[Edu-sig] Rich Data Streams

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Wed Sep 5 18:13:03 CEST 2007

On 9/5/07, Jeff Rush <jeff at taupro.com> wrote:

> > Sounds more like something they'd try in Texas. ;-)
> Hey, I'm no "King of the Hill" TV guy ;-)  I picture this more like a barn

I enjoy that show when I tune it in.  Mike Judge is a hero of mine.

> raising in Texas - friends and helpful folk get together and pitch in where
> they can.  Maybe at first it looks confusing, with lots of donated items

Sounds very Amish.  As a Quaker, I can't recall ever raising a barn, but
I bet it's fun.  Lotsa potluck.

Lotsa geodesic domes here in Oregon and I *have* participated in some
of those going in (one in particular north of Fremont -- I should check
Google Earth).

All open source technology by the way.

> heaped about but then a leader here or there looks it over, begins to see a
> pattern, and starts to organize the heap.  Let's not turn away help even if
> we're not yet sure where each piece fits.
> BTW, thanks everyone for the links posted to this list as data streams.  All
> were very good reading, but the data streams I was thinking about was
> basically raw data on which instructors can build.  Some of the links were
> standalone web-interactive experimentation areas and some were domain-specific
> teaching languages other than Python - all valuable in their own right and
> I've made a list to get them onto the wiki.

I think we should leave it to those with special expertise in various knowledge
domains to decide what's OK to open source without exposing themselves in
some game of cut throat competition we may know nothing about.

Like, it's not for me to say what the mining unions want to release.

If I'm teaching a Python sequence to a client organization, and wanted a
list of every rotablator known to man, I'd probably roll my own, as I have
access to that data.

But when it comes to gold mining or oil drilling, I'm not any big authority,
unlike some other Wanderers I know (wwwanderers.org), and unlike the
folks at ConocoPhilips, who use Python in the data modeling of ongoing
North Sea drilling operations etc. (more in my blog **).

So why don't we just sit back and wait for the mining, oil and medical
communities to figure it out?  Not our problem, as python.org types to
do all that work.

I do that know many mines use Python internally.  No doubt many
other languages as well.

The Rich Data Structures and Streams idea is basically a way to
implement NALB (No Adult Left Behind).  Grownups get tired of
Spamalot jokes and endless "see spot run" data structure examples,
the brain dead fluff of the pulp text book era.

A pre-med kid might like all the bones in the body as an adjacency
table (what connects to what i.e. dembones = Human.Skeleton()).

The would-be chemist needs a handy dandy dict from whence to
pluck those isotopes (caution, some are unstable).

If some very good doobie on python.org wants to try linking to all
this rich, usable, good-to-have data, wherever and whenever it emerges,
I guess I'd say "be my guest and more power to ya!" -- but I don't
think we should *count on* such saintly acts of scholarship from
busy geeks with families to support, especially uncompensated.

The FOSS around Linux was cliquey I'd say as in "who cares if
it's open source, only the engineers we're collaborating with
understand the code anyway -- but if we try to keep it secret,
their lawyers will find a way to 'own' it all of a sudden, so let's
just not go there."

> Taking a cue from Laura's suggestion, I've reworked the Edu-SIG wiki page
> which actually didn't have much on it (as a group we could enhance this).
>   http://www.python.org/community/sigs/current/edu-sig/
> I started a catalog of educational data resources underneath it at:
>   http://wiki.python.org/moin/EduSig/DataResources
> and defined a wiki category for "PythonInEducation".  Seems there was one for
> "PythonInBusiness" but not for education (or science - there is now).

I'll take a look at these sometime.  Thanks again for all your hard work.

> > We're maybe just not so lazy in Portland?
> I'm not sure you and I are using the same definition of the spirit of FOSS.

That's very possible.

> ;-) Mine is more about sharing with anyone who comes along, less about
> cliques, less about my city or state or country against another.  And less

Right.  Mine is definitely more cliquey.  I've copped to that in many a posting.

But it's not entirely either/or.

Ask yourself:  how would cliques use FOSS internally?  There're some
thoughtful answers to that question I'm sure.

That being said, I love it how our shared Internet is becoming a shared
stash pile of invaluable junk.  If you know how to assemble stuff, you've
got a gold mine in your back yard (snake infested, yay!).

> about who gets credit - more about a private joy that something you've created
> is helping those who have no idea who you are.  But FOSS I'd guess is broad
> enough to encompass many definitions. 8-)
> -Jeff

Yes, I'd guess so too. 8-)


** http://controlroom.blogspot.com/2007/07/python-in-control-room.html

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