Will >> Will's blog

purpose: Will Kahn-Greene's blog of Miro, PyBlosxom, Python, GNU/Linux, random content, PyBlosxom, Miro, and other projects mixed in there ad hoc, half-baked, and with a twist of lemon
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Sat, 10 Mar 2012

pyvideo is live!

What is Python Miro Community

Python Miro Community is an index of Python-related videos on the Internet. For the most part, it's a collection of videos from Python-related conferences. Saw a session you liked and want to share it? It's likely you can find it and share it with Python Miro Community.

pyvideo.org is live!

About three weeks ago, I decided I really needed a bunch of things that Miro Community didn't have and it was really hampering my ability to do what I wanted to do with the site and also interoperate with Carl and Ryan's system. It was time to write my own software and host my own site.

The software is called richard. It's released under the AGPLv3, is currently hosted on Github, and it's in a ridiculously alpha state. richard is at its heart a video indexing site. I'm working on it in my "copious spare time" and hit a critial mass last night---enough to launch pyvideo.org.

I'm pulling in PyCon US 2012 videos as they're coming in right now.

Oh, wait... that means I should have started this blog post differently....

What is pyvideo.org

pyvideo.org is an index of Python-related videos on the Internet. For the most part, it's a collection of videos from Python-related conferences. 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.

More soon!

Mon, 30 Jan 2012

Python Miro Community status: January 30th, 2012

What is Python Miro Community

Python Miro Community is an index of Python-related videos on the Internet. For the most part, it's a collection of videos from Python-related conferences. Saw a session you liked and want to share it? It's likely you can find it and share it with Python Miro Community.

Status

Kuma sent me an email pointing out that the download url for one of the PyOhio 2010 videos was kicking up an HTTP 404. We have this problem semi-regularly with the blip.tv urls. A while back I wrote a script to go through a category of videos on Python Miro Community and verify that the urls were good.

I ran the script on the PyOhio 2010 videos and 16 of 20 of them had bad download urls. That sucks.

Between moving things around and changing their interface in a way that makes our uses for blip.tv painful, I'd like conferences to stop using blip.tv. Maybe YouTube is a better venue.

Amongst other things, Universal Subtitles works better with videos posted on YouTube than blip.tv. In fact, if we switched to YouTube, it'd make it _so_ much easier to add Universal Subtitles support and I wouldn't have to use Ogg Vorbis which doesn't work in Safari or on Apple devices.

That's all I have to say about that.

I haven't worked through my queue of conferences, yet. The queue of oustanding tasks is maintained in the PMC GitHub issue tracker. I'm pushing to catch up with things so that it's in a better state for Pycon 2012.

I'm going to PyCon 2012, though this time as a Mozillian. Looking forward to Erik's talks on Parsing horrible things with Python and Speedily practical large-scale tests, Asheesh and Jessica's talk on Diversity in practice: How the Boston Python Meetup grew to 1000 people and over 15% women, Karen's talk on Improving Documentation with "Beginner's Mind" (or: Fixing the Django Tutorial), and others, too.

Thu, 20 Oct 2011

Python Miro Community status: October 20th, 2011

What is Python Miro Community

Python Miro Community is an index of Python-related videos on the Internet. For the most part, it's a collection of videos from Python-related conferences. Saw a session you liked and want to share it? It's likely you can find it and share it with Python Miro Community.

Status

I've finished posting DjangoCon 2011 videos.

They're all set up to be transcribed and translated. If you have spare time, please think about taking the time to transcribe your favorite presentation. If it's transcribed already and you can translate it, please translate it.

I'm keeping track of transcription/translation status now.

I fixed the RSS links for categories so that if you subscribe to that RSS feed, it has the complete category in it--not just the most recent 30 videos. If you're using a podcast client and are subscribed to one of the category feeds, please fix the feed url in your podcast client.

I've got PyCon AU 2011 in the queue. In fact, I have an actual queue now maintained in the PMC GitHub issue tracker. That includes other things that need to be fixed in the site or in my scripts that help me maintain the site.

Fri, 23 Sep 2011

Python Miro Community status: September 23rd, 2011

What is Python Miro Community

Python Miro Community is an index of Python-related videos on the Internet. For the most part, it's a collection of videos from Python-related conferences. Saw a session you liked and want to share it? It's likely you can find it and share it with Python Miro Community.

Status

The last month and a half have been pretty banal. There have been several conferences (DjangoCon 2011, PyConAU 2011, ...), but I haven't had time to pull in video, yet. I started to look at things earlier this week and was met with a bunch of Miro Community problems.

First, looks like either Blip.tv did something weird with their feeds or Miro Community decided to stop filtering duplicates, so there are currently over 500 videos in the review queue many of which are on the site already. I have no good way to figure out which are duplicates, though, so I'm going to write a script to make that possible/easier.

Second, videos from PyCon 2011 and PyOhio 2011 that had been "universal subtitle-ized" were exceeding the width allotted to the video. I've fixed this before, but I didn't remember how I did it and I decided this time around that I'd just change the layout of the page instead. Now the video can take up as much width as it wants (which is good for other reasons, too) and I nixed bits of the page that Python Miro Community doesn't use.

Irksome that things keep breaking, but that's the way it goes. I'm sorry I didn't catch the latter one sooner.

Universal Subtitles status

Carl was curious as to how many videos had been transcribed of the two conferences we've added Universal Subtitles support for. I wrote a script to go through the PyCon 2011 videos and PyOhio 2011 videos and figure out how many of them have been transcribed and translated with Universal Subtitles.

PyCon 2011:3 videos fully transcribed, 1 video partially transcribed, some minor translation work
PyOhio 2011:3 videos partially transcribed

I'm disappointed. It was a lot of work to get those videos working with Universal Subtitles. It sucked that it took me so long to post them and it's probably the case we lost some of the energy because of that. But I was hoping we'd have better results anyways.

Carl wants to try one more time with DjangoCon 2011 and this time be more proactive and email the presenters. If that doesn't work, then I'm not sure what we can do. I can't spend the time to transcribe all the talks. Neither can Carl. We could pay someone to do it, but that costs money and I don't think anyone is interested in paying for that. Thus if we con't share the workload as a community, I'm probably going to ditch the Universal Subtitles support for now because it's a lot of work to put together. Maybe we can try it again some day.

PMC in GitHub

I'm putting scripts, template fixes, and other Python Miro Community related things in Github: http://github.com/willkg/pmc

I'm not sure how interesting it is outside of PMC, but it's there if you're interested.

Wed, 03 Aug 2011

PyOhio 2011 videos being posted

PyOhio 2011 happened last weekend. I'm currently working with Carl at Next Day Video to get the videos they're posting to the blip.tv feed into Python Miro Community.

I'm using a similar process to what we used with PyCon 2011 videos, but we don't have to figure it out on the fly this time around, so things are going much smoother.

As of now, there are three videos posted with more coming as they're uploaded and work their way through the workflow.

If you have some spare time, please consider helping out with subtitling the videos. Whenever a video is subtitled, it becomes accessible to a much wider audience. If you help out with subtitling, please let me know so that I can thank you.

Sat, 16 Jul 2011

Python Miro Community status: July 16th, 2011

It's been a while since the last status post on the status of Python Miro Community. The reasons are many, but mostly because I've been blocked on other things and hadn't really finished anything. Boo.

To recap, Python Miro Community is a curated index of Python-related video from around the Internet including Python-related conference sessions. Catch the sessions you missed, show sessions to your colleagues, and remind yourself why you really want to be attending these conferences in person.

Anyhow, it's been a slow few months. Most of the PyCon 2011 videos are posted with the exceptions of the lightning talks which I still have to watch and fill out the descriptions for.

Miro Community released 1.2.1 which allows me to do rss feeds that exceed the 30-video maximum they have. That allows me to run my script which verifies download urls. The PyCon 2011 category was fine.

The PyCon 2010 category was not fine. Of the 120 videos in the category, over 60 of them had bad download urls. This really bothers me. I don't know why the urls are going sour. I've fixed all the ones in the PyCon 2011 category and will monitor them going forward periodically.

I still need to go through the other categories.

Carl kicked me into using GitHub for PMC related things. That's at https://github.com/willkg/pmc. I'm slowly (very slowly) adding scripts I use to run the site as well as documentation covering workflow and other things. Going forward, I'll be using GitHub to coordinate and organize everything.

The other thing I need to do is move my todo items from my org-mode file over to the issues tracker. That'll make it easier for other people to help if they're so inclined.

That's where things are at.

Fri, 15 Apr 2011

PyCon 2011 videos going up

The Ogg Theora versions of the PyCon 2011 videos are posted on the PyCon blip.tv channel now and I'm slowly pulling them in to Python Miro Community.

I'd do them all in one big batch, except that it takes a minute or two to approve each video and also the Miro Community feeds are limited to 30 items, so if anyone is using a podcast client and watching the PyCon 2011 feed they'd miss any that fell out of the 30 maximum. That's bug 15177 and I'm hoping to fix it soon.

PyCon 2011 had some really great sessions. If you haven't already seen the ones you were interested in, I encourage you to keep an eye on the PyCon 2011 category as videos get posted.

These videos are being posted with Universal Subtitles support. If you presented at PyCon 2011, please take the time to caption your video. Captioning makes it easier to provide translated subtitles, makes it accessible to people who don't speak English and those who are hard of hearing, and also will make your video less opaque for search technologies when we add support for that.

Again, I really apologize for it taking this long to post them. I hope to have faster turn-around on future conferences.

Questions, comments, concerns--just let me know.

Sat, 09 Apr 2011

Python Miro Community status: 01-22-2011

I haven't posted the PyCon 2011 videos to Python Miro Community, yet. First, I was waiting for Ogg Theora versions of the videos to get posted. Then I was waiting for Miro Community 1.2 to get released. Now I'm waiting for duplicate Ogg Theora versions of the videos to get removed so that I can successfully pull in all the videos without fear of them getting moved around and the urls to get stale.

A month ago, I knew we were doing some things we hadn't done before and therefore it was going to take longer than it usually does. But I never expected it to take this long. It's sort of been a perfect storm of things to block on.

Regardless, the Miro Community released 1.2 and it includes a bunch of fixes to the admin side of the site that make some things doable again. Additionally, it includes a few fixes I submitted upstream--these are my first contributions to Miro Community to fix issues I was working around with Python Miro Community. I look forward to fixing some more things especially now that I have a working Miro Community development environment. Congratulations to the Miro Community team on a successful release!

That's where things are at. I haven't forgotten about PyCon 2011--it's just taking a lot longer than I expected it to.

Tue, 08 Mar 2011

Python Software Foundation Grant for Python Miro Community

A couple of weeks ago at Carl's urging, I applied for a grant from the Python Software Foundation. This would cover Miro Community service costs for the next year as well as work on a series of improvements to the site. Things like:

I talked about all this at length in my call for funding.

I'm very pleased to announce that the PSF has awarded me a grant. I know how selective they are in their grant approval and I really appreciate this. It helps me a ton and I will work hard to make it money well spent.

I'll be at PyCon 2011.. I hope to spend some time with Carl, Asheesh and others working on Miro Community. I'm also hoping to talk with people who've used the site and what kinds of things we can make better going forward. If you see me, feel free to say, "Hi!"

Fri, 18 Feb 2011

Python Miro Community year in review and fund drive 2011

Year in review

First off, let's talk about the year in review. I started Python Miro Community (Python Miro Community) a little over a year ago. In that time, Python Miro Community has grown to around 550 videos spanning the last few years, several local user groups, and a lot of conferences. Google Analytics says the site averages 150 unique visitors every day since I added Google Analytics. People end up at Python Miro Community from sites like Reddit and StackOverlfow and also searches at various search sites.

At this point, if you haven't visited the site or don't know what I'm talking about, please go take a look now.

http://python.mirocommunity.org/

This site has been been immensely useful to me. My knowledge of Python and what's going on in the greater Python community has grown leaps and bounds from watching videos I've discovered through Python Miro Community. Site usage statistics suggest that I'm not the only one.

Given that I spend 10-20 hours per month working on this site and that it's come this far, I think it's been a success.

The future looks good. If I continue putting in the effort that I'm putting in now, the site will continue to grow and will continue to become more useful to people as the corpus of video increases.

However, Miro Community (Miro Community) is switching to a tiered service model at which point my free ride ends and I think with some funding, we could improve this site to be a lot better than it is currently. So let's talk about funding.

Call for funding

I haven't had to pay anything for Participatory Culture Foundation (http://pculture.org/) to host PMC for the last year. This is in part because they've been ramping up the service to a point where it's commercially useful. This is also in part because I work for Participatory Culture Foundation and so they've let me slide. Going forward, the service level that PMC uses will cost $75 per month ($900 a year).

Carl and I have been talking about this site as the last mile for conference video. Conferences often have an A/V crew that spends a ton of time recording conference sessions, doing a lot of production and post-production work and then post the video somewhere on the Internet. There's conference video in a bunch of different places, it's often missing metadata that makes it discoverable (is that a word?), and a few months after the conference is over, the video doesn't get much play time. There are a bunch of things Carl and I want to do to improve this situation:

  1. Integrate Universal Subtitles into Python Miro Community.

    This allows the community to transcribe and translate videos using their browser. I doubt this will cause all videos to be translated, but I bet the more popular/useful ones will be. That could be huge! Further, since we'd be using Universal Subtitles, the subtitling widget would be available wherever the video is embedded--it won't be PMC-specific. This would do a lot towards making these videos accessible to a much larger audience.

  2. For videos that have transcriptions, use the transcriptions as part of the video search corpus.

    This would make it easier to find videos that talk about specific things that aren't covered in the description and tags. Further, we could provide the moment in time in the video where those terms were brought up.

  3. Implement an API in Miro Community upstream that allows us to automate data validation.

    Data validation so far has been a total pain in the ass because it has to be done by hand. With 550 videos, that's not feasible unless I spend a lot of time on it. An API would allow me to write scripts to automate the data validation and make the site data better.

    For example, the media file urls are out of date for a lot of the video right now. I wrote a script to validate them, but I only have access to the last 30 items in any of the RSS feeds. Thus I can't validate items in larger RSS feeds.

Additionally, I want to work on building playlists that connect videos between conferences. A playlist of David Beazley's GIL talks would be really interesting. A playlist of Django-related videos allowing someone to come up to speed with Django would be really helpful. A playlist of advanced Python topics could take someone familiar with Python and bump them up to a pro.

I really can't do this without funding, though.

Ultimately, I'd love to raise $3000 which would go towards paying for the Miro Community service and also fund work on some/many/all of the above projects. I had talked about this a little in my last status report but I hadn't figured out how it was going to work.

In the next few days, I'm going to set up a Pledgie project and update the templates on Python Miro Community so that every page has the Pledgie project badge at the top. At that point, I encourage everyone to check out the site and if they like what they're seeing, to pledge $5. Anyone who donates gets their name on the Donors list that will probably be on the About page.

Also, if there are companies that are interested in sponsoring Python Miro Community for a year, I'd be really interesting in talking to you.