[meta-sig] [Edu-sig] Proposal: CP4E-sig

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Thu Jul 19 03:21:37 CEST 2007

On 7/18/07, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
> The list description is 7 years out of date, as *my* CP4E project
> ended when I left CNRI. And *my* CP4E project was certainly not
> intended to be political (in fact, the DARPA politics around funding
> made me abandon it).

Perhaps my joining this list as a newcomer 7 years back was
an unintended effect of letting this page go unmaintained?

Then for 7 years, I believed that edu-sig was intended for those
wishing to push ahead with the CP4E initiative, even absent more
DARPA funding.

> But please don't steal my CP4E moniker.

I've patterned my own quirky HP4E after it (decoded elsewhere -- a
geometric meaning), but hey, now that I better understand the history,
I'll update my narrative accordingly.

Here's what I'd say today:

CP4E as an historical phenomenon was reminiscent of many parallel
agendas set forward by other computer gurus (OLPC another example).

This particular initiative, proposed by Guido then with CNRI, and briefly
funded by DARPA, helped net us the cross-platform Tk-based IDE
known as IDLE, currently shipped with every download of CPython
and used in classrooms around the world to this day (sometimes
to help kids learn math, like in Kirby's classes in Portland).

IDLE continues to improve, having become another actively maintained
community project by this time.

> FWIW, the no-politics ban was long overdue. The archives show it. And
> please show me where the edu-sig homepage (which is much more
> informative than the mailman description) mentions politics.
> --Guido

The "no-politics" ban seems somewhat unworkable to me.  The notion
of "politics" is too vague, has this "we'll know it when we see it" flavor.

Will we?  Or will some people just get better at disguising political
content between the lines (e.g.  "I used to like this list but now I think
it's trash..." -- very political, as in "playing to public sentiment").

Some writers are simply better than others at turning bans to their
advantage (sucking up to the censors sometimes helps).

Unmoderated or barely moderated lists (e.g. stripping out the Viagra
spam) help us avoid so many thorny issues of censorship associated
with sweeping topical bans.

Anyway, let's just see how it plays out going forward (assuming the
archive remains a community resource and that this ban remains in


I take much of the credit for the edu-sig homepage BTW, though it
perhaps still over-reflects my outdated understanding of the purpose
of edu-sig (I'm still mired).


I suggest both the home page and the mailman description get a long
overdue face lift (not by me of course -- I've got enough on my plate for
the time being and others should be given a chance at bat, would no
doubt relish the opportunity).

I will not be proposing edu-politics as a list name (why would we want
"just politics" for a diet?  The point would be to keep looking at the bigger
picture, but without losing sight of nuts and bolts Python (if it's not
at all Pythonic, it doesn't make sense hosting it within the python.org

edu-stratagems has a ring to it.  Or just stratagems.  I'd still like cp4e-sig,
but only if Guido approves of it.

Anyone else got a proposal?


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