[Baypiggies] BayPIGgies and Open Source (was: Complimentary class on SPM.Python)

jim jim at well.com
Thu Aug 5 20:00:47 CEST 2010

   great thanks to aahz for raising the topic. tony's 
response seems dead on right. 

   the following is my attempt briefly to explain how i 
approach the job of getting and coordinating speakers 
for baypiggies, respond to aahz comment re Minesh's two 
talks, and present a plea for help. 

   i worry about the direction of the baypiggies group 
in that i want it to persist. technical groups seem to 
have "seasons" in which attendance and character of 
focus changes. Our change of venue from Google to 
Symantec (thanks to tony and symantec) preceded a drop 
in attendance. The recent appearance of other groups 
that focus on Python (mainly in San Francisco) seems to
coincide with a drop in attendance (with respect to 
average attendance at the google campus meetings). 
   the point: i've stepped up my efforts a little bit 
to excite baypiggies activities. 

   myself, i'm close to virulent in my support of free, 
libre, open source stuff. as baypiggies' 
speaker-getter/coordinator i lean strongly toward floss 
   i am not opposed to commercial efforts. 
   getting speakers for main topics as well as newbie 
nuggets is a struggle. 
   i make an effort to get speakers. 
   a few members, notably tony and jj, have recruited 
speakers. i exercise no filtering on their efforts; my 
job is to let everyone know of dates open and help out 
by making sure no one books a conflicting date. 
   as to my own efforts to get speakers, my criteria 
* free, libre (liberty vs no-cost), open source 
* interesting and timely technical issues 
* inclusion of python code examples in the presentation 
* speaker has reasonable presentation abilities (low bar) 
* reasonable expectation that the topic and/or speaker 
will positively affect baypiggies. 
   re my efforts, i offer to help speakers tune their 
presentations; i'm open to supporting speakers other 
baypiggies members recruit, but i don't usually offer 
("stick my nose in"). 

   probably worth noting: i've learned that i am the 
default meeting moderator. my policy is that the person 
who recruits the speaker should be the meeting moderator. 
i believe the meeting moderator should be low-key: 
someone to move the meeting through its phases--it's 
the speakers who should be the focus of attention. 

   i'm open to any discussion, suggestions, changes, 
opposition... to the above general approach. 

   as to the specifics of Minesh's two presentations: 
* the topic seems large in scope and important: that 
the difficulty of getting speakers led me to suggest 
to Minesh that he make two talks, one general to the 
topic and the other specific to his efforts. 
* i encouraged him to participate in the BayPIGgies 
mailing list discussion, to provide access to his 
product, and to promote the free class he's recently 
* i believed that the topic and Minesh's efforts met 
the criteria i use (above) and would have a positive 
effect on baypiggies mailing list and attendance. note 
that i view aahz' comment as a positive result (any 
discussion is good discussion). 
   looking back, the two talks look successful. 

   if you've read this far, you're likely interested 
in the baypiggies group. please help get speakers for 
newbie nuggets and primary topics, please talk up 
baypiggies to the greater technical community, and 
please contribute to the baypiggies mailing list. (and 
remember, the focus is python and related technologies 
with as little as possible focus on administrative 
   helping to get speakers can be as simple as noting 
topics for which you'd like a presentation: what 
recent developments in Python pique your interest? 

On Thu, 2010-08-05 at 06:40 -0700, Tony Cappellini wrote:
> > Part of the reason I haven't offered to repeat my OSCON talk about the
> > work I'm doing at egnyte.com is because I think that BayPIGgies should
> > have a strong bias in favor of Open Source because Python itself is Open
> > Source.
> -1
> > What do other people think?  Did people who attended the meetings about
> > SPM feel that they got enough technical value even if they never use SPM?
> The presentation on SPM was interesting enough for me, even though I
> don't see an immediate need for it in my day-day work.
> Whether the topic is Open Source or not should not have any bearing on
> presentations at BayPiggies.
> This has never been a requirement in the past, and should not be one now.
> We are always struggling to get people to do presentations,
> Any topic with some Python-relevance is just fine with me, adding
> additional criteria on top of that
> would make it even more difficult.
> On that note- I recently became aware of yet another commercial Python
> Debugger, and have invited this company to do
> a presentation on this product. Unfortunately, their office in the Bay
> Area does not have a technical person.
> Because we were struggling to find presenters recently, I told Jim I
> would do a presentation on Wing IDE,
> yet another commercial product.
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