[Baypiggies] BayPIGgies name [was: April agenda?]

Marilyn Davis marilyn at deliberate.com
Sun Apr 9 05:22:02 CEST 2006

On Sat, 8 Apr 2006, Stephen McInerney wrote:

> Hi Aahz,
> >From: Aahz <aahz at pythoncraft.com>
> The member survey will not include a poll on the name, for reasons of 
> timeliness.
> Also I am happy to let others moderate the issue.
> Four comments on this ongoing discussion on group name:
> 1) I agree with Dennis that this is definitely not the most important issue
> and maybe we can table it for future resolution (June?)

Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe I think too much like software, but I think
software and people-structures have a lot in common.  If the
architecture is broken, we'll always be limping along with the
features.  Things will never go smoothly, never make real sense.  It
will not be a fun place to participate.

The March meeting was a shocker for me.  It was almost my first
meeting.  I gave a talk a few months ago, and I went to a newbie night
a few years ago, but that was all.  For the March meeting, I only came
a mile or so, but I regretted it.  I can't imagine what someone would
feel who drove from further away, or someone who ventured to a meeting
for the very first time.  So yes, something needs fixing.  But what?
And why?

Jim Stockford said that we should keep the name because it has name
recognition.  I'm not sure why we care about that.  We are not selling
anything.  Maybe you can explain, Jim?

>From my point of view, the thing about Python that is revolutionary
and profoundly correct is that backward-compatibility is a
second-class priority.  I guess I think that in general, time is
running out on the human race and it's time to get things right.  I
want to participate in a culture that understands this, and walks the

When I first heard "Bay Piggies" it needed explaining and the speaker
was embarrassed by the name.  I can't say it to someone without having
to give a boring explanation, and it's never what I really want to
talk about.  Every conversation is burdened with a little package of
off-topic silliness, a slightly embarrassing moment and a waste of

Another thing I love about Python, as a teacher, is that there is
nothing to apologize for or be embarrassed about.  So why should we,
as a group, hang a burden on Python?

Is there a charter?  I don't see anything about it on the web.  Am I
looking in the wrong place?

Dennis also mentions the ACCU and the classy Python talks going on
there.  Check them out and you'll see that they have an architecture
to the group.  It really is a necessary thing to attract serious
volunteers and remain long-term viable.

So I think that the question to ask ourselves is, would this group do
better if there was a straight-forward name and a charter/by-laws with
a mechanism for decision-making?

I think so.  So I'm trying to make it happen.

About voting.  Aahz, when we are ready to set the poll, I can bring up
an email-based poll on the legacy eVote software that I run at
deliberate.com.  My colleague will make a little web page front end
for it so that people who prefer to vote by browser can.  The software
will only allow list members to vote, will send you a receipt for your
vote, let you withdraw or change your vote. And it will let us all see
how everyone voted, if we want to set it up that way.  This is always
my preference, unless we are voting on people.

> 2) you will get three different results and constituencies if you ask the
> same question on the list, at an Ironport meeting or at a Google meeting.
> 3) almost noone understands whether our group has a charter and what the
> decision-making process for such fundamental decisions is.
> 4) to a considerable extent, the naming options depend on the
> (evolving) geographical identity of the group (SF? SV? Bay? South Bay? 
> unstated?),
> and this is something we do not currently understand and should get
> a lot more insight into from the survey (e.g. for example, is there
> a subgroup of people who want to split off a EB/NB group meeting
> in (say) Oakland/Berkeley/Fremont/? in an alternate week of the month?)

I look forward to the survey results and I hope everyone will try to
participate.  But, about participation, on an email list we have have
no clue about how many people actually are reading the list at all.
I'm subscribed to some lists that I usually just route to a folder and
never look at.  Sometimes I do that with this list.  So there's no way
to know how many people to figure the percentage of participation.

Either we have to accept that, or be unable to make a decision as a

> >On a separate note, I think that any voting mechanism must have as few
> >barriers as possible.  The survey that Stephen is setting up requires
> >cookies and JavaScript; that is not acceptable for a vote on the group
> >name.
> The survey will *not* require cookies and JS (if you don't do it via 
> SurveyMonkey),
> since I am volunteering to provide all 332 members with multiple 
> alternatives
> (email or paper) at my own extra labor and inconvenience. We already 
> verified it
> works with IE, Netscape/Mozilla + Firefox; but not Lynx (no JS support).
> I mailed you the instructions already and it will be announced list-wide 
> tomorrow (04/09).
> I think this setup accomodates as many people as I humanly can manage.
> For any 2007 survey we can discuss improvements.

Stephen, you are doing an amazing job.  I don't see that we have any
way to know who we are except as a result of the big task you have
taken on.

Still hoping for a better future,


> Best regards,
> Stephen
> _______________________________________________
> Baypiggies mailing list
> Baypiggies at python.org
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/baypiggies


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