[Edu-sig] Renaming PyWhip

Jeff Elkner jeff at elkner.net
Wed Feb 24 17:07:15 CET 2010


I understand the downsides to forking a project, and I do not take the
renaming issue lightly.  I usually just go along with whatever name
people choose, and leave it at that.  Unfortunately in this case, we
have a name that for equity and inclusiveness reasons is unacceptable.

The Python community is making serious efforts at reaching out to
communities we don't traditionally reach, but it is still overwhelming
white and male.  Any name involving whips or nooses or the like is
just unacceptable to me.  I can't use it.

It is not for me to tell you how to name your project.  But as a
teacher who wants to reach diverse students, I can't use the name you
have chosen, leaving me no choice but to find another name.

If this equity requirement is not too much of an imposition, perhaps
we can all use a new and different name.

Please let me know what you think.

jeff elkner
open book project

On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 9:42 AM, David MacQuigg
<macquigg at ece.arizona.edu> wrote:
> Jeff,
> Good to see your interest in PyWhip.  I hope you will contribute to our
> project, and not start yet another fork.  The plan with PyWhip is to allow
> each contributor to customize the site to exactly what is needed for their
> own students.  So, for example, your students would go to
> http://pywhip.org/~elkner, and see the exercises and help files you have
> written, or chosen from what already exists.  Your name will be on every
> help page or exercise you contribute.
> Perhaps in not being aggressive in pushing this project I have left the
> impression that PyWhip is not moving forward.  Our problem has been lack of
> a volunteer web developer.  We have plenty of content contributors, but I
> have held off because I don't feel that our website is quite ready.  I think
> now that I need to re-consider that decision.
> I am also re-considering my decision to not do the web development myself.
>  For the long-term viability of the project, it will be better to have the
> community involved and not be critically dependent on one individual.  On
> the other hand, there is simply too much frustrated need for this site to
> tolerate any more delay.  Our previous volunteer web developers have left
> the project 90% finished.  That often happens with students, since their
> focus is learning, not sweating the details of finishing a project.
> Take a look at our vision statement at http://pywhip.appspot.com/vision.  I
> hope you will consider joining us.  We have a discussion group at
> http://groups.google.com/group/pywhip, which you are welcome to join.  I
> think you will find our community very supportive, very democratic, and not
> the least hung up on sharing credit with whoever is making a contribution.
>  My own interest is in professionals who already know how to program, but
> are new to Python.  So you might find my helpfiles a little terse.  I
> encourage you to re-write them.
> As for the name PyWhip, we did discuss this quite thoroughly when we started
> the project.  It was originally PyBat, but Nick Parlante, the author of
> JavaBat, wanted to use that name for his own Python practice site.  I
> offered to translate his JavaBat problems to Python, but I think he didn't
> want to share any credit, so we had to start what amounts to a fork of
> JavaBat.  As far as I know, he is still struggling with the translations.  I
> do see that he has adopted some of our innovations.
> One of my disappointments with Python is that everyone seems to want to do
> their own thing rather that contribute to an ongoing project.  So we have
> Ruby-on-Rails, instead of Web2Py, and at our local bookstore, more books on
> Ruby than on Python!!  Forking makes sense when there is a significant
> improvement.  Moving from Java to Python was significant.  Python to Ruby is
> not.  Having three websites for Python practice will probably end in three
> stalled efforts.  Let's not let that happen.
> -- Dave
> ************************************************************     *
> * David MacQuigg, PhD    email: macquigg at ece.arizona.edu   *  *
> * Research Associate                phone: USA 520-721-4583   *  *  *
> * ECE Department, University of Arizona                       *  *  *
> *                                 9320 East Mikelyn Lane       * * *
> * http://purl.net/macquigg        Tucson, Arizona 85710          *
> ************************************************************     *
> Jeff Elkner wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> Andy Harrington and I will be working with group of students on PyWhip
>> (http://pywhip.appspot.com).  The 1st order of business is coming up
>> with a new name for it, and I wanted to run it by the edu-sig list
>> before making the final decision.
>> I like tryPy, what do folks think?
>> jeff elkner
>> open book project
>> http://openbookproject.net

More information about the Edu-sig mailing list