[PySide] Summary of PySide BoF at PyCon

Sébastien Sablé sable at users.sourceforge.net
Thu Mar 21 16:30:49 CET 2013

Thanks a lot Stephan for the detailed summary of those discussions at
PyCon. And nice to see so much activity around PySide.

I won't be able to travel to Austin in coming months, but I would be really
interested in getting the minutes of those meetings as well.

Best regards


2013/3/20 Stephan Deibel <sdeibel at wingware.com>

> Hi,
> Here is a summary of the PySide BoF that was held on Saturday March
> 16that PyCon 2013 in Santa Clara, CA.  We found there is a lot of
> interest at companies that chose PySide for its licensing.  Several
> companies that were present started a collaboration in order to move
> towards a work plan and coordinated funding and further development of
> PySide.  If you are interested in joining this effort, please contact me.
> Introductions
> -------------
> The purpose of this BoF was to gather together users invested in PySide,
> review the status of PySide, and move towards revitalizing the project.
> Twelve individuals attended, including representatives of Wingware,
> Enthought, Valve, Disney, and several other companies.
> The meeting started with each individual introducing themselves and
> describing their use of PySide and any concerns that they have.
> Licensing issues were the reason most of the users present (representing
> at least 5 companies) chose PySide over PyQt.  All of those citing
> licensing as a problem have a scripting API for their users, which
> requires royalties to be paid on revenues if PyQt is used.
> Experiences with stability of PySide varied.  Though most had run into
> some issues, some were able to work around them while most others felt
> that fixes are needed for significant bugs.  Several present indicated a
> concern for the overall future of PySide, particularly in the context of
> supporting Qt5, making PySide more maintainable, and reestablishing a
> team of reviewers and committers.
> Several attendees expressed gratitude to the previous developers of
> PySide, especially Hugo for remaining involved as approver/committer.
> Discussion of Issues
> --------------------
> A discussion of the major issues to be solved followed.  Issues brought
> up included stability, Qt5 support, lack of reviewers and committers,
> problems with the current review process, need for doing a release from
> latest revision, and need to process the accumulated list of bug reports
> that have not received any action.
> It was noted that Digia is not returning calls or emails concerning
> PySide.  The possibility of forking PySide and moving it out of the Qt
> Project development toolset was brought up but consensus was established
> that this was not desirable if it could be avoided.  If a fork is
> considered later, legal consul would be asked about trademark, licensing
> considerations, and the potential for re-merging changes into the Qt
> Project at a later date.
> Some specific bugs were discussed, including causes of life cycle
> issues, and whether bugs are fixable without rewriting parts of PySide.
> Plan of Action
> --------------
> Several attending stated that it may be possible for their companies to
> providing funds or staff, given an acceptable development plan and
> process.  This will be investigated further by each potential
> contributor, and some additional companies were identified and will be
> approached.
> Representatives of Enthought stated that they could host a week-long
> meeting aimed at creating a work plan and kick-starting work on PySide.
> [The one-hour time available in the open space slot ended here and a
> subset of the attendees adjourned to a nearby bar :-]
> Several attendees offered to act as future reviewers and committers for
> PySide:  John Ehresman (contributor to PyGTK) from Wingware, Christian
> Tismer (author of Stackless Python), along with Enthought staff:  Robin
> Dunn (author of wxPython), Jason McCampbell, and Robert Kern.
> Discussion followed concerning development approaches.  Those present
> agreed that rewriting PySide from scratch is a large task and would lose
> the special cases already worked through and dealt with by PySide.  The
> possibility of a partial rewrite in Python was raised.  Another
> possibility raised was to convert the XML encoding of special cases into
> some more readable and maintainable form, similar to the one used in
> PyGTK and PyScintilla2.  Expanded developer documentation is also needed.
> A discussion of the amount and cost of work involved followed.
> Estimates ranged from about 1 to 4 FTE years to cover bug fixes, Qt5
> support, and sheparding the project towards a sustainable future.
> Action Items
> ------------
> The meeting attendees will work together to arrange a week in the next
> few months, to be held at Enthought in Austin TX, in order to develop a
> work plan to serve as the foundation for collaboration among interested
> companies.  Possible attendees include John Ehresman, Robin Dunn,
> Christian Tismer and any others interested and able to attend.
> Several individuals will further investigate the possibility of their
> companies contributing development funds and/or effort.
> Enthought will look into any legal issues that need to be addressed.
> Several attendees will try to contact other companies identified at the
> meeting, that might be able to participate in drafting and
> implementation of a work plan.  This could include using the recent
> PySide survey on this mailing list to find potential contributors.
> A PySide sprint will be held at SciPy 2013 in June.
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