[Python-Dev] Re: [XML-SIG] PyXML home page on SF

Greg Stein gstein@lyra.org
Tue, 17 Oct 2000 03:48:27 -0700

[ moving from xml-sig to python-dev ]

Reality check time...

On Tue, Oct 17, 2000 at 12:18:41PM +0200, Nicolas Chauvat wrote:
> [maintaining a pythonforge.org would take time and ressources]
> Yes. But I understand a commercial company (BeOpen) has taken over python
> development. I think it is the kind of free services they could give
> back to the python community.

If VA Linux is already offering the service, then how does the community
benefit from BeOpen offering the same thing?

More importantly: how is BeOpen going to benefit from it? How do they get a
business return on that investment? That *will* come into play, you know.
Somebody has to pay for those sysadmins and hardware and connectivity.

> > > That would be pyxml.pythonforge.org, distutils.pythonforge.org, etc. :-)
> > 
> > I'd personally hope that python.org becomes accessible in that
> > way. You could probably have all of the current content there, and
> > then also have python.org/projects/pyxml; python.org/users/someone;
> > xml.python.org (and whatever other gimmicks they offer).

The last I heard, the intent was to move python.org from CNRI to a machine
at VA Linux. The content would then become available for the community to
work on; possibly through SourceForge facilities.

> > One advantage of taking things off SF is that responsiveness of that
> > system was really bad. That seems to have improved recently;
> My concern is not about responsiveness as much as distribution (as in
> Internet is a distributed system). SourceForge is a great service. Good.
> Now are we to host every single open source project on SourceForge ? If we
> do so, the day SourceForge closes or changes its policy, or whatever,
> every single open source project will be halted or maybe discontinued.

There is no way that SF is ever going to close and take all of those
projects with it. VA Linux would be see their business instantly vaporized.
As ESR is fond to point out: VA Linux has built their business on trust from
the community. *ANY* failure to meet that trust will kill their biz.

> The people at SourceForge know their job: they provide a good service and
> the tools (code+doc) to implement that same service at other places.
> Why wouldn't a community as big an active as python's put up ressources in
> common to offer such a useful service, but dedicated to python
> development ? There use to be a python.starship.net, maintained by
> volunteers, that is now hosted by BeOpen. Why not take the next step ?

python.starship.net has historically been a disaster area. Poorly maintained
or (even worse) maintained by a whole bunch of people. Have you ever seen
what happens when you give 20 people root access?

Then there was the time that a drive crashed. The machine was *gone* for

Oh, and the network connectivity loss. A month offline, maybe?

The community is way to busy to run a service. Sorry.

That is why I like SF so much. They are ready and willing to run a service
and to fund that operation. And to all appearances, they are running it very
well (and continually upgrading it!).

> > if anybody is to host a similar server, they need to be aware that it
> > is probably hard to compete with SF in terms of provided services. For
> > example, I trust that SF has a reasonable backup strategy - they

They do. It is somewhere on their site. They have a complete backup
strategy. In fact, a while back, they lost a drive and restored most of it
from backup. I forget if there was any actual material lost.

> > simply can't risk a desaster. Anybody hosting a server for just a few
> > projects would not get the same sort of trust from me.
> That's why I think we shouldn't look for someone able to host a server for
> a few projects but for some company(ies) able to put up the ressources for
> "python projects" and volunteers that help them.

Idealistic, but it won't happen. starship.net is my case in point.

> That would also make it easier for people to look for python ressources:
> code in development would be at something.python.org and 3rd party
> software at www.vex.net/parnassus. But I would agree that's a weak
> argument as long as www.python.org continues to be well-maintained with
> no broken links and stays the central hub for python information.

When python.org moves, then it will be maintained much better. I don't
recall the status of that, but I presume that Guido is still pushing to see
it happen.


Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/