PyDev of the Week: Takeshi Komiya

This week we welcome Komiya Takeshi as our PyDev of the Week! Takeshi is a maintainer of Sphinx, Python’s documentation package. Takeshi is also the creator of blockdiag, diagram image generator. If you are interested in seeing some of the other projects that Komiya contributes to, you should check out his Github profile.

Let’s spend some time getting to know Takeshi better!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I am a software engineer from Tokyo, Japan. Now I work at Time Intermedia Corp. as CTO. Time Intermedia is a systems integrator.

I love to have tea when I’m programming. I often bring my laptop to a cafe and enjoy programming all day long. My hobbies include driving all around Japan and watching football games.

Why did you start using Python?

My first contact with Python was 10+ years ago, when I took part in a local Hack-a-thon event as a staff; Zope/Plone Hack-a-thon (now renamed to Python mini Hack-a-thon). In those days, I used to mostly use Ruby for my hobby projects. I started using Python for my OSS projects since then.

My first product of Python is blockdiag. It is a converter from a text written in original syntax to block diagram image. I think it let me know to enjoy programming in OSS. Even now, I sometimes see the tweets and articles about blockdiag. I’m very happy to see them.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

So far, I have experience in C, Perl, PHP, Ruby, and Python. If I have to choose one, I prefer to use Python. Since I started using Python, I have used it for OSS works almost every night. So I’m familiar with it.

I also love Ruby. It lets me know programming is a fan. Now I have no time to write code in Ruby. But I still like it.

What projects are you working on now?

In the last 5 years, I’ve worked on Sphinx. It is an Open Source document generator. It can build beautiful documentation in several formats. I also meet it in the Japanese Python community. After that, I made many kinds of extension packages for Sphinx. Finally, I become a maintainer of Sphinx itself.

Which Python libraries are your favorite (core or 3rd party)?

Nearly every day, I need to use functools, inspect and typing modules. I feel they are very clear and cool. I learned “Pythonic” from them.

I also read docutils because Sphinx is based on it. It is a bit old, but it provides a very flexible framework for document conversion.

Why do you use Sphinx over another documentation package?

Because it’s there! TBH, I’m not a user of Sphinx, only a developer. Indeed, I’ve sometimes used it to create documents for my products. But the time I spent developing Sphinx is much longer than the time for usage.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Python and its community let me meet my friends. I really appreciate the great language and wonderful community. And I’d like to say “Thank you” for everyone who uses Sphinx.