[melbourne-pug] Thank you Anthony and Intrepid
daedalus at eigenmagic.com
Sat Jun 18 10:12:39 CEST 2005
Interesting discussion stemming from Mike's original post.
On Fri, 2005-06-17 at 08:37 +0000, Mike Dewhirst wrote:
> By way of saying thanks, I thought I'd make a proposal.
> We need an idea-path so newcomers understand where we are. What are the
> shared objectives and hopes regarding the group?
> Personally, I want to learn to use Python effectively. For me that means ...
> - interface to Apache on Linux
> - interface to SQL92 standard RDBMS
> - python application development
> - python "standard" libraries
> - python special purpose libraries
> - rich client front ends via wxPython and (probably) Boa Constructor
> - thin client front ends via W3C standard browsers
> - any other standards-based development infrastructure which is python
> - agile methodologies applied to python development
I have to admit I haven't really thought about my reasons for coming
along to mel-pug meetings. I think I figured I'd just turn up a few
times and see how things went. And then I somehow ended up volunteering
to give a talk. :)
> I would like to propose that in future the group focuses on two things per
> meeting ...
> 1. A presentation by anyone competent in an item from the above list
I think sharing knowledge is one of the reasons I'd want to turn up;
listen to other's experiences and learn from what they've done, while
also sharing my own experiences, hopefully to someone else's benefit.
> 2. Actually developing an application to be owned by the group and with
> potential to become a useful open-source project.
> The idea for the group project is to put best-practices into context.
> Hopefully, best practice in any area is likely to be contentious. I say,
> bring it on :) I want to learn.
Hmm. I agree with others' suggestions that this be treated as a Special
Interest Group kind of thing that happens as an adjunct to the group.
Like many of us, I already have multiple projects of my own that I don't
get to spend enough time on, as well as earning a living. I'm not really
interested in being part of another project as a major focus for the
I'd rather learn things from the group that I can apply to my own
projects and work. If there are lessons learned from the group project,
then by all means, share them with the whole group. Perhaps a lively
discussion on a particular problem that is encountered on anyone's
project, including the group one, would be a good way to learn? "What do
people think is the best way to do N?" kind of thing.
> My own view (developing as I write) is that group discussion of best
> practices for a real project will have far more value for everyone than
> hearing general good advice. I would also be very keen to see working code
> constructively criticised in very specific context. The idea of an ongoing
> context will also have drawing power at meetings.
I can see the appeal of this approach with those new to Python, and I
agree that the best way to learn is to get your hands dirty. I'd say
that joining the group project would be a good way for Python newbies to
get involved with a Python project and learn by doing, and would
certainly be a drawcard for them. However, I'd prefer that the group not
become centred around this one project as that could limit the scope of
I think that by discussing the variety of projects people have been
involved with we will all have the opportunity of learning something
new, or perhaps gain another perspective on how we're doing things with
our own projects. A group project would allow those without their own
projects to put some of these lessons into practice.
Oh, and on reinventing the wheel, or duplicating another project; I
don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, for a couple of reasons:
- Solving a problem is a good way to learn. You usually start off
learning a new language by reimplementing "Hello World!" for the 472nd
time, after all.
- If it's been done before, you can learn from others' mistakes and
hopefully do it better. If you're trying to learn something new, you can
get an Aha! moment of "Oh right, so that's how you do that..." by
referring to someone else's work.
- Competing projects enable the best one to win out by virtue of being
It all depends on what you're trying to achieve. Why build a house when
you can buy one ready-made?
Justin Warren <daedalus at eigenmagic.com>
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