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Marketing Python - An Idea Whose Time Has Come

117 replies on 8 pages. Most recent reply: Jun 15, 2007 5:29 AM by Ian Ozsvald

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Catherine Devlin

Posts: 4
Nickname: catherine
Registered: Mar, 2006

Re: Marketing Python - An Idea Whose Time Has Come Posted: Mar 5, 2006 4:26 PM
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I'm glad this discussion is happening!

JOIN http://wingware.com/mailman/listinfo/marketing-python

We had a well-attended and very active BoF on "promoting Python" at PyCon. There was far too much to say and to work on, so we agreed to

CONTINUE THE DISCUSSION AT http://wingware.com/mailman/listinfo/marketing-python

to take it from there. One of the things I'm hoping to see is a nice "How To Be a Python Pusher" bundle that will include a standard (but customizable) intro-to-Python talk, suggestions about where in your area to deliver it, and some general encouragement. I think a lot of Pythonistas love singing the praises of Python, they just need a nudge to do so more effectively.

P. S. Join http://wingware.com/mailman/listinfo/marketing-python !

Lone Star

Posts: 7
Nickname: lonestar
Registered: Jan, 2006

Python Enterprise Edition Posted: Mar 6, 2006 5:09 AM
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What I would like to see is the official creation of a "Python Enterprise Edition" (analogous to Java Enterprise Edition). If we want to compete with RubyOnRails it should at least contain a web megaframework like Turbogears, Django or Pylons - not stopping at a lowest common denominator (like a thin layer above wsgi/cgi) and a must have is transaction support (optimistic locking support would be a real boon - must have in the future). Other things that might be part of it could be some nifty distribution utils like eggs+easyinstall or something like that (Ruby has gems, something similar to CPAN). Other nice things could be some equivalent to Java's message driven beans (I am currently not aware of an python equivalent).

But how can we decide what has to go in there? I see two alternatives:

1. Either Guido decides (maybe that won't happen) or
2. Guido organizes a poll where the community can elect in a democratic way what will go in there (e. g. which megaframework)

As I said I am not very optimistic that something will come by itself (because evidence proves that it hasn't happened in the past). I think we need some kind of management by objectives.

Any opinions on that?

Kay Schluehr

Posts: 302
Nickname: schluehk
Registered: Jan, 2005

Re: Python Enterprise Edition Posted: Mar 6, 2006 8:11 AM
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> What I would like to see is the official creation of a
> "Python Enterprise Edition" (analogous to Java Enterprise
> Edition). If we want to compete with RubyOnRails it should
> at least contain a web megaframework like Turbogears,
> Django or Pylons - not stopping at a lowest common
> denominator (like a thin layer above wsgi/cgi) and a must
> have is transaction support (optimistic locking support
> would be a real boon - must have in the future).

This is somewhat a misrepresentation of what SUN did with J2EE. They formost created a specification before hacking, which is a common industry practice. Then they licensed their Spec s.t. independent vendors could implement it. I don't know if this procedure makes any sense with open source software? Customizing the PEP process to design reliable software before encoding it is not only a fine idea but it works quite well as python-dev demonstrates. On the other hand experiences with Python SIGs are not that encouraging.

> Other
> things that might be part of it could be some nifty
> distribution utils like eggs+easyinstall or something like
> that (Ruby has gems, something similar to CPAN). Other
> nice things could be some equivalent to Java's message
> driven beans (I am currently not aware of an python
> equivalent).

All those "nice things" are no reason to select Python above anything else. But that's what the marketing issue is about: there are a dozend great languages that obtain all kinds of nifty little details. So why choose Python? Can you explain to your boss why the next multi-million dollar booking & billing system has to be done in Python? Because Python has Django and Guido likes it - at least somewhat? If Python wants to be nothing than a language for scripting tasks than this is a non-issue. But than this whole discussion is pointless isn't it?

Kay

Lone Star

Posts: 7
Nickname: lonestar
Registered: Jan, 2006

Re: Python Enterprise Edition Posted: Mar 6, 2006 9:34 AM
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> This is somewhat a misrepresentation of what SUN did with
> J2EE. They formost created a specification before hacking,
> which is a common industry practice. Then they licensed
> their Spec s.t. independent vendors could implement it. I
> don't know if this procedure makes any sense with open
> source software? Customizing the PEP process to design
> reliable software before encoding it is not only a fine
> idea but it works quite well as python-dev demonstrates.
> On the other hand experiences with Python SIGs are not
> that encouraging.
Maybe my formulation was ambiguous. With "analogous to JEE" I meant the naming pattern not the JSR process (if we start once again from scratch with a design by committee process competing solutions will stomp us in the ground on that application domain - we need to get going fast now or it is too late). What I want is an officially endorsed python software distribution for the enterprise. Thus creating a defacto standard in python software for the enterprise and allowing the best of breed opensource python packages out there to gain momentum and maturity (which is currently my first and foremost concern). That would make it also easier for beginners that are searching a way too start with python enterprise development, they can then start with the standard and won't be too wrong. Of course if one megaframework will not be part of the standard that doesn't mean the development will have to stop there. There can always be a cross-pollination between standard frameworks and and non-standard frameworks.
>
> > Other
> > things that might be part of it could be some nifty
> > distribution utils like eggs+easyinstall or something
> like
> > that (Ruby has gems, something similar to CPAN). Other
> > nice things could be some equivalent to Java's message
> > driven beans (I am currently not aware of an python
> > equivalent).
>
> All those "nice things" are no reason to select Python
> above anything else.
It's about being competitive and not lagging behind.

> But that's what the marketing issue
> is about: there are a dozend great languages that obtain
> all kinds of nifty little details. So why choose Python?
> Can you explain to your boss why the next multi-million
> dollar booking & billing system has to be done in Python?
The other way round: How would you try to convince your boss if even the most basic requirements of such a system just are not there or your software is said too be immature. Anyway first I would try too shoot for the low hanging fruits, easy webapplications with relational db-backends, the same niche ROR aims for and is somewhat successful. I don't expect Python or ROR to get into the mission critical enterprise backend (XA transaction...)
> If Python wants to be nothing than a language
> for scripting tasks than this is a non-issue. But than
> this whole discussion is pointless isn't it?
Agreed. I hope that isn't python's intention (or Guido's).

Paul Boddie

Posts: 26
Nickname: pboddie
Registered: Jan, 2006

Re: Python Enterprise Edition Posted: Mar 6, 2006 10:45 AM
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> Maybe my formulation was ambiguous. With "analogous to
> JEE" I meant the naming pattern not the JSR process

J2EE predated the JSR process by many years, and the JSR process was only created to give some impression/illusion (choose your interpretation) of openness and community involvement given Sun's lack of interest in a proper open source licence on their Java techologies.

> What I want is an officially endorsed
> python software distribution for the enterprise.

Here's how far that effort got in its last incarnation:

http://www.python-in-business.org/

A Zope "Site Error": yes a cheap shot, but as far as I can tell either no-one was really that interested or it was seen as irrelevant, anyway. There are Python distributions for different purposes, and that's possibly the most interesting avenue in this regard.

> Thus creating a defacto standard in python software for
> the enterprise and allowing the best of breed opensource
> python packages out there to gain momentum and maturity
> (which is currently my first and foremost concern).

Note that whilst you mentioned J2EE, nominating megaframeworks is not really what J2EE does. You can possibly argue that there's a blatant proliferation of Java frameworks for, amongst other things, Web application development, but in fact the market (particularly the job market) seems to have settled on a few, now unfashionable (if you wallow too much in RoR hype) solutions.

As I've said all along, just as the unfashionable J2EE sets standards for interoperability, and just as things like the DB-API do the same at a useful level for Python, so should the Python community reduce wheel reinvention by agreeing on useful standards. The Web-SIG has taken two years to agree on WSGI, but that doesn't even get it to the point of meeting its own initial goals.

> That would make it also easier for beginners that are
> searching a way too start with python enterprise
> development, they can then start with the standard and
> won't be too wrong.

Yes, useful standards are essential - not just "on which servers can I deploy?" but also "what will the code look like?" and "will I have to rewrite this code or learn another API if I change some components?".

> Of course if one megaframework will not be part of the
> standard that doesn't mean the development will have to
> stop there. There can always be a cross-pollination
> between standard frameworks and and non-standard
> frameworks.

Only if there are standards to facilitate that. It's arguably not yet the case that such standards exist. Meanwhile, picking a megaframework will just lead to another Zope situation: a separate community and a different track at conferences - something the Zope community actually realise now.

John Gabriele

Posts: 3
Nickname: johnmg
Registered: Mar, 2006

Re: Python Enterprise Edition Posted: Mar 6, 2006 11:51 AM
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Kay Schluehr wrote:
> All those "nice things" are no reason to select Python above anything else.

I believe they are. This is how Perl achieved so much success -- how Perl infiltrated sites everywhere from the inside-out. By having little nice things that made it useful for developers so they chose it over some other solution. This is why I think it's so vital to give Python perldoc-like functionality for pydoc -- I think it would be helpful for folks developing with Python.

> Can you explain to your boss why the next multi-million dollar booking &
> billing system has to be done in Python?

I don't think you win by trying to convince your boss to let you use Python. You win when devs all over the company are using Python to solve all sorts of problems, and it becomes the de facto language for getting stuff done -- without ever asking a "boss" what language to use. When everyone's already using it for "scripting", considering how capable Python is, the next logical step is to use it for so-called "enterprise development". Isn't that exactly what happened with Perl? :)

I think there's some confusion here between "marketing" Python to developers (which is crucial) and marketing it to CEO's (which, IMO, is pointless). You, the developer, are the professional -- a good CEO should trust his or her devs to choose the right language/db/server/etc. for the job. Why try to "sell" Python to the inferior CEO's?

John Gabriele

Posts: 3
Nickname: johnmg
Registered: Mar, 2006

Re: Python Enterprise Edition Posted: Mar 6, 2006 12:29 PM
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I wrote:
> This is why I think it's so vital to give Python
> perldoc-like functionality for pydoc -- I think it would be
> helpful for folks developing with Python.

Holy moly! Just found PEP 287: http://www.python.org/peps/pep-0287.html

reStructuredText inside docstrings sounds like a great idea. Will have a look at the Docutils project (
http://docutils.sourceforge.net/ ).

Catherine Devlin

Posts: 4
Nickname: catherine
Registered: Mar, 2006

Re: Marketing Python - An Idea Whose Time Has Come Posted: Mar 6, 2006 10:06 PM
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BTW (at Guido's suggestion), the wiki page for that BoF session, with notes from the discussion, is at

http://wiki.python.org/moin/PromotingPythonBof

Many good thoughts there, and hopefully even more can be added to and branched from it. Jeff Rush has already branched a useful page from it:

http://wiki.python.org/moin/StartingYourUsersGroup

Dick Ford

Posts: 149
Nickname: roybatty
Registered: Sep, 2003

Re: Marketing Python - An Idea Whose Time Has Come Posted: Mar 7, 2006 5:26 AM
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Just between you and me…. I'm sick of having to read AJAX and RoR article & tutorials on digg.com/slashdot/ars technica/ and various other quasi-news sites on how this will cure all ones application development woes..

Talk about sour grapes...Five years ago Python was getting a lot of attention and now this John guy is "sick of having to read AJAX and RoR". Well how about he just unplugs his ethernet or wireless card and that'll solve the problem.

Kay Schluehr

Posts: 302
Nickname: schluehk
Registered: Jan, 2005

Re: Marketing Python - An Idea Whose Time Has Come Posted: Mar 7, 2006 10:05 AM
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> Just between you and me…. I'm sick of having to read
> AJAX and RoR article & tutorials on digg.com/slashdot/ars
> technica/ and various other quasi-news sites on how this
> will cure all ones application development woes..

>
> Talk about sour grapes...Five years ago Python was getting
> a lot of attention and now this John guy is "sick of
> having to read AJAX and RoR". Well how about he just
> unplugs his ethernet or wireless card and that'll solve
> the problem.

I think he is correct. I do think that developers have a right not to be plagued with too much redundancy. As a colleague of mine who was once a scripting language advocate told me recently: he gave up following the development. He started with Tcl and moved to Perl and followed also Python. But he is now sick to unlearn stuff just because any three years the programming language wheel must be reinvented without any significant progress. The step from structured programming to OO was considerable and a "different way of thinking" justified new languages. The minor issues that differentiate Python from Ruby does not justify any personal learning effort to him anymore. Same thing with Java and C#.
Language game over.

Dick Ford

Posts: 149
Nickname: roybatty
Registered: Sep, 2003

Re: Marketing Python - An Idea Whose Time Has Come Posted: Mar 7, 2006 4:27 PM
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I think he is correct. I do think that developers have a right not to be plagued with too much redundancy.

A right to not be plagued? You've got to be freaking kidding me. How is this "right" supposed to happen? They've got a right to not read what they don't want to read on the internet.

John Sirbu

Posts: 5
Nickname: silverleaf
Registered: Mar, 2006

Re: Marketing Python - An Idea Whose Time Has Come Posted: Mar 7, 2006 7:19 PM
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Talk about sour grapes... Well how about he just unplugs his ethernet or wireless card and that'll solve the problem.

Although I don't follow what exactly you bring to this discussion. Suggestions to benefit the python community? Improving the existing frameworks? Introducing Python to others as a whole? Offering python lessons to others? Hmmm...

I was content at seeing everyone starting to discuss how to make things better including the umm.... ruby-nistas, rubbers? that came to join the fray to help us or ...whatever.

However your words have stirred me, for I am just a man but you are a great man Dick Ford. Enough to come out of my bashfull shell and register here.

!(I find your attitude one of grand enlightenment. Your insight into my heart makes me take heed at your greatness. I am humbled by your wisdom, we all are. Ultimately know that in confidence your words resonate in the hearts and minds of everyone you speak with and their lives are forever enriched and blessed by the words pouring from your mouth. Take great pride your kind words will be recorded for all to read a see.)

John Sirbu

Posts: 5
Nickname: silverleaf
Registered: Mar, 2006

Re: Marketing Python - An Idea Whose Time Has Come Posted: Mar 7, 2006 7:53 PM
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Speaking of marketing neat packages or tools...

Something that caught my eye a while ago an that might intrest other in the python community... Although isn't a business level application nor a "new" software package does spring some intresting posibilities to mind.

Personally I never had the bravery or guts to spring for a Sharp Zaurus to perform "serious" development of my ultimate goal of providing a MobilePyNetHack port. I thought this might perk an eyebrow or two... Guido forgive me if you covered this earlier..

Linux for the Nintendo DS - LinuxDS...
http://www.dslinux.org/

I thought this was pretty cool..

Python 2.4.2 for Nintendo DS
http://forum.gbadev.org/viewtopic.php?t=8052
http://www.disinterest.org/NDS/Python24.html

If a few more people were to work on getting a GvRobot complied for it or PyGame this would be an awesome learn tool instead of a pacifier.

Me? I'm working to get my head around using a lambda...

Although, I did try to make a nice presentation (It drew on longer then I would have liked and it is an open-source product which isn't exactly a strong selling point.) today at work about a nifty web protocol driver testing tool that uses Jython as the scripting engine. It did seem to be nicely received, then again maybe everyone was being polite.

Ok, I've taken enough of everyones time already.

Dick Ford

Posts: 149
Nickname: roybatty
Registered: Sep, 2003

Re: Marketing Python - An Idea Whose Time Has Come Posted: Mar 7, 2006 8:06 PM
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John Sirbu, way to duck the issue I brought up with a very feeble attempt at sarcasm. Like I said, if you're sick and tired of seeing all this RoR stuff then just don't read it or if that's not enough unplug yourself from the net. Whining just invalidates any legitimacy you might have had.

Paparipote Tamparantan

Posts: 4
Nickname: paparipote
Registered: Jan, 2006

Re: Marketing Python - An Idea Whose Time Has Come Posted: Mar 7, 2006 8:40 PM
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I only launch ideas.
For me, Python is like a snake: his simplicity hypnotise, enchant and captivate for good and for bad. Ruby (may be C#?) was enchanted also and took some parts of Python.
Python explores and easly identifies itself with the current logical human way of thinking and resolving problems, that is why we like it. For some people, it is a fine wine that we want to open for an "special" ocassion that never comes, others like a valuable tool into a toolbox. But very few are encouraged to use in a plenty way. I can't understand why.
What was in the mind of Guido when created this phenomenal language? which was the dream? Is this possible to expand that dream so, it can generate unusual enthusiasm in the community (remember the dream of Kennedy about going to the moon)? Can Python evolve much more? Which is the direction of this evolution? May be going to functional programming such as Haskell as a way to anticipate to the future?
The world is accelerated now and people wants from computers very fast answers to demanding needs and ... answers with quality and added value but, in a disordered way, it is terrible!! Many people asks: If I can do what I want with excel sheets, why I can't I do the same with my own web pages or with storing/retrieving big information ? what is going bad here ehhhh!!! dream vendors!!!
Is Python prepared for this real world or is prepared for an ideal world or may be, is this preparing the road to a more or less predictable real-world ?

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