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Why I'm Boycotting Mozilla Products

Brendan Eich was appointed CEO of Mozilla this week. Normally, I don't pay attention when corporate executive roles are filled, but this one caught my attention. You see, Eich donated $1,000 in support of Prop 8 back in 2008. Since then, he has not, to my knowledge, mentioned anything new about his views on gay marriage, so it's safe to presume they are the same as they were in 2008.

Eich doesn't believe that gay people should be afforded the right to marry. I've decided I'm not comfortable using the products of the company of such a CEO. Intentional or not, his appointment sends the message: "Mozilla is against gay marriage at its highest levels." As such, I'm boycotting all Mozilla products until Eich steps down or is removed as CEO.

We are at a critical juncture in the fight for the basic rights of the LGBT community. Though there is a long way to go, one can feel the tide turning (thank goodness). This post is not to pat myself on the back for taking a relatively safe stance. Rather, it's to inform others of the situation. Only through awareness can this type of bigotry be brought to light.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, this post may seem a great departure from my normal content. It is. This stuff matters. It matters enough that I ask you, the reader, to boycott Mozilla products as long as Eich is CEO. It matters enough that I encourage you to take to the computer, the phone, or the pen to help right a wrong.

I am not gay. I have no gay family members and only a handful of gay friends. But this is not an issue of gay rights. It's an issue of human rights. And the right to marry the person of your choice must be considered a basic human right. Indeed, any right withheld from any group of people must be rallied against. It just so happens that, in this case, the issue is gay marriage.

I've been supporting gay rights too passively for too long. The time for action, from all of us, is long overdue. I hope you'll join me in taking a stand. You have to start somewhere, and now is as good a time as any.

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Straphost Prices Reduced

After reconsidering the numbers, I've decided to drastically reduce the price of straphost. You still get one-on-one tutoring sessions where you learn to deploy your Python application on a Linux server. Now, however, extra tutoring sessions are free, and the initial setup cost has been reduced to $500. For $40 per month, you get free hosting plus unlimited tutoring sessions if you need to install new software for your application (like, say, memcached) or have a bug you need help tracking down.

Seeing as the cost of a reasonably-sized (2nd smallest) Linode is $40, the addition of free deployment tutoring should be a draw. If you agree, email me and let me know that you'd like to be considered for straphost's initial cohort of clients. As a reminder, the first group will be very small to ensure enough one-on-one tutoring time for everyone.

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Writing Idiomatic Python: The Video Series

On Friday, I launched a kickstarter campaign to turn my book, Writing Idiomatic Python, into a series of instructional videos. How would that work? I would find real-world code in need of some love and narrate the process of refactoring it using principles from the book.

After launching the campaign, I threw up a quick blog post, sent out an email and a tweet, and went home. When I woke up the next morning, over $1000 had already been raised. As of this morning, over $2,400 has been raised of the $5,000 goal. With 27 days left, we're almost half way there.

But there's another, perhaps more important, goal: if I raise $10,000, I'll make the videos free to view for everyone, forever. I'll release the videos under the Creative Commons license, allowing them to be used for just about anything. Heck, you could use them to run your own course if you wanted to. That's why the $10,000 goal is the one I really hope we hit.

Make no mistake, I am amazed at the generosity of you guys and the entire Python community. $2,400 in a weekend is jaw-dropping. I want to keep the momentum up, though, to ensure we hit $10,000 so that these videos will be free to view. How awesome a resource would they be?

If you've already contributed: Thanks a ton! You can still help by getting the word out to friends and colleagues. All of the funding is raised through word-of-mouth, so spreading the word is akin to backing the project. Ditto for those who would like to contribute but aren't in the financial situation to do so. You can still help by spreading the word!

While I encourage everyone to get the word out, I want to briefly caution against spamming any communication channel. It's quite easy to find yourself flooding Twitter, Reddit, etc with messages for a cause you support. Ultimately, however, it does more harm than good as people turn resentful for being spammed. And if you ever feel like I'm spamming you, please let me know! I'd rather the campaign fail than lose whatever goodwill I've built up with all of you.

Thanks again for being amazing, and thanks in advance for helping spread the word. When it comes to human nature, I tend to be optimistic almost to the point of naivete. Thanks for proving me right ;)

Here's a link to the campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1219760486/a-writing-idiomatic-python-video-series-watch-and.

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Help Turn Writing Idiomatic Python Into a Video Series

Let's turn the book "Writing Idiomatic Python" into a series of how-to videos!


I loved writing "Writing Idiomatic Python." And I love giving talks at meet-ups and such on the topics covered in the book. The book has proven to be an effective way for novice and intermediate programmers to take their Python coding skills to the next level. I couldn't be happier...

But I want even more developers to benefit from the book's ideas. That's why I want to turn "Writing Idiomatic Python" into a series of recorded screencasts. The format will be as follows: I'll take real-word code of questionable quality and refactor it into beautiful, Idiomatic Python. I'll narrate my thought process as I do so and will refer to specific idioms mentioned in the book. I'll also introduce new idioms not included in the book. You'll get to see exactly how to transform your code into idiomatic Python.

There will be a minimum of 10 videos, each about 30 minutes in length. If I raise $10,000 or more, the videos will all be released under the Creative Commons license. If I raise $25,000 or more, I'll double the number of videos I create. That means 10+ hours of Idiomatic Python goodness, free for everyone!

There are sweet incentives (free tutoring sessions, signed copies of the book, a day-long seminar for you and 25 friends, etc). Help me help other Python programmers! Back the project by clicking here!

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First Review Of Open Source Python Project Is Available

The first open-source Python project review is now up. It's for a library called alchy, a project I very much enjoyed reviewing. More reviews are on the way, so don't worry if you emailed me and I haven't responded yet.

In other news

Interestingly, this was the first time I made use of the review application that I wrote but the community now maintains. I've found the quality of the application has improved, and I'm truly impressed by what the various contributors have been able to accomplish with no central authority. The CONTRIBUTORS.md file (which I know to be incomplete), has the following contents:

So thanks to those on that list (and to those who forgot to add their name).

"Upgrading" the review app was seamless. I basically just did a git pull and was able to use the resulting directory as-is to serve reviews.jeffknupp.com. Pretty awesome considering the number of changes that complete strangers have made to it!

Free project reviews!

Remember, if you have an open-source Python project, send me an email with a link to the source and documentation and I'll do my best to review it on reviews.jeffknupp.com.

Also, if you're looking for an open source Python project to contribute to, the site itself is an open source Flask application that can be found at github.com/jeffknupp/review/. I accept any pull request (as long as it doesn't delete functionality), so the barrier to becoming a contributor is pretty low. Please fork!

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