[SciPy-user] matrix mult operator

Robert Kern robert.kern@gmail....
Mon Jun 25 14:56:11 CDT 2007

David Warde-Farley wrote:
> On 25-Jun-07, at 3:18 PM, Robert Kern wrote:
>> Of course, all of this happened after a long, drawn-out series of  
>> discussions
>> and designs, which is *also* a painfully poor basis for making  
>> design decisions
>> if it's the only basis. Why? Because every participant is self- 
>> selected.
> My point was that the members of an audience at a Guido talk at a  
> Python conference are even *more* self-selected, since not everyone  
> with a vested interest in using the language can afford the time off  
> work/travel time/etc. to attend such gatherings, nor do they  
> necessarily see the point when there are mailing lists set up for  
> just this sort of discussion.

PyCon is *significantly* less self-selected than python-dev and possibly even
c.l.py. It's probably the best venue available in this regard. Yes, it takes
time and money to attend, but people participating in online design discussions
are, well, *special*. I'm not entirely sure why this is the case, and there's
probably something terribly important about the social dynamics of asynchronous,
multicasted communication (i.e. mailing lists), but polls on mailing lists just
don't work. I think it has something to do with the optional nature of mailing
lists. You don't have to reply or participate, so if you don't get excited about
a particular thread, you don't reply. When you're in a room, and someone takes a
poll, you're replying regardless of whether or not you care. And the poll-taker
can count you. For questions of this sort, I think physical presence is a huge boon.

>>> But as
>>> usual we are at the mercy of Guido and his fanboys and their
>>> arbitrary notions of what's "Pythonic" or not.
>> You are entirely mistaken if you think PyCon is solely attended by  
>> Guido's
>> fanboys. Really, getting several hundred Python users across a  
>> broad spectrum in
>> the same room and asking them questions is actually probably one of  
>> the better
>> ways to keep perspective and determine how much of an impact your  
>> design
>> decisions are going to have.
> It was more of a general statement about the frustrating non- 
> arguments made by some in the name of "Pythonicity".

But that wasn't the argument that sealed the deal. The question was, "Will you
use it?" and the answer was overwhelmingly negative. *That's* what killed
switch. The abstract arguments about Pythonicity were ignored, or at least were
considered much, much less important.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
 that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
 an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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