PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

General discussions and questions abound development of code with MicroPython that is not hardware specific.
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mattyt
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PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

Post by mattyt » Sat May 26, 2018 9:33 am

Hi folks,

I'm considering giving a talk at PyConAu this year and, naturally, I'm interested in discussing something MicroPython related... :)

I thought I'd ask for your input. I have a few vague ideas, some based on talks I've given at our local MicroPython Meetup, others simply on topics that I have interest in. In order to help select which talks to propose, I thought I'd ask if any interest you.
  1. Flavours of MicroPython - compare the various capabilities of MicroPython across the various hardware platforms
  2. Comparing embedded languages - Why the time is ripe for an embedded language like MicroPython
  3. ASync in (Micro)Python - Async is cool in Python. It's super cool in MicroPython.
  4. MicroPython vs CPython - How do they differ? Why?
  5. MicroPython 2.0 - An opinion on what needs to happen to propel MicroPython further
Further, I'm very open to other topics. Is there anything else you'd like to hear about?

It's worth mentioning that if any of these talks are accepted, they will be available online.

Thanks for any feedback!
Matt

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Re: PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

Post by bitninja » Sat May 26, 2018 7:21 pm

It would seem that for an audience of mostly desktop Python users, a talk would need to give some kind of gentle introduction to embedded programming in general. Even idea #2 would need some mention of C or C++ and something like the Arduino platform. I think you should forego the comparison and instead focus on the ability to have software be able to communicate and interact with the real world. Suddenly their skills on the desktop could be applied to real objects... which is really cool.

I don't know... just a thought.

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Re: PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

Post by pythoncoder » Sun May 27, 2018 5:15 am

@mattyt Have you contacted @Damien? As a fellow Australian he may be planning a talk and may be interested in chatting with you about content/plans for MicroPython 2.0.
Peter Hinch

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mattyt
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Re: PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

Post by mattyt » Sun May 27, 2018 11:13 pm

@bitninja There's been an IoT track at PyConAu for a couple of years now (these talks would fall into that category) and we were actually encouraged by the PyCon folks to assume a little more knowledge this year. That said, I think your point is still valid that there may be desktop python users listening - so I'll be sure to set the expectations early and start whatever talk I give with a brief run-down from a beginners perspective.

@pythoncoder Yes, I've been speaking with Damien semi-regularly and I hope he'll give a talk (or three!) at PyConAu too. If I do go forward with that '2.0' talk I'd definitely do it with his input. I was intending it to be a bit 'bigger picture' though and perhaps the 2.0 moniker is misleading. Damien would be much better placed to provide a roadmap of features he is planning for MicroPython - I'll be leaning on him to do such a talk. I guess I was thinking about talking about topics such as ways we can pull the community in a common direction, producing coherent and consistent documentation across ports, marketing the language better, improving test coverage (for library code, the language is very well covered), clear guidance on what hardware is supported and what features of the hardware are supported. I'm basically wanting to cover topics I see that need to be improved for MicroPython to grow further. Maybe there's not a full talk there...

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Re: PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

Post by pythoncoder » Mon May 28, 2018 5:47 am

I think you have some good points there. The library in particular is in danger of becoming somewhat neglected since Paul's departure, and some parts of it are rather rudimentary.
Peter Hinch

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Re: PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

Post by philwilkinson40 » Mon May 28, 2018 8:12 am

Great forum post. I was dismayed that PyCon at Portland appeared to have nothing covering Micropython this year...

From my (limited) interface with the Python community here in Perth, Australia I have been really surprised how low the awareness level of Micropython is. So I think there is still a place in PyConAU for a basic; "here is what you can actually do in the real world with Python" show and tell presentation.
Hopefully Nick (or others) will give an update on ESP32 port development as this has been chugging along; but without the benefit of publicity that the original kickstarters had.

In response to your original question @mattyt
3 I really like your idea of a talk on uasyncio. I am already looking forward to how on earth you explain it and give a live demo on it!!
1 I think this is the best idea. Telling python people what they can use right now, with the great cheap hardware out there, is a huge opportunity. Perhaps this isn't a talk though, a small poster session where everyone brings along a small project using a different microcontroller may be better!

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Re: PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

Post by mattyt » Mon May 28, 2018 11:20 am

@pythoncoder I agree about the hole left in the wake of Paul's departure. From your point of view what are the biggest issues we have to face without his contributions?

@philwilkinson40 What a shame about PyCon Portland! I suspect that has to do with the lack of MicroPython marketing I alluded to. I feel there is an awful lot yet to cover with MicroPython.

I wonder if there is still room for a beginner-level show-and-tell at PyConAu? Perhaps something along the lines of "5 sensors and 5 peripherals in 30 minutes"? Maybe with some internet connectivity thrown in. Is this the kind of thing you had in mind? If I have time (proposals have to be in tomorrow!) I'll try to piece something together and let the proposal committee decide...

I'm in regular contact with Nick and I think I'll be able to convince him to give an ESP32 update; though it might be relegated to the (unrecorded) lightning talks. For the record, my opinion is that the ESP32 port improved enough in the past few months in that it's close to the stability of the ESP8266 port - I'm not sure I'd start any project with an ESP8266 now.

I'm not sure how best to begin a talk on asyncio yet either; thankfully @pythoncoder has given me a wonderful head-start with his excellent tutorials! Plus I've used asyncio for debouncing and synchronising between a rotary encoder and an LED strip which is a pretty tangible use case. I feel like asyncio is about the easiest way to do coroutines, it's just the perspective shift you have to make to get your head into the right space...now I've just got to figure out how to convey that!

I actually think that there's a fair bit of content with 1. Given the MicroPython/CircuitPython/Lobo/PyCom platforms and the ESP8266/32/STM32/SAMD21/51/NRF52 hardware plus the recent spate of FPGA with MicroPython as a soft core...there is a large matrix of features and hardware to cover! And then I'd like to turn it around and look at it from the perspectives of potential users: "If I were a beginner I'd start with...", "As a company that wants to build a product line, I'd suggest..." etc.

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Re: PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

Post by deshipu » Mon May 28, 2018 2:57 pm

philwilkinson40 wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 8:12 am
Great forum post. I was dismayed that PyCon at Portland appeared to have nothing covering Micropython this year...
Well, there was a development board running it in the swag bag, a birds-of-feather meeting, and quite some coding done during the sprints. I wouldn't call that "nothing".

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Re: PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

Post by deshipu » Mon May 28, 2018 3:06 pm

Personally I would love to see a presentation talking about the techniques and best practices that could be used to write library (sensor driver) code that would be compatible with all the released versions and ports of MicroPython out there, without having to add a new library every time someone decides to change something like the machine.Pin interface.

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Re: PyConAu Talk - any suggestions?

Post by bitninja » Mon May 28, 2018 4:50 pm

mattyt wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 11:13 pm
There's been an IoT track at PyConAu for a couple of years now...
That would be interesting to me... an IoT talk that had some practical examples of MicroPython being used for IoT devices. This would probably focus on the ESP boards but I think that's ok. By now, MQTT is pretty well represented on the web, but is that all there is to be done?

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