About Curious Efficiency

About the site

Curious Efficiency is the intermittently updated personal website of Nicholas Coghlan, CPython core developer, PSF Director, Red Hat toolsmith, cognitive science dabbler, and cynical idealist.

The main portion of the site is generated via Nikola, hosted on GitHub Pages, and under source control on BitBucket.

Python specific technical writing tends to end up on the ReadTheDocs powered Python Notes subsite.

About the name

Curious Efficiency is actually a reframing of my original blog title, Boredom & Laziness - the original boredomandlaziness.org URLs now redirect here. The original site blurb on Boredom & Laziness read as follows:

There are a couple of very, very scary things in this world.

The first is a bored human. Bored humans have time to indulge their curiosity, with potentially amazing results.

The second is a lazy human. Lazy humans can be quite inventive when it comes to figuring out how to do less work.

So, here's to boredom & laziness - two of the prime movers in human progress!

"Curious Efficiency" is really just a nicer way of referring to the same concept.

This post goes into some additional detail on the concepts that inspired the naming, both the original form, and the current more conventionally acceptable phrasing.

About the author


Nick is a CPython core developer and a member of the Board of Directors for the Python Software Foundation. He is the author or co-author of several accepted Python Enhancement Proposals (including PEP 453, which saw the pip installer bundled with Python 3.4+, and PEP 466, which saw several key Python 3 network security enhancements backported to the Python 2.7 series), and has also accepted a number of PEPs on Guido van Rossum's behalf as BDFL-Delegate.

Nick is currently the BDFL-Delegate for most packaging related PEPs, serving as the primary liaison between the CPython core development team and the Python Packaging Authority. His own efforts in the packaging space are focused primarily on the metadata 2.0 interoperability standards (PEP 426, 440, 459) and on aligning the ongoing work of the Python Packaging Authority with the efforts of the Fedora Environments & Stacks working group.

At the PyCon US 2013 language summit, Nick successfully argued for updates to the Python Enhancement Proposal process (described in PEP 1) that allowed BDFL-Delegates to approve PEPs that don't affect the language definition or the standard library directly on the relevant mailing lists (without needing to rehash the discussions on python-dev).

Since June 2011, after more than 12 years in the aerospace and defence sector with Boeing Australia, Nick has been working on development and test infrastructure for Red Hat.

He is currently a software development workflow designer & process architect working on Fedora's software management processes and tooling on behalf of Red Hat's Developer Experience group.

In addition to CPython, the PSF, the Python Packaging Authority, and the Fedora Environments & Stacks Working Group, other projects & programs of particular current interest include:

  • Kallithea: the Python-based fully open source repository management service for git and Mercurial that Nick is proposing to deploy as forge.python.org for use in CPython development PEP 474
  • Software Collections: an approach to deploying platform components (such as language runtimes, database engines and web servers) on Linux, such that end user applications can use newer versions without interfering with the versions integrated directly into the underlying operating system distribution
  • Project Atomic: the overall integration project for container technology in the Fedora/RHEL/CentOS ecosystem, bringing Docker containers together with various other components of that ecosystem (most notably RPM for subcomponent packaging and rpm-ostree for atomic host updates)
  • Nulecule: a JSON-based specification for defining multi-part container based applications and deploying them to a range of target environments.
  • Sandboxed Applications for GNOME: application of Linux container technology, kdbus and Wayland to the task of sandboxing desktop GUI applications.
  • Fedora Server Roles: application of Linux container technology (including Nulecule) to the management of stateful Linux servers (e.g. domain controllers, database servers, file servers, backup servers, groupware servers)
  • Fedora Scientific: a KDE-based Fedora desktop distribution with a range of science and data analysis applications pre-installed, including IPython Notebook.
  • CentOS Public CI: a Jenkins based public CI service offered by the CentOS project that (when fully operational) is intended to provide a common location for infrastructure management focused open source projects to run their integration tests
  • OpenShift: Red Hat's fully open source Platform-as-a-Service offering, with several key runtime elements of its next generation architecture currently being collaboratively developed with Google and other organisations in the upstream Kubernetes project
  • Red Hat Container Certification: a program that allows Red Hat subscribers to take advantage of Linux container technology to streamline the delivery and deployment of software from Red Hat Certified ISV partners

Selected articles, presentations and interviews

Python Enhancement Proposals:

Python related presentations (video links):

Python related articles and presentation reviews:

Software design, development and deployment related presentations and articles:

Community management related articles and interviews:

Podcast appearances (in reverse chronological order):

  • Free as in Freedom (with hosts Karen Sandler & Bradley M. Kuhn, recorded January 2015)
  • Pragmatic (with host John Chidgey, recorded August 2014)
  • From Python Import Podcast (with hosts Mike Pirnat & Dave Noyes and fellow guest Alex Gaynor, recorded March 2014)
    • Historical note of potential interest: I consider this discussion between Alex and myself to be one of the key events on the road to PEP 466's backport of Python 3 network security features to the Python 2.7 series, and PEP 476's switch to verifying HTTPS certificates by default in Python 2.7.9+ and 3.4.3+
  • Radio Free Python (with host Larry Hastings, recorded February 2012)