Security is always a consideration when discussing coding languages. Dustin Ingram, part of Google's Open Source Security Team and a director of the Python Software Foundation, spoke at Pycon about security as it relates to something we're all feeling right now—the supply chain. What are the best methods to not only secure the software systems that operate our supply chain ecosystems but also create new standards and best practices for open-source software?
Meanwhile, Graham Bleaney, a Meta security engineer, and Pradeep Kumar Srinivasan, a Pyre type checker at Meta, delivered a joint presentation on how the Python code itself contains the concepts needed to make its own code more secure. They demonstrated a few tips and tricks that can bolster security and pointed out possible failure points.
“There are some really important questions that we should all be asking around open-source security right now, such as, ‘Is it safe to use open source software?’” Ingram said. “Yes, but with a giant asterisk. Maybe a better question to ask is this: How can we use open-source software safely?”
As Python Reaches New Markets, Security And Safety Are Paramount
CEO & Cofounder, Anaconda
We've been looking at [web browser] stuff for a little while, and we came up with an idea on how to leverage some of this work and increase the accessibility of tools like Python to many, many more people.”
In his keynote, the CEO and cofounder of data science platform Anaconda discussed Python’s strong community as well as its versatile programming language, which is commonly used in software development. Yet its potential use in apps and websites is not fully realized,
PyScript, which was developed by Anaconda, offers a framework for creating rich Python apps in the browser. It requires no web server and lives in the browser. PyScript is actual CPython and will drastically alter how we program web browsers. As Wang said, Python is programming for everyone, and everyone uses their web browser. Wang is confident it's time for Python to use it too.
Peter Wang Demonstrates PyScript, The Next Evolution Of Python
Coding with friends isn't always a consideration for developers. Regardless of the level of collaboration required, some just prefer solo projects. Yet, collaboration doesn't have to leave the code base.
William Morrell of the Joint BioEnergy Institute is a coder with decades of experience who believes that collaboration is important to every project. He explained that, through a series of known tools and common practices, developers can learn to collaborate. Along the way, the same tricks can help developers work on solo projects more efficiently.
“It's basically impossible these days to write software that doesn't in some way depend on other software or firmware to function correctly," said Morrell, driving home the point that, even within the software itself, we must find ways to rely on each other to function properly.
As more and more people are working from home, it's imperative that developers work to strengthen their collaboration skills, he said. We wouldn't be able to view black holes without it.
Open-Source Software Demands Collaboration And Teamwork
As an elected fellow of the Python Software Foundation and the immediate past chair of its board of directors, Naomi Ceder believes the open source coding community is facing a reckoning. As Python’s popularity grows, its “gift community” could be fading in favor of turning the nonprofit organization into a business, she suggested in her keynote address.
Ceder, who is also cofounder of Trans*Code, an international hack event series focused on transgender issues and opportunities, hearalded the Python foundation’s volunteers who support grants, events and projects. People contribute what they can when they can and, in turn, share resources. This can be chaotic. But this is a feature, not a bug. Yet with user demand growing, some wonder how this nonprofit community and language used by millions will keep going.
Ceder entreated the community to be less critical of each other, less self-interested and more inclusive. This is how she believes the open-source Python community will stay healthy well into the future.
Naomi Ceder Says Inclusivity And A Community Of Gifts Are The Future Of Python
Fellow, Python Software Foundation
For me, my time in this community has been my time of gifts. Gifts that have sustained me in so many ways. Gifts that led me to think about how we value and share the gifts of our community.”