[pydotorg-www] project plan

R. David Murray rdmurray at bitdance.com
Thu Apr 22 15:31:51 CEST 2010

On Wed, 21 Apr 2010 23:37:12 +0200, Michael Foord <mfoord at python.org> wrote:
> Right - but it makes the *minimum* barrier for entry to contribute 
> changes doing a full svn checkout, making changes in rest format (which 
> I'm not proposing we drop as it goes) and then generating a patch (which 
> then goes where?).
> For a non-programming copy editor (for example) who wants to help this 
> is a *huge* burden involving the command line and a whole bunch of 
> tools. Absolutely no need for it to be this arcane. Just because they 
> are tools that *we* as programmers are familiar with (and not all 
> programmers are by any stretch of the imagination) is no reason to make 
> it so complex.

This perception that source code management systems are "a huge burden"
puzzles me.  The office people that work for one of my clients are doing
quite well using the Windows GUI front end to CVS.  The CVS repository
holds all the operating documents for the company.  We are definitely
talking non-programmers in that case.  And I have read an article by
graphic designers for graphic designers talking about the advantages
of using a source code management system to keep track of web site
development work.

The perception that "the command line is hard (evil)" also puzzles me.
I think everyone can learn to use the command line, and that most
people would appreciate its power once they learned.  For that matter,
I think everyone can learn, and would benefit from learning, to program
at least to the level of scripting (and most power users do; if anything
writing macros for various Microsoft products is *harder* than "real"

But all of that is just my opinion, and I'm not going to insist that
people learn these things in order to contribute, as long as our tools
continue to support the command line as well.  What I'm interested in
is a system that works for the community as a whole,  and trust that
this process will produce it.  Lowering the initial barrier to entry is
very desirable, but in doing so it seems to make sense to  respect the
aspects of the current system that work well.

I believe Rich talked about a process of incremental improvement,
which I would heartily approve.  My biggest worry would be that we'd
end up with a grand project to re-engineer everything from scratch
which would wind up producing a system that is not even as effective
for the community as what we have now.

R. David Murray                                      www.bitdance.com

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