talk shop, exchange perspectives and be inspired. (Resolver One has been getting plugged too!) I'm looking forward to more conversations as the conference continues. The best stuff at conferences always happens outside of the lecture theatres.
ps. The food rocks! The conference lunch today was amazing and last night's Florentine style steak was super-tasty.