[EuroPython] [PyCon-Organizers] Speaker wanted! :)

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Wed Jul 8 00:22:39 CEST 2009

Paul Boddie wrote:
> On Tuesday 07 July 2009 12:51:42 Steve Holden wrote:
>> Jeff Rush wrote:
>>> The children of the cobbler continue to go without shoes, and I continue
>>> to have people ask me why if Python is so cool for webapps do the basic
>>> needs of the community go unmet?  "People are busy" while accurate seems
>>> a poor response.
> The saying about the cobbler is something I'd expect Steve to say. :-)
>> I asked much the same question at both PyCon and EuroPython (with a
>> rather more positive response at the latter, I might add, possibly due
>> to the talk being a plenary). See "ThePSFAndUs.pdf" on
>>   http://wiki.europython2009.eu/TalkMaterials
>> I believe it's up to the PSF to advertise this need until it gets
>> filled. If necessary I'll threaten to have PHP programmers do it ;-)
> I was going to have a few words with you about this at EuroPython, Steve, 
> especially after your talk, but I didn't manage to track you down at the 
> right point.
> The problem with all these Web-related activities is that people approach them 
> from a "Soviet" perspective and after having wiped the slate clean (or pushed 
> all the toys off the table - choose a metaphor!), the result is usually a 
> top-down solution with very few engaged participants. Meanwhile, a bunch of 
> other people are usually plotting to replace the existing solution with 
> another developed in much the same fashion. The result is a large number of 
> dissatisfied people complaining about everything and anything, in my 
> experience, even if the solution is actually usable and not actively detested 
> by most people.
> As far as python.org is concerned, there is already a solution that involves a 
> fair number of people: the wiki.python.org part of the site. Just as we see 
> with the EuroPython site, that's where most of the action is, and the 
> sensible thing would be to emphasize it instead of pretending that it isn't 
> a "proper site" and then developing a custom solution that won't be properly 
> maintained. I've recently helped another organisation already using MoinMoin 
> with the behind-the-scenes theme code and useful extensions, and the 
> EuroPython Wiki theme developer has already offered his work for python.org 
> use, so the pieces are already there to use.
> If Bruce Eckel sees the point of using a Wiki instead of the combination of 
> Sphinx and a version control system [1] - arguably a "developer mindset" take 
> on what some would call a "proper site" - surely there's some merit in going 
> in the direction already shown by wiki.python.org after all.
> Paul
> [1] http://www.artima.com/weblogs/viewpost.jsp?thread=261930

Yes, EuroPython was a blast but it went by far too fast! I agree there's
a lot to be said for maintaining Wiki content as a group, and much of
the Wiki content is successfully being so managed.

But if we want to make the web site a portal, then we can't *just* use a
wiki. The intent, though, is the same: democratize the web content and
try to open up the maintenance task to a wider group.

None of this gainsays the work of the existing volunteers, and I am sure
that many of them will also have ideas about how the site can be
incrementally improved to include dynamic content and much more linkage
to community-based and project-based activities not necessarily directly
related to core Python development, but nevertheless relevant to the
PSF's mission.

Steve Holden           +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC                 http://www.holdenweb.com/
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