[Pycon-interest] I'm interested.... kinda

Steve Holden sholden at holdenweb.com
Wed Dec 18 17:16:58 EST 2002

> This morning I received Steve Holden's email alerting a bunch of people to
> low cost Python conference coming this March.  Thank you Steve!
A pleasure.

> I'm numb to conferences because they are traditionally priced at the
> level.
I was a bit shocked at the cost of IPC8 and IPC10, the only two I paid for.
Only went to IPC8, but that's another story.

> I had missed previous announcements of http://www.python.org/pycon/...
> my head was in the sand.
> Is this the first time a low cost Python conference has been held in the
To the best of my knowledge. We were inspired by the YAS (Yet Another
Society) approach. I believe I sent the first message to the
python-conferences list after IPC10, and I'll quote from that message for
those who have joined the pycon-interest list:


1. Attendance could be higher at future conferences run along the same
lines as Python 10. These things are small beer to Foretec compared with
the cash-cow IETF bashes, and I don't really feel they are in touch with
the market for Python. This may be heresy, I don't know enough to know
who these comments might offend. Don't really care much, either: Foretec
certainly didn't make me feel, as a first-time attender, that I was
anything special, or that they were glad to see me, or even that they
would like me to come back next time. I think Foretec think Python is a
yawn. The way they approach it, I think they're right.

2. Whether or not Python 11 is much like Python 10, there is certainly
room for some sort of no-frills (Python 11.5?) conference to attract and
cater for Pythonistas who don't have the benefit of commercial backing
of one kind or another. This would also better enable the PSF to judge
groundswell growth in Python usage, and put them nearer the "beer and
skittles" end of the market, such as it is.

3. My own feeling is that the PSF or some other visibly non-profit
organization could do at least as good a job as Foretec, but I shudder
when I remember the time it takes to organize an even half-way
professional conference.

Those impressions and intentions still stand. I don't feel that PyCon will
be a success unless we can persuade "ordinary" Python users like you and me
to take responsibility for making sure the things they want to happen do
actually happen.

I don't have the time to spoon-feed a passive audience, and I don't think
PyCon should be catering to that audience. I'm quite prepared for it to be a
little rougher around the edges than the International Python Conference, as
long as it appeals to the broad church of Python users (most of whom can't
shell out $500+ for a three-day event).

> My main interest in Python is Jython.  The wiki
> bin/moinmoin/PyCon) mentions that others are interested in this as well.
> Perhaps there could be a Jython track?
Perhaps. It mostly depends on how many Jython papers we get, and who is
prepared to ensure that Jython users are well-represented in the
registrations. It would be nice to have some organized mechanism for
feedback, but there's only one of me. Guido's snowed under with various
development projects right now.

> There's a call for Volunteers on the wiki.   What would the Volunteers do?
> live in Nebraska.  What might I be able to do?   Are you looking for
> before the conference or to do things during?  Or both?
Well, before PyCon you could help design mechanisms that make sure the
audience's interests are reflected in the presentations. You could encourage
favorite Python authors or contributors to submit a paper by suggesting
topics you'd find interesting.  You could write a paper of your own. You
could write a lightning talk. You could organize one or more Wiki pages for
use in preparing a Jython track (PyConJython?). You could encourage others
to contribute to that Wiki, and/or establish other Wiki areas to indicate
support for and possibly even sponsorship of particular topics. You could
publicize the conference anywhere and everywhere relevant. You could move to
DC :-). You could think about all the administrivia that's need to run a
friendly and professional conference and produce checklists, liaise with
suppliers, suggest sources. You could help to get the papers ready for
publication on the web. You could help to prepare brochures and circulate

During PyCon you could help out at the registration desk. You could help to
build, operate and tear down the wireless infrstructure we are putting in
place to keep everybody up on the Internet. You could make sure that
speakers are ready to speak, with viewgraphs and handouts as appropriate.
You could run a BoF (birds-of-a-feather) session or three. You could make
sure that extempore sessions were recorded. You could organize transport
sharing to help conferees to keep costs down. You could monitor the
accommodation position for late arrivals. You could put a task force
together to organize the *next* PyCon. You could offer me a free place :-)

I'm posting the above on the Wiki to try to stimulate others. The next task
for the PyCon organizers is to create a task list that we can order and use
to drive the planning for and execution of the event.

> Is it ok to post talk and paper ideas to the wiki?   To the mailing list?
> Only send them into the committee?
Any or all three will be perfectly acceptable. I'll leave it to you to judge
the appropriateness of each channel for the particular concerns you want to
address. Nice to hear from you.

Steve Holden                                  http://www.holdenweb.com/
Python Web Programming                 http://pydish.holdenweb.com/pwp/
Bring your musical instrument to PyCon!    http://www.python.org/pycon/

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