[EuroPython] Python conference software

Laura Creighton lac at strakt.com
Thu Jan 26 23:01:39 CET 2006

In a message of Thu, 26 Jan 2006 21:30:37 +0100, Jean-Marc Orliaguet writes:
>Laura Creighton wrote:
>> .....
>>But given our diverse community, it is not surprising that we cannot
>>find a fit which suits everybody.  Consider CherryPy, to pick
>>something that we aren't using, and as far as I know are not
>>considering using, so should not unduly stress people out.  I have
>>heard both of these comments about CherryPy's likeness to PHP.  It is
>>'a major strength that allows people to work in ways they prefer and
>>enjoy', or 'an abomination, like the PHP it resembles, that makes it
>>working with it an intolerable experience'.  There is no hope in
>>getting these two reviewers to meet in some happy middle.  You might,
>>if you worked hard at it, create a work experience that both of them
>>dislike, but pleasing them both is impossible.
>>There is a reason why we have so many webframeworks, and that does
>>not reflect badly on us.  People really, really, really do care about
>>how they work, and really prefer to do things in ways that other people
>>hate.  Indeed, the same feature _often_ works that way.  
>But finding a framework that pleases everyone has never been the goal. 
>The important point has been to get a site up and running that 
>*visitors* are pleased with. That Plone's or CPS' workflow model do not 
>fit your frame of mind is of very little interest.

You see, this is a fundamental point of disagreement.  In my frame of
reference, the tools that matter most are the tools that are used by
the conference organisers to organise the conference.  Then come the
tools that help people produce content.  Then come usability issues
for the webvisitors, including, but not restricted to the tools that
make the website searchable.  If all of these work well, the visitors
will get an experience which they enjoy, without being aware of where
the work has gone into making the experience enjoyable.

On the other hand, if the way of working is too hard, or too unpleasant,
then the people who were signed up to do it will go away or do less or
be busy with other problems in the workflow to get involved with more
complicated things.  The visitors will be unhappy, but in a way that
'putting the website first' will not address.

>we had a student who came one afternoon and created the "getting around 
>göteborg" pages 
>and it took 5 minutes before he could start using the software.

yes. This is one of my great failures.  There were supposed to be
six of them.  But 1 dropped out for unknown reasons, and the
other 4 all cited 'I don't want to use this software' as a
reason why they just mailed me what they could, and left things in
my lap.

This happened a lot.  People who were supposed to find things
'easier to use than pure Zope' found them 'restrictive enough
that I would prefer not to'.  Europython potential volunteers
apparantly contain a set of people who like to take things 
exactly as they are handed to them, and those who find that
computing is all about 'the customising of life to suit'.

>Which is why I still don't understand what you are bitching about 
>concerning the site .. If you can't learn different ways of working with 
>software than the ones you are used with, then I would say that it is a 
>problem of yours in the first place. 

yes, I understand this.  But the problem isn't that I 'cannot learn
different ways' as might be witnessed by all the work I have done no
matter what system.  My problem is not that I cannot do it, but that
I cannot get the functionality I want out of it to make the
experience pleasant.  Or efficient.  

I am also a LISP programmer bigot.  I completely reject the
notion of separating 'code' from 'data'.  I am also an emacs rather
than vi person.  I hate the notion of modes altogether, which I
believe is related to my notion that the separation of code from 
data is evil, but am not certain.

That I expect more from a system than what I get,
and I expect different from a system from what I get, does not
imply 'oh she could get it if only she knew it better' but
instead that the whole goals of the system are different than
the ones I have in my mind when	I wanted one.

My experience in using Plone exactly matches the person who was
unhappy she they bought an automobile when she really wanted a
motorboat believing what she was told that 'after all they are both
transportation'.  It doesn't mean that Plone makes a bad automobile.
It does mean that the conversion of an automobile into 'something that
floats' will not be easy.

What I want to ensure is that the next organising body, should it
want a thing that floats, gets one that does so.  Or whatever the
heck it is that it wants.  What I want to destroy is the idea that
'pretty much any system will be ok, because they do not matter
a lot'.


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