Python Evangelism

Discussion in 'Python' started by Steve Holden, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. Steve Holden

    Steve Holden Guest

    I've been thinking (and blogging) about python evangelism since PyCon,
    as a result of which I created a squidoo lens:

    http://www.squidoo.com/pythonlogy

    Imagine my surprise at discovering that this has gone up in rank (by
    number of views) from # 442,000 or so to #153! Clearly there's some
    mileage in marketing Python, and I'd like to keep the buzz going if it
    means more people will adopt the language.

    Any suggestions for improvement?

    regards
    Steve
    --
    Steve Holden +44 150 684 7255 +1 800 494 3119
    Holden Web LLC/Ltd www.holdenweb.com
    Love me, love my blog holdenweb.blogspot.com
     
    Steve Holden, Mar 9, 2006
    #1
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  2. Steve Holden

    Just Guest

    In article <>,
    Steve Holden <> wrote:

    > I've been thinking (and blogging) about python evangelism since PyCon,
    > as a result of which I created a squidoo lens:
    >
    > http://www.squidoo.com/pythonlogy
    >
    > Imagine my surprise at discovering that this has gone up in rank (by
    > number of views) from # 442,000 or so to #153! Clearly there's some
    > mileage in marketing Python, and I'd like to keep the buzz going if it
    > means more people will adopt the language.
    >
    > Any suggestions for improvement?


    Yeah, the URL:

    http://www.squidoo.com/pythonology

    :)

    Just
     
    Just, Mar 9, 2006
    #2
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  3. Steve Holden wrote:
    > I've been thinking (and blogging) about python evangelism since PyCon,
    > as a result of which I created a squidoo lens:
    >
    > http://www.squidoo.com/pythonlogy
    >
    > Imagine my surprise at discovering that this has gone up in rank (by
    > number of views) from # 442,000 or so to #153! Clearly there's some
    > mileage in marketing Python, and I'd like to keep the buzz going if it
    > means more people will adopt the language.
    >
    > Any suggestions for improvement?
    >


    '-nology' not '-nlogy' in the link.

    I like the 'What's Happening on Planet Python' section - I find the
    planetpython.org gives too much of an intro to the pages it links to. A
    line or too, as in the lens site, would be preferable in my view.
    Just a thought - would a similar section be suitable for 'python.org'
    main page?

    Gerard
     
    Gerard Flanagan, Mar 9, 2006
    #3
  4. Steve Holden

    Steve Holden Guest

    Doug Bromley wrote:
    > Python is in desperate need of marketing and I don't think its new site
    > will help it.
    > The Ruby community has a fanaticism we could learn from and its going
    > some way to 'converting' me. The community is alive, growing, shouting
    > from the roof tops while the Python community seems to sit in its ivory
    > towers conducting research and corporate development in
    > 'forward-thinking' companies such as Google.
    >

    OK, and this post will improve the situation how, exactly?

    > I can see Ruby overtaking Python if we don't ALL do something about it.
    >

    Indeed. Hence http://www.squidoo.com/pythonology

    And your contribution is ... yet another post about how we all need to
    *do* something? On the other hand, you could just roll up your sleeves
    and start doing something :)

    Your take on Python is likely unique: start telling people why *you* use it.

    regards
    Steve

    > On 9 Mar 2006 02:43:53 -0800, *Gerard Flanagan* <
    > <mailto:>> wrote:
    >
    > Steve Holden wrote:
    > > I've been thinking (and blogging) about python evangelism since

    > PyCon,
    > > as a result of which I created a squidoo lens:
    > >
    > > http://www.squidoo.com/pythonlogy
    > >
    > > Imagine my surprise at discovering that this has gone up in rank (by
    > > number of views) from # 442,000 or so to #153! Clearly there's some
    > > mileage in marketing Python, and I'd like to keep the buzz going

    > if it
    > > means more people will adopt the language.
    > >
    > > Any suggestions for improvement?
    > >

    >
    > '-nology' not '-nlogy' in the link.
    >
    > I like the 'What's Happening on Planet Python' section - I find the
    > planetpython.org <http://planetpython.org> gives too much of an
    > intro to the pages it links to. A
    > line or too, as in the lens site, would be preferable in my view.
    > Just a thought - would a similar section be suitable for 'python.org
    > <http://python.org>'
    > main page?
    >
    > Gerard


    By the way, the apparent increase in rank was somewhat bogus given that
    there appear to be fewer than 20,000 lenses at present :)
    --
    Steve Holden +44 150 684 7255 +1 800 494 3119
    Holden Web LLC/Ltd www.holdenweb.com
    Love me, love my blog holdenweb.blogspot.com
     
    Steve Holden, Mar 9, 2006
    #4
  5. Steve Holden

    rtilley Guest

    Steve Holden wrote:
    > Doug Bromley wrote:
    >> I can see Ruby overtaking Python if we don't ALL do something about it.


    I think it's the name. Python. Let's change it to something nicer. Think
    about it... if you found a Ruby, you'd pick it up and put it in your
    pocket. If you ran across a Python, you'd run away.

    Gems is nice too. Compare that to Cheese Shop... who came up with that
    :) Do you want a pretty gem stone or a smelly slice of cheese? I mean
    that in a literal sense. I don't think Python is smelly at all, but it
    certainly has chosen some slimy, smelly bad names for itself!

    Psychology is important. Just as important as good design. I think this
    fact doesn't sink in to the Python community.
     
    rtilley, Mar 9, 2006
    #5
  6. Doug Bromley wrote:

    > I can see Ruby overtaking Python if we don't ALL do something about it.


    on the other hand, people have posted "I can see XXX overtaking Python if we
    don't ALL do something about it NOW" messages for as long as I've been using
    Python.

    the best thing I've seen in the recent "argh! this is the end" threads that have been
    popping up here and there is this advice from an anonymous ruby user, from a
    comment on guido's blog:

    My advice for you Pythonistas: First, chill; the mind works better when
    relaxed. Second, look around and count your blessings; Python is every-
    where. Third, just work on something you find interesting and fun.

    have you used Python to work on something fun and interesting today? if not, what's
    your excuse? ;-)

    </F>
     
    Fredrik Lundh, Mar 9, 2006
    #6
  7. rtilley wrote:

    > Psychology is important. Just as important as good design. I think this
    > fact doesn't sink in to the Python community.


    You speak of fluff and ribbons and glitter.

    I think most people here are less concerned with psychology and more
    interested in pychology.
    --
    Dale Strickland-Clark
    Riverhall Systems www.riverhall.co.uk
    We're recruiting. See the web site for details.
     
    Dale Strickland-Clark, Mar 9, 2006
    #7
  8. Steve Holden wrote:

    > Any suggestions for improvement?
    >
    > regards
    > Steve

    Get rid of the scarey face?

    :)
    --
    Dale Strickland-Clark
    Riverhall Systems www.riverhall.co.uk
    We're recruiting. See the web site for details.
     
    Dale Strickland-Clark, Mar 9, 2006
    #8
  9. Steve Holden

    rtilley Guest

    Dale Strickland-Clark wrote:
    > rtilley wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Psychology is important. Just as important as good design. I think this
    >>fact doesn't sink in to the Python community.

    >
    >
    > You speak of fluff and ribbons and glitter.


    Yes, I know. Great products, ideas and methods have lost mind share to
    lesser things (not that Ruby is inferior to Python or vice versa)
    because they lack fluff, ribbons and glitter :)

    I hope Python gets more fluff... it already has lost of great technical
    merit :)
     
    rtilley, Mar 9, 2006
    #9
  10. On 3/9/06, rtilley <> wrote:

    > > Doug Bromley wrote:
    > >> I can see Ruby overtaking Python if we don't ALL do something about it..

    >
    > I think it's the name. Python. Let's change it to something nicer. Think
    > about it... if you found a Ruby, you'd pick it up and put it in your
    > pocket. If you ran across a Python, you'd run away.


    Woah, are you actually serious? What would changing the name of language you're
    trying to market do for the marketing campaign? New to the YAMMA language? Check
    out all these other Python tutorials to get started. I don't think
    it's the name, I think the
    major problem is people saying, "What can we do to market it?" and not
    actually doing
    anything, as Steven just said. Work on something. Create something popular. Heck
    promote django or some other framework. Work on some new innovative technology
    in python! Just choose python and recommend it to others. Word of mouth, Quality
    projects and not claiming "we need new marketing strategies" _IS_ the
    best marketing
    strategy.

    > Gems is nice too. Compare that to Cheese Shop... who came up with that
    > :) Do you want a pretty gem stone or a smelly slice of cheese? I mean
    > that in a literal sense. I don't think Python is smelly at all, but it
    > certainly has chosen some slimy, smelly bad names for itself!


    While I agree, that gem is nice and python needs a new standard
    package management
    system, maybe that's your contribution! Build it! Make it awesome!

    > Psychology is important. Just as important as good design. I think this
    > fact doesn't sink in to the Python community.


    Pyschology _is_ important, but not in this case. Make good products
    and they will
    come. Python has a ton of good projects and a ton of users. What we
    don't have is
    ruby on rails and the web 2.0 crowd, and I say, who the hell cares? We
    have everything
    else.

    --
    Andrew Gwozdziewycz <>
    http://ihadagreatview.org
    http://plasticandroid.org
     
    Andrew Gwozdziewycz, Mar 9, 2006
    #10
  11. Steve Holden

    rtilley Guest

    Andrew Gwozdziewycz wrote:
    > On 3/9/06, rtilley <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>Doug Bromley wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>I can see Ruby overtaking Python if we don't ALL do something about it.

    >>
    >>I think it's the name. Python. Let's change it to something nicer. Think
    >>about it... if you found a Ruby, you'd pick it up and put it in your
    >>pocket. If you ran across a Python, you'd run away.

    >
    >
    > Woah, are you actually serious? What would changing the name of language you're
    > trying to market do for the marketing campaign?


    Yes I am. But I'm no one so there is no need to take my advice :)

    Snakes are naturally thought of as bad or dangerous. Some large snakes
    eat our pets and other small, warm-blooded, furry mammals like us.
    People naturally kill snakes or run from them. We teach children to
    avoid snakes. It's almost instinct to fear them. So, you have a product,
    an idea, a method... don't name it after something that is so naturally
    repulsive. It's really that simple.

    I've had people ask about the "Python" folder on their computer. They
    thought it must be a virus or malware simply based on its name.
     
    rtilley, Mar 9, 2006
    #11
  12. Steve Holden

    rtilley Guest

    Andrew Gwozdziewycz wrote:
    > What would changing the name of language you're
    > trying to market do for the marketing campaign?


    I forgot to address this part... I think it would create a lot of hype.
    What well-established programming language has ever had the nerve to
    change its name after more than a decade of success? Think of the
    attention that alone would bring :) python would get slashdotted to
    death! CNN would probably write about it... maybe the BBC too.

    Python could have a huge name changing contest/campaign and maybe some
    killer app could be released just as the name had changed. Guido could
    make some statement about dropping the cold-bloodedness of Python,
    becoming more warm and inviting, etc. etc.

    It would be a smashing success.
     
    rtilley, Mar 9, 2006
    #12
  13. Steve Holden

    Paul Boddie Guest

    rtilley wrote:
    > Steve Holden wrote:
    > > Doug Bromley wrote:
    > >> I can see Ruby overtaking Python if we don't ALL do something about it.

    >
    > I think it's the name. Python. Let's change it to something nicer. Think
    > about it... if you found a Ruby, you'd pick it up and put it in your
    > pocket. If you ran across a Python, you'd run away.


    That's only fairly ridiculous. Sure, there are some negative
    connotations in various cultures, but a lot of the jibes about the
    Python name are fuelled by the need various people feel to validate
    their own beliefs in front of their own herd of programming language
    adherents. The reason why a name change is ridiculous now is that you'd
    be throwing away 15 or so years of name recognition in a way not
    dissimilar to the way companies with established brands spend millions
    to throw away recognisable, iconic logos and replace them with swirls
    and bright colours that look embarrassing only a few years later.

    > Gems is nice too. Compare that to Cheese Shop... who came up with that


    I agree with you here, though. I want to be diplomatic here, but Cheese
    Shop - a name for a package repository, for those who are lost already
    - is really just a totally stupid name. Yes, I'm aware of the Monty
    Python sketch, mediocre by the high standards of the Pythons' various
    other works, but people really shouldn't have to buy into some kind of
    clique to decode terminology in order to get help, support, updates,
    and to learn more about the technology they're using. Some people
    haven't even seen Monty Python, believe it or not, let alone be able to
    quote the less humourous sketches by heart; sometimes people just want
    straightforward labelling and humour in places where it's more likely
    to be appreciated.

    [...]

    > Psychology is important. Just as important as good design. I think this
    > fact doesn't sink in to the Python community.


    A lot doesn't sink in with the Python community. :-/

    Paul
     
    Paul Boddie, Mar 9, 2006
    #13
  14. Steve Holden

    gregarican Guest

    rtilley wrote:

    > It would be a smashing success.


    And I have an idea for a party game. It's called "Jump to Conclusions."
    There would be a mat with all of these conclusions written down and...
     
    gregarican, Mar 9, 2006
    #14
  15. Steve Holden

    rtilley Guest

    Paul Boddie wrote:
    > I agree with you here, though. I want to be diplomatic here, but Cheese
    > Shop - a name for a package repository, for those who are lost already
    > - is really just a totally stupid name. Yes, I'm aware of the Monty
    > Python sketch, mediocre by the high standards of the Pythons' various
    > other works, but people really shouldn't have to buy into some kind of
    > clique to decode terminology in order to get help, support, updates,
    > and to learn more about the technology they're using. Some people
    > haven't even seen Monty Python...


    Even more reason to change the name.

    Use a name that has lots of other widely known, well thought of names
    associated with it. The Ruby name is a very good example of this.
    Although, this was accidental and not planned.

    People associate the words precious, valued, gem, treasured, stone
    solid, etc. with the word ruby. Also, a good product with a good name
    makes it easy for others to add value by building other good names
    around it.

    What do you think of when you hear 'eggs'? Many people think 'rotten',
    'smelly' or something that made them throw-up once. The point of this is
    that names _matter_ and influence what others think even if only in a
    subconscious way.

    I'll leave it at that. I like Python a lot. Technically, it's awesome. I
    don't think the language is bad... just the names associated with it.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
    rtilley, Mar 9, 2006
    #15
  16. Steve Holden

    Douglas Alan Guest

    rtilley <> writes:

    > Steve Holden wrote:


    >> Doug Bromley wrote:
    >>> I can see Ruby overtaking Python if we don't ALL do something about it.


    > I think it's the name. Python. Let's change it to something nicer.


    I agree that names are very important -- Java would never have caught
    on the way that it did if Sun had left the name as "Oak". I think
    you're wrong about the name "Python", though. Snakes are cool and
    have street cred. That's why there are cars with names like "Cobra"
    and "Viper".

    It doesn't matter if the average joe is scared when they see a folder
    named "python" on their computer, as the average joe isn't a
    programmer.

    Ruby didn't start catching on until Ruby on Rails came out. If Python
    has a naming problem, it's with the name of Django, rather than
    Python. Firstly, Django doesn't have "Python" in the name, so it
    doesn't popularize the language behind it, even should Django become
    very popular. Secondly, Django just doesn't have the ring of "Ruby on
    Rails". They should change the name to "Blood Python" instead. Okay,
    well, maybe not. How about "Green Tree Python"? Hmmm, kind of
    boring. Well, maybe "Python on the Bullet Train"? Okay, too
    derivative. "Maglev Python"? "Python with Panache"? "Python on
    Prozac"?

    I give up. In any case, I'm sure Django was a great musician, but the
    product needs a better name to have any chance of displacing Rails.

    |>oug
     
    Douglas Alan, Mar 9, 2006
    #16
  17. On 9 Mar 2006 08:47:41 -0800, "Paul Boddie" <>
    declaimed the following in comp.lang.python:


    > I agree with you here, though. I want to be diplomatic here, but Cheese
    > Shop - a name for a package repository, for those who are lost already
    > - is really just a totally stupid name. Yes, I'm aware of the Monty
    > Python sketch, mediocre by the high standards of the Pythons' various


    Given the push to distribute stuff as "eggs", I'm surprised it
    wasn't called "the Dead Parrot"...
    --
    > ============================================================== <
    > | Wulfraed Dennis Lee Bieber KD6MOG <
    > | Bestiaria Support Staff <
    > ============================================================== <
    > Home Page: <http://www.dm.net/~wulfraed/> <
    > Overflow Page: <http://wlfraed.home.netcom.com/> <
     
    Dennis Lee Bieber, Mar 9, 2006
    #17
  18. Steve Holden

    Magnus Lycka Guest

    rtilley wrote:
    > Steve Holden wrote:
    >
    >> Doug Bromley wrote:
    >>
    >>> I can see Ruby overtaking Python if we don't ALL do something about it.

    >
    >
    > I think it's the name. Python. Let's change it to something nicer. Think
    > about it... if you found a Ruby, you'd pick it up and put it in your
    > pocket. If you ran across a Python, you'd run away.


    I think you have a point, but I also think it's a bit
    late to change it after 15 years or so, considering all
    books, web sites etc. We're stuck with Python, and can
    only do the best of that. Actually, in Swedish, "Jag
    mår pyton" i.e. "I feel like python" means "I feel
    sick", and "det luktar pyton" i.e. "it smells python",
    means "it stinks". That doesn't make Python easier to
    sell here... Still to late to change...

    It's not too late to rename the cheese shop though.
    (We don't need even more stink...)

    I think a good example on the problem with letting
    techies like us do naming is that grand successor
    of Unix developed by the great minds at Bell Labs.

    First, they name it after a movie which is famous
    for being exceptionally bad--Plan 9 (from outer space).
    Really grand company there!

    Then, when they make a real product of it, they call
    it Inferno, and some part of it gets called Limbo.

    They do this on purpose in the U.S. A country full
    of religious fanatics, where it's impossible to be
    elected president unless you claim that you are a
    devoted Christian and say "God bless America" every
    time you open your mouth.

    No wonder the preferred operating systems (except a
    boring proprietary one) are still purely old fashion
    Unix based ones. Most of those smart improvements
    never quite made it...
     
    Magnus Lycka, Mar 9, 2006
    #18
  19. Steve Holden

    Zachery Bir Guest

    On Mar 9, 2006, at 12:04 PM, rtilley wrote:

    > What do you think of when you hear 'eggs'? Many people think 'rotten',
    > 'smelly' or something that made them throw-up once. The point of
    > this is
    > that names _matter_ and influence what others think even if only in a
    > subconscious way.


    I think you've got a lot of bottled up negativity.

    > I'll leave it at that. I like Python a lot. Technically, it's
    > awesome. I
    > don't think the language is bad... just the names associated with it.


    I'm betting you won't leave it at that.

    Zac
     
    Zachery Bir, Mar 9, 2006
    #19
  20. Steve Holden

    has Guest

    Steve Holden wrote:
    > I've been thinking (and blogging) about python evangelism since PyCon,
    > as a result of which I created a squidoo lens:
    >


    > Any suggestions for improvement?


    Something that seems to be ignored in general Python evangelism is its
    support for major platform-specific technologies. e.g. On OS X you've
    got PyObjC, py2app and appscript, which enable Python to integrate with
    or compete against ObjC and AppleScript for desktop application
    development and automation. I'm sure Windows and Linux folk could name
    various extensions for those platforms too.

    HTH
     
    has, Mar 9, 2006
    #20
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