[Edu-sig] Updating the edu-sig page

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Sun Mar 29 17:44:07 CEST 2009

2009/3/29 Andre Roberge <andre.roberge at gmail.com>:
> I have been given permission to edit the edu-sig page
> (http://www.python.org/community/sigs/current/edu-sig/) on the official
> Python web site.  Think of me as the Benevolent Edu-Sig Slave For Now,
> answering to the community as to what changes you'd like to see being made
> on that page.
> So, I am looking for community input as to what kind of changes you'd like
> to see. Before you go wild with suggestions, I'd like to share a some
> observations and a suggestion.
> 1. Doing changes to that page involves an official commit to the svn
> repository.  As other people might be monitoring changes, I don't want to
> overwhelm them with tons of small commits.

Please don't worry about this. Go wild. Do what's right for yourself
and the edu-sig community, please don't worry about people watching
the changes fly by. We're quite used to ignoring email out here. :-)

> 2.a) There is a lot of material on that page that is duplicated (sometimes
> poorly) with information that can be found elsewhere.  For example, the
> section "Shells and Editors" contains links to
> http://wiki.python.org/moin/PythonEditors and
> http://wiki.python.org/moin/IntegratedDevelopmentEnvironments, in addition
> to actual links to a few tools.

I like the idea of not having too much duplicate information (which
will inevitably get out of sync at some point), but at the same time I
would warn for trying to "normalize" this kind of information *too*
much. If commonly needed info is three clicks away, most people won't
have given up before finding it.

> 2.b) Note the "wiki" part of the two links mentioned in 2.a) above.  This
> means that YOU can edit such pages, without having to send me an email with
> you thoughts, waiting for me to act on it, worrying about me selectively
> editing the information you submit, etc.
> So, I am thinking that the edu-sig page should become a high level
> description of what is available elsewhere and that a lot of the "meat"
> should be actually hosted on wiki.python.org - which could be kept up to
> date much more easily and much more effectively by the community as a whole.

Beware though, wiki pages often go stale without anybody noticing for
a long time. Another problem with wikis is that well-meaning
contributors often insert duplicate information into different places,
which will just bewilder the readers. A good strategy to deal with
this is to have someone (or several people, if it's a large and active
wiki) who watches changes and occasionally cleans things up, perhaps
moving things around so that they are linked more logically, adding
cross-links, deleting outdated information, etc. Spam probably *won't*
be a big problem, except possibly for the wiki's front page (spammers
are lazy). Note that the wiki also has a mechanism that can send email
when a page is changed.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)

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