What do you think of ShowMeDo

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Wed Apr 29 07:41:47 CEST 2009

Thanks for responding.

kyran at showmedo.com writes:

> 99% of the videos on showmedo are available free-and-gratis. They're
> made by members of the open-source community who receive nothing more
> than a bit of kudos and an all too rare thank-you. We pay for the
> hosting and provide the set-up. I think as a site we've really added
> something of value to the Python community, so, as I wrote, this last
> post really grates.

I'm not sure what in my post grated on this aspect; I didn't address the
license terms on the videos at all.

However, since you raise it now: What are the license terms for the
videos? By default under copyright law it's “all rights reserved”,
i.e. the recipient has none of the rights reserved under copyright law.

Free software workers will be familiar with the necessity for explicit
grants of license in copyrighted works, but I don't see anywhere on the
video pages themselves what rights the copyright holder grants to the
recipient of the video.

> We cover the use of Flash in the faq (http://showmedo/faq) and put our
> hands up to it. Pragmatism wins out over purity on this one - it's
> hard enough being a newbie without having to go through the
> disheartening rigmarole of obscure codec installations and the
> inevitable breakdowns.

Sure, so we both acknowledge the lack as a fact of the site. Thanks for
being open about it.

> As for the author immediately above, I think he fails his own test of
> prudence. There are rather blindingly obvious download links below
> each video. We require users to login for this extra service, mainly
> because this encourages non-anonymous comments, which authors tell us
> counts for a lot.

Those led immediately to a login page (as you acknowledge here), so I
wasn't able to find out what format the video is in. Good to know the
option is there.

> Open-ID wasn't really an option when everything was being built a few
> years ago but may be a good call now. Time constraints are the reason
> behind much that is lacking.

Okay. Hopefully that's on the agenda to be rectified; until then I'll
not refrain from pointing it out.

> All that being said, I do feel the need to make that point that we
> have generated 350 odd completely free video-tutorials for the Python
> community

Note that “free” as a descriptor for information has, as free software
workers are aware, an ambiguous meaning. Are these videos free as in
freedom (and, specifically, which specific freedoms does the recipient
have?), or are they merely zero-price? I'd love to see the answers on
the page for each video, like e.g. Jamendo.com for their audio.

> The site has been refined over time and is at least striving
> constantly to improve. But some people will always focus only on the
> negatives.

So long as these negatives act as a barrier to entry, I must be honest
about what I experience.

> They are few and far between but occasionally, during those long, dark
> teatimes of the soul, it does make one wonder why one bothers.

You seem to be taking this discussion somewhat personally; I guess
that's understandable since you're personally invested in the site.
Please don't take any of this as an attack though; I'd love to be able
to get past these hurdles and experience the good things too!

 \          “In general my children refuse to eat anything that hasn't |
  `\                              danced on television.” —Erma Bombeck |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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