[Melbourne-pm] Wikification of melbourne.pm.org?

Stephen Steneker stephen at sydney.pm.org
Tue Jan 10 19:16:16 PST 2006

Hi Scott,

Having some familiarity with the decision to move Sydney.pm to a
shared wiki, felt it was worth sharing longer comment on some of
the concerns raised...

 > I think it is a little disturbing that we are effectively forming a
 > splinter faction rather than trying to use pm.org like we should,  
and I
 > think Sydney has made a mistake.

I'd have to strongly disagree with your feeling of "splinter faction".

I actually see this as a healthy unification of the AU perl community
(mongers and otherwise) which allows everyone the opportunity to
contribute rather than relying on a few "leaders" who are generally
keen but often pressed for time.

We are not changing the identity of our perl mongers group, or
moving away from pm.org services like mailing lists and group
listings.  In fact, the reason pm.org provides these services
is for groups who do *not* have access to their own
infrastructure: http://www.pm.org/faq/.  Well established
groups like london.pm.org manage their own hosting and mailing

The intent is to create a perl.net.au wiki resource for perl,
not a perl.net.au user group organisation.  If Hobart decides
to form a user group, they will be registering via pm.org.

 > A radical suggestion - Can we possibly run melbourne.pm.org on
 > the same server as perl.net.au ?

Hey, isn't that asking perl.net.au to be a splinter faction
offering services that should be provided by pm.org ? :D

The benefits of a shared wiki are:
- we can easily link, share, and search information between
    different groups
- by using a common environment, we can share templates and
    assist other groups
- we foster a sense that there is an active perl community
    which is not limited to isolated pockets of activity
- we encourage a wider group of contributors with an easy
    way to get involved
- we become more aware of other user groups, developers, and
    companies who are doing great things with perl closer to home
- visiting speakers may consider more than one user group
    when making a trip to Australia (hint: how many overseas
    visitors to OSDC presented to user groups outside of

You can (and definitely should!) maintain a Melbourne perl monger
identity within the larger community .. melbourne.pm.org should
be the advertised entry point.

In actual fact, I would eventually love to see a wiki.pm.org!

Unfortunately, given the general disrepair of perl monger group
sites (e.g. the need for an annual "are you alive" survey!) I
think it would be very difficult to convince anyone that a
centralised site would have much more chance of success.

I envision the perl.net.au effort will help convince folks that pm.org
user groups can rise above their general apathy and isolation
to form a strong community.

 > It also looses our independence - which is very important and
 > must not be lost or swallowed by larger groups, especially if
 > it ends up with some commercial interest.

An obvious concern, and one which must be kept in mind.  At the
moment I trust that those involved (particularly Perl Training
Australia) are doing so out of a genuine interest to help the
perl community.  A good central resource can help user groups,
employers, and companies offering perl-related services.

The current site incarnation is not overwhelmed by Perl Training
Australia, but does provide some context for themselves (and others)
to promote their services.

If things become uncomfortably commercial or unworkably complex,
anyone is free to relocate their content elsewhere (and there
are tools to easily sync pages with mediawiki for local backup
and editing).  This is also a community that *you* can participate
in and help keep it on track.

Interestingly enough, the camel which is favoured by user groups
is actually a commercial trademark of O'Reilly.  The perl
foundation designed a new logo which is meant to replace this:

In any case, hope this has been helpful feedback .. !


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