Saturday, November 10, 2007

England North-West 2nd meeting - Michael Sparks on "Greylisting with Kamaelia"

The main talk for the second meeting of the Python North-West group was Michael Sparks on "Greylisting with Kamaelia".

Michael works for the BBC R&D dept., and developed Kamaelia as a Python framework to build applications that can easily implement parallellism and concurrency. He demonstrated how he used Kamaelia components to build an antispam device to "greylist" servers, refusing mail from servers which won't bother re-sending email after a short delay. Kamaelia is completely open-source, contributions are very welcome, and the project is still very active (despite the apparent lack of updates to the main page, which is entirely due to developers being busy!). Slides from the presentation are available on SlideShare and also in the group Files, as ODP.

Michael also demonstrated some Python features like closures and generators, that people often mention; it was extremely useful to see these techniques used in the field, for once, and not just described as some abstract tool. I'll try to do something similar next time I have to give a talk, it's the sort of "practical advocacy" that people really understand intuitively.

Strangely enough, we had similar attendancy numbers as last time, but I was the only one to attend both times. Is this a good thing? The list keeps growing, even though it's gone a bit quiet of recent; I hope it's just the fact that, being november, people are busy at work.

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