[Edu-sig] Re FOSS and fonts

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Tue Dec 8 20:32:48 CET 2009

I should perhaps direct this to a marketing list, but then it's more
about Drupal than Python if you read the whole thing.

PHP is our friend, is one of those "P languages" from LAMP days,
before CMS and web frameworks and Ruby on Rails (with which relations
are also friendly, thanks to Django's wise leadership).

The joke about Nova (below) was in Spanish speaking subcultures it
means "no va" (doesn't go).  Being the butt of unfortunate jokes is a
marketing nightmare sometimes.

This excerpt below was from a longer essay re the international school
circuit, including TECC in Alaska, IS, OSR etc. (schools to which I
have close connections, per autobio @ WE).

The Python angle is my focus on generators as the bee's knees when it
comes to sequences, a standard theme of my slideshow, hence the focus
of PYTHON TUTORIALS so far on Wikieducator.


A word about fonts:  Patrick Barton, one of my peers, was suggesting
my font is "cute" but not as useful as plaintext (image files for
source code?  how perverse!).  The deal on that is Akbar font is based
on Matt Groening's handwriting ('Life in Hell', 'Simpsons',
'Futurama') and has this kid-friendly look.  I would appeal to several
respected sources, including Knuth Semi-Numerical Algorithms (my copy
escapes me at the moment), suggesting that deviations from "machine
uniformity" excite the human eye and adds to readability.  These code
snippets are so short, it doesn't hurt to hand enter them, and in the
early stages, that's a very necessary activity (all cut and paste does
not a programmer make).



Here's another problem: FOSS means "fart" in Arabic. So whereas
FLOSS reminds of something one does to one's mouth, FOSS focuses on
another orifice.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=foss (see meaning 7)

That being said, I don't think it's possible to be sensitive to all
possible connotations and unfortunate multilingual homonyms. You'll
inevitably have those, so except for a few signature words, such as
Exxon, or Nova, you won't want your marketing people to waste billable
hours looking for name collisions of this kind. That's why we have
different namespaces (i.e. languages) in the first place. Python
modules embody the namespace idea pretty successfully, which is partly
why we use this as leverage in other fields (e.g. linguistics).

My practice is to stick with FOSS as covering the bases, where the F
points back to the "four freedoms" and the original GNU model (our
source for the GPL). If I'm writing to an Arabic speaking person,
I might go with FLOSS, but I could just as well go with LOSS by
similar reasoning and have done so, even though the anti-LOSS
hoards might capitalize on the "LOSS is for losers" slogan (how

Documenting the FOSS heritage of design science and Bucky's legacy
involved making sure plenty of Synergetics made it into a FOSS
format. Having the Fuller Projection a standard artifact in Cyberia
was only the tip of the iceberg. The concentric hierarchy, including
the quanta modules, the octet-truss, and a lot of the lore connecting
these was also pumped into the mix, giving us an excellent new
"concrete" (as in "Concrete Mathematics" -- an influential work by
Knuth et al -- rhymes with "discrete" and "digital" and therefore
"quantum mechanical").

[ Synergeo 57004 ]

>>> from mars import math

More information about the Edu-sig mailing list