[Edu-sig] Renaming PyWhip...

Andre Roberge andre.roberge at gmail.com
Wed Feb 24 19:31:02 CET 2010

On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 2:07 PM, David MacQuigg <macquigg at ece.arizona.edu>wrote:

> This is the first time I have heard anyone object to the name PyWhip, and
> it comes as a complete surprise.  I've been told that the name PyWhip has
> bad connotations, as in white males and nooses.  This seems a bit of a
> stretch to me, but I would like to hear from anyone who might be using this
> site in their classes.  I am especially interested in the opinions of those
> who have a different cultural background or native language.

While I do not (currently) am in a position to use it in a classroom
situation, I can perhaps give my impression as someone with a different
native language.  More below.

> We want this site to appeal to all.  If even one in ten would be offended
> by PyWhip, we should change the name.
> My preference for the name PyWhip is just looking for something short and
> memorable.  I don't like PyPractice because it lacks those qualities.
> What about the name PyBat?  Nick Paralante, the author of JavaBat wants
> that for his own Python practice site, so I would prefer something else.
>  When I first heard about this website, I thought of batting practice, like
> in baseball.  I suppose bats could be used against people also, but that
> seems like a stretch.  When I think of PyWhip, I think of short, fast
> problems that the students can "whip through".  Maybe my interpretation is a
> stretch.

I never made the connection between the name PyWhip and the idiomatic
expression of "whipping through".  The only image that came to my mind was
that of a slave driver, whipping students to do work ... not a very positive

Having made the mistake of choosing two non-descriptive names for projects
(rur-ple and crunchy), I would strongly support Jeff's idea of having a more
descriptive name - especially one that is understandable by non native
English speakers.  In fact, while I stuck with the "Py" abbreviation when
making suggestions that included PyPractice, I would suggest that
PythonPractice might be an even better choice.


> Anyway, my question is - Does PyWhip have bad connotations?
> -- Dave
> Editor in Chief, PyWhip
> ************************************************************     *
> * 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:
>> +1 on PyPractice
>> Any other thoughts?  If I don't hear any serious objections, I'll go
>> with PyPractice.
>> jeff elkner
>> On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 7:09 PM, Andre Roberge <andre.roberge at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> On Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 7:17 PM, Jeff Elkner <jeff at elkner.net> 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?
>>> Personally, I find tryPy a bit too similar to http://www.trypython.org/in
>>> name and, furthermore, the name tryPy conjures the image of simply trying
>>> Python ... rather than a tool designed to help learning it.
>>> How about something along the lines of PyDrills or PyExercises or
>>> PyPractice
>>> ?
>>> André
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