[Edu-sig] re: Draft of a funding request

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Mon Dec 8 19:43:35 EST 2003

>I've put together a funding request for the development of an educational 
>distribution of Python software.

No surprise, I have some comments.

The CP4E proposal referenced in yours gives a good deal of stress to the
creation of a "programming environment".  Now, IDLE exists, as do numbers of
other Python enhanced editors and IDEs of various types. An embarrassment of
riches. So, it seems to me, unless you or anyone else has some specific
ideas of what of significance is yet missing, can't that stage be marked as
essentially complete.  And the proposal enhanced by in fact stressing that
this has already been accomplished, based on the original DARPA grant.  And
that the requested funds can be assumed to be in furtherance of goals beyond
that which was funded and completed by way of the CP4E funding.  

You are not saying anything contrary to this.  You just aren't stressing
that an important phase has already been funded and completed.

I certainly don't know much about this kind of funding application.
Wouldn't a much, much more detail budget in connection with the expenditure
of funds be a necessity?  Hate to say it, but I would hope so. Is it just
that you posting up a generic draft, with those kinds of details to be
provided, in the case of specific proposals. 

I also happen to believe that - strategically, trying to go head to head
with Java at this moment in time is unrealistically ambitious. And likely to
backfire. No matter how correct the substance of your argument might be -
or, better, is.

I would be stressing the many projects already using Python in math and
science related educational environments. And targeting funds to expand and
enhance those kinds of uses for Python. Robotics, mathematics, physics, etc
and etc. 

All ideological notions aside, this to me has to be the best strategic
approach.  Betting all on being able to convince folks that Java needs to be
backbenched - too much on one number, IMO. A long shot. 

And definitely not the way to go.

Though I certainly wish you luck, however you decide to approach it.


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