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Alex Clark: The State of Pillow

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Talk at Plone Conference 2020

The Plone Conference account tweeted that a State of Plone talk would be awesome and that the Plone community missed me. I miss the Plone community too, so I am here.

I will state it clearly: Pillow would not exist if not for Plone.

In July 2010 I announced Pillow as "friendly" fork of PIL. The mailing thread and future answers are interesting to read.

Some history:

  • 1991: Python 0.9.1
  • 1995: PIL started
  • 1998: Zope
  • 1999: Zope2
  • 2000: Python 2.0 with distutils
  • 2001: Plone
  • 2005: Buildout
  • 2006: I attended my first Plone Conference, in Washington
  • 2006: setuptools was born

PIL had an issue, or Plone had an issue with PIL:

  • PIL used distutils.
  • Plone 3.2 used Buildout and setuptools
  • PIL was not installable in Buildout and setuptools
  • Specific problem: import Image could mean the Image module from PIL, or the Image module from Zope.

Various ways of repackaging PIL started, for example PILwoTk. You can still find various PIL derivatives at https://dist.plone.org/thirdparty/

PIL 1.1.6 from 2006 is still the last version on PyPI. I got maintainership of this page this year, actually. Pillow 1.0 is basically the same, except that it uses setuptools. This worked in buildout. I was happy.

Couple years, nothing really interesting happened. But some contributors came along. Pillow 2.0.0 in March 2013 had Python 3 support.

An important milestone in 2015: we added release notes.

Release schedule: in the beginning of every quarter.

We get some money from Tidelift for maintenance.