The Planet Feed Reader: Better Living Through Gravity

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In mid-2003 Jeff Waugh of the GNOME project dropped a link in his weblog sidebar to "Planet GNOME", a webpage containing recent weblog entries made by GNOME contributors. Before long, Planet GNOME had inspired the creation of a slew of Planet webpages for many Free Software development communities. It also turned into its own Python project: the eponymous "Planet" feed reader, available from

Mary's talk will describe the history of the Planet software use throughout the Free Software community. She will also discuss some of the technical details of the Planet software internals: the perennial problem of taking indifferently standards compliant XML input from a variety of sources and turning it into respectable output, together with other technical challenges facing a small but widely used codebase including quality assurance, cross platform support, and resource management.

Keywords: Python, Planet, Communities, Webpages
Stream: Python
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Planet Feed Reader, The

Mary Gardiner

PhD student, Department of Computing, Macquarie University
Sydney, NSW, Australia

Mary Gardiner is a computing PhD student at Macquarie University, working on computational linguistics. In fairly short past lives, she was a commercial software developer doing web programming and business logic in Python; and a university research assistant working on natural language question answering and information retrieval. Mary has been involved in Free Software communities since 1999. She is a former committee member of the Sydney Linux Users Group, does considerable administrative work for LinuxChix, and founded the ill-fated Sydney Python Users Group. She has written and edited technical documentation for the Twisted project; and contributed to the Planet aggregation software.

Ref: OS6P0039