[PyAR2] Setting a day for PyArkansas 2009

Greg Lindstrom gslindstrom at gmail.com
Sat Jun 27 15:25:25 CEST 2009

Hello everyone,

I'd like to pick out day for the pyArkansas (do we want to call it
Arkansas.py, or something else?) conference this year.  Most people who
responded liked the idea of moving the date to November, with November 14
being the favorite, so I'm "nominating" it.  This way we do not step on the
Texas conference (in fact, I think I will go to it!).

Dr. Hu,  is this date available for us?  If so, we would like to accept your
offer to host at UCA again (and again, thank you!!).

If no one objects, I'd like us to start thinking about the format.  Last
year we had tutorials in the morning (Intro to Python, Python Standard
Library, and System Administration) and shorter "talks" in the afternoon.
One room was left open for "open space", where people who show up can sign
up to talk about anything they want.

I like the classes and would like to have 4 this year.  We need at least 1
"Intro to Python" class, but I think we may want 2; one for complete newbies
(we are again inviting high school students to come) and the other for
people who already have programming experience.  The question with both is
do we present Python 2.x or 3.0 (as you know, 3.0 is not backwards
compatible with 2.x, there are nowhere near the libraries written for it,
but it is the future).

Other classes requested are Database, Django (web framework), SQLAlchemy,
and GIS.  Last year we Had a group from Oklahoma that said they would have
come if we would have had a GIS class (we had a 1-hour talk).  Last year I
gave a talk on pyGame and received word from the gentleman who wrote pyGame
that he would be willing to come give a class.  Someone talked to me about
having a "mini" programming contest (aimed at newbies)?  And Chad Russel
offered the use of the Chamber of Commerce for an evening session, if we
would like to do something then (a sprint?  Maybe one to put our we site

Again, if there are no objections, I'd like to start contacting potential
teachers to see if they are available to give classes.  We cover the cost of
their travel and hotel.  Last year we also gave a modest stipend to each
teacher as well as an "Arkansas" gift.

So, here's what we need to do.

   - Settle on a date.  November 14th is on the table.
   - Start raising $$.  We have $500.00 pledged from the Conway Advertising
   and Promotion (A&P) board that I plan to use for fliers to be mailed to high
   - We need a web site.  I'm hoping that Jeff Rush (Dallas users group)
   will help us out, again. (Jeff?  Are you listening??)
   - We need a letter to mail (I'll do that) and a flier.  Is anyone on the
   list able to make something that we can send out?  I'll check with Chad
   Russel (Conway Chamber of Commerce) to see if there is a print shop in
   Conway willing to help out.  Otherwise, I have friends who run a print shop
   that may be able to help.
   - Comments on classes and talks.  Python 2.x or 3.0?
   - EVERYONE needs to think about who we can ask for funding.  Acxiom,
   NovaSys (my employer), HP, etc.  We will have a cover letter and flier in a
   month or so, but we need to have human contacts. too.
   - Does anyone want to handle swag (give-aways).  It's a matter of asking
   and then organizing the swag bags.  A great way for someone new to
   conference organizing a way to get involved.

If you want to help but don't know what you can do, drop me a line.  There's
plenty of work; from small tasks to long-term items.  We'll find something
for you to do.

Would there be interest in meeting on IRC next week to start discussing
this?  I'll see if we can use an existing channel, or we could start our
own.  If there is interest, I'll find out and post instructions (for those
of you who haven't used IRC).

All ideas are open for discussion.  This is our conference, so what do you
want to see?

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