[portland] [python-advocacy] virtual servers for Python user groups

David Goodger goodger at python.org
Mon May 21 23:07:12 CEST 2007

[Brad Allen]
> What do you think of the idea of PSF funding hosted virtual servers 
> for user groups?

If well executed, it sounds like a good idea.
This is what someone needs to do:

Write up a proposal, with full details:

* who the server/service is for (both in the abstract and concrete, e.g. names)
* what it consists of
* where & how the server/service will be physically hosted
* how will it be managed
* who will manage & maintain it (names)
* what URLs would it use (*.groups.python.org?  groups.python.org/*?  Other?)
* how much it will cost (initially and as it scales)

Submit the proposal to the PSF Board of Directors (psf-board at python.org).

> A virtual server could be managed by a volunteer
> representative of the local user group, so PSF's only involvement
> would be the initial setup and paying the ongoing bill.  This would
> give user groups a place for things like secure SVN hosting, Trac for
> project management, and user group website, etc...

Writing as a PSF director, I could see myself voting for such a proposal, but
only if it didn't add to the workload of the Board (all volunteers).  We don't
have many spare cycles, and don't want to take on more projects.  I don't think
we'd want to do more than approve a proposal, cut a check (or set up payments),
and review progress reports.

IOW, a management structure is essential.

I'm concerned that multiple virtual servers may be expensive and difficult to
manage.  Then again, maybe I'm wrong, and multiple virtual servers will have
economies of scale.  Tummy.com may be a good host.

I look forward to seeing a proposal.

David Goodger
PSF Director & Secretary

> In the Dallas user group, we benefit from Jeff Rush donating the user 
> of his colocated server, but not every user group has someone that 
> can contribute a server. Making a similar resource available to any 
> Python user group could enable real action and growth.
> Recently I visited the newly re-forming Python user group in 
> Portland, OR, which had a meeting at BarCamp, and we discussed the 
> virtual server idea. One of the members said he had an interest in 
> helping PSF pilot test projects to help bolster user groups, and I 
> think there would be no difficulty in finding someone to take on 
> sysadmin chores for a user group virtual server.
> The Portland group would be a good testbed for seeing what PSF user 
> group assistance can do, because the group is in the process of 
> re-establishing after a period of inactivity.  I suspect Portland 
> could sustain a very large and active Python user group if they could 
> get the right resources assembled.

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