[EuroPython] Python conference software

Jean-Marc Orliaguet jmo at ita.chalmers.se
Thu Jan 26 23:11:33 CET 2006

Laura Creighton wrote:

>In a message of Thu, 26 Jan 2006 21:30:37 +0100, Jean-Marc Orliaguet writes:
>>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.

This does not seem very professional from those who are saying that they 
want to contribute in the first place. If you sign up to do a job, you 
can't just blame it on the software as an excuse for not doing what you 
said you would be willing to do.
Providing software is not the same thing as getting commitment from 

>>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 is the problem with volunteering, and open-source projects in 
general: you are free to quit when things are no longer fun.

You should be made it clear that the job was not about evaluating 
software but about using it.

>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'.

The solution is about setting rules. If some people consider that 
organizing a conference is mainly about trying different frameworks 
maybe they should consider doing something else as a hobby?

>>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'.

I agree, but if you are supposed to use a piece of paper and a pen to 
write an essay, are you going to complain about how bad the tools were 
for writing and how much better a typewriter would have been as an 
excuse for not having written the essay?


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