pyvideo last thoughts

Datetime:2016-08-22 22:25:38          Topic:          Share

What is pyvideo?

pyvideo.org is an index of Python-related conference and user-group videos on the Internet. Saw a session you liked and want to share it? It's likely you can find it, watch it, and share it with pyvideo.org.

This is my last update. pyvideo.org is now in new and better hands and will continue going forward.

I started pyvideo.org in March 2012 as a successor to Python Miro Community. As I recall, I was frustrated with the Miro Community platform and was trying to figure out whether I should bail on the idea altogether or not. Then just before PyCon US 2012, I thought about all the things I actually needed in the site and all the things I didn't and decided to just write my own. I think that was a couple of weeks before PyCon US 2012. That happened and thus pyvideo.org was born and Python Miro Community was ended.

In retrospect, one of the things I should have done afterwards was another rewrite to account for the things I learned while writing that prototype, but I never did that. The scope of pyvideo.org was huge, so I spent my time on other aspects of the project instead.

I learned a lot while working on pyvideo.org. Many of the problems I ran into and things I experimented with turned into experience I relied on later while working at Mozilla on the support and feedback sites. Architecture issues, code issues, Django things, Python things, infrastructure things, working with others, project communication, project infrastructure, education, accessibility, the long litanty of wtfs involved in video on the Internet, encoding formats, automation, processing pipelines, tagging taxonomies, search, indexing, languages, date/time formats, the complexities with peoples' names, etc. Side projects can have a long tail of value.

Through my work on pyvideo, I had an opportunity to talk with people I never otherwise would have talked with. Sure we're all just people at heart, but I experience a lot of anxiety talking to people I admire. One of the things constantly going through my head when talking about pyvideo was, "Oh, please don't look at the code. Please please please please please." The code was crap. But I was often told it ran the site and the site ran ok and crappy code is better than no code some times. Talking with people about pyvideo and their thoughts and ideas and what they used the site for was always the highlight of my PyCon US experiences. I got a lot of encouragement. I really appreciated that.

So what about pyvideo.org?

In January 2016 I announced I was pretty done. Then in February, Sheila and I decided to spend time pulling together the data we collected over the years, throwing some infrastructure around it and cleaning it up. I worked on that for a while.

At PyCon US 2016, Paul Logston organized a sprint around PyTube using that data. We had some conversations and as of last week, he's running pyvideo.org.

There are a few things here that make me happy:

  1. pyvideo.org is now a statically-generated site. That's something that Sheila and I toyed with, but we had a bunch of requirements baggage that made it difficult. A clean break doesn't have those problems.
  2. Paul is doing a great job of building a community around the work involved. That's something I didn't do well and it's really a critical part of running a huge site like this.
  3. Passing projects to other people is hard, but Sheila did a ton of coordination leg work to make it all happen and Paul was thoughtful, diligent, communicative and understanding through it all. I really appreciate that.

Ego, I think the handoff was successful and now pyvideo.org is in new and better hands!