[python-advocacy] SD West

Grig Gheorghiu grig at gheorghiu.net
Mon Jan 15 18:29:08 CET 2007

--- Stephan Deibel <sdeibel at wingware.com> wrote:

> On Sun, 14 Jan 2007, Alvin Wang wrote:
> > I find it concerning that a major programming conference has added
> Ruby as a
> > track but there is no track on Python.
> > 
> > http://www.sdexpo.com/
> > 
> > If we want Python to be more popular, we need to have it in the
> mainstream.
> You have a good point although I'd argue Python is already in the
> mainstream as far as how/where it's used.  It is just not
> represented well in the mass business-oriented software
> development media.
> I think the reason for this is that Python has missed the boat at
> each opportunity to hype itself as a compelling solution around
> the sound-byte-oriented "problems" these types of media/venues
> want to cover.  Things like "the web" (when it was new), "RAD",
> "web2.0", "dynamic languages", etc.
> (Even though Python is very good at many things, and many people 
> have quietly used it as a "secret weapon")
> Also, I sometimes wonder if it's also that Python is too easy to
> use to support creation of the usual huge third party book,
> magazine, best practices, etc machine.

My take on this is that Ruby has been embraced by the "enterprise Java"
people, who have grown to be very dissatisfied with the heavy-weight
J2EE solutions. The fact that Ruby on Rails burst on the scene before
Django/TurboGears meant that they all suddenly perceived Ruby and RoR
as the holy grail. 

> That said, it wouldn't surprise me if this track is the result of
> the efforts of one or a few dedicated individuals.  So if you are
> concerned and motivated by this, by all means contact them and
> see if you can get a track started for next year!

My impression is that the "few dedicated individuals" are insiders to
the various SD and Agile conferences. It's well known that the
Pragmatic Programmers have embraced Ruby as their language of choice,
and I'm sure part of the reason is so they can be the first to write
and sell books about it. Also, many of the "Agile gurus" use Ruby these
days, again ditching Java (Martin Fowler comes to mind, and generally
speaking all of the ThoughWorks guys).

So I think it will be pretty hard to get Python where Ruby is in terms
of attention from industry luminaries. Hard, but not impossible -- and
as Stephan says, nothing prevents a few dedicated individuals to at
least try to achieve the same for Python, at least as far as the SD
conferences are concerned.


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