c.l.py dead, news at 11 (was Re: Mangle function name with decorator?)

Aaron Brady castironpi at gmail.com
Sat Mar 28 03:57:41 CET 2009

On Mar 27, 8:15 pm, "andrew cooke" <and... at acooke.org> wrote:
> Erik Max Francis wrote:
> [...]
> > And made all purdy-like:
> >    http://www.alcyone.com/tmp/python-list%20traffic.pdf
> That's very pretty, but neither the volume of posts, nor the quality of
> the people posting here is really what I was talking about.  I don't think
> I explained very well, but seeing the posts here helped clarify things a
> little.
> c.l.python used to be the core of a community built around a language.  It
> no longer is.  It is a very useful place, where some very helpful and
> knowledgeable people hang out and give advice, but instead of representing
> the full interests of the Python community it is now very much a resource
> for helping new users.
> At least, that's how it seems to me.  And I don't think this is
> necessarily "natural" or "normal" - I think it may be a failure on the
> part of someone (who?  I don't quite know, perhaps all of us) in managing
> a community.  Now there is an obvious argument against that - that the
> language was becoming so popular that a single meeting place was no longer
> practical - but without a crystal ball it is hard to know how true that
> is, or what alternatives might have been.
> I feel quite strongly about this.  I thought that c.l.python was almost
> exceptional in the range (the perl group was another, similar community
> back then).  I do worry that someone might have screwed up in a quite
> major way, and that Python will suffer seriously, in the longer term, as a
> result.
> Another reason might be that the action has moved on to Haskell.  I get
> the impression that it is undergoing the same kind of surge in popularity
> from the "smart early adopters" that Python might have benefited from back
> in the day

Hi, andrew.

> (for some perverse reason I am actually moving back to Python
> from more strongly typed functional languages).

I don't want to criticize you for this comment.  In fact, it
illustrates a good point and a potential source of confusion: the
language and the newsgroup are two different things.  Someone could
like the language and dislike the newsgroup; dislike the language and
like the newsgroup; or like or dislike both.  Likes and dislikes can
each be passive or active by the way.

It is a shame that you are so prohibited from getting a foot in the
door of the dev newsgroup.  From what you say, much of the Python-
focused, seasoned-dev discussion that you like takes place there; and
no one asks about references to parameters.  I can't attest to the
intensity, formality, or tolerance there, however.  It could be they
have goals, and you need more familiarity with Usenet protocol to be
understood, and not merely excluded.  I am not saying that c-l-py vets
don't have goals; just that they're not the same as the dev vets'.

I see how c-l-py doesn't represent the full interests of Python,
although I can't attest to whether it used to.  Naturally, among any
person or people, conflicts arise, dilemmas arise, and c-l-py vets
don't solve them in the same manner, or with the same results, that
dev vets do.  The long term direction of this is dissent, struggle,
and mutiny.  Logically, one of the c-l-py posters, not necessarily the
vets, will fork the source, it will become popular, and Pythoneers
will no longer be able to cut-and-paste source to share.  It is a sad
destiny, but with all the authorities, veterans, and movers and
shakers cloistered away in an entrance-restricted, exclusive-
membership corner, the newbies won't see the long-term consequences.
We get our direction from the adults, and they aren't here.  And, with
the community split in two, newbies will not get the answers they
need, and we'll wither away.

The motive for the fork could be anything.  It could be a coup
d'elite, a lunge for power, or an honest but shallow improvement
attempt, from someone who doesn't know it will divide the community,
or doesn't know to care.

You have proposed that the precaution is greater control: it won't
happen if it can't happen; and if it can happen, it will.  I don't
think either of those premises need proof, so the conclusion is
imminent.  If two parties want two different things, they'll both get

There are many people to control.  They include the newbies, who have
taken your word for many characteristics of the language and the
group.  They include the vets who already know them.  Do you appoint
yourself sheriff?

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