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

Scott Penrose scottp at dd.com.au
Tue Jan 10 19:42:44 PST 2006

On 11/01/2006, at 14:16, Stephen Steneker wrote:
> > 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

No absolutely not ! Unfortunately, and I blame the brevity of mail in  
this case, you have completely missed my point. I don't mind support  
and help from any group or company, as long as the content and  
appearance remains independent.

I can spend quite a bit of time explaining just why such an  
affiliation is bad, and site you many examples of where these types  
of things have failed in the past, but in the end I probably won't  
convince you with the words I write here - just like you have not  
convinced me at all, probably in some ways strengthened some of my  
concerns. Arguments are good and important to have on topics but  
sometimes we have to realise that not everyone will be convinced. Do  
you know we actually lost members when we became an association. Even  
though it is required now by government, some people didn't agree -  
we can't make everyone happy :-(


This is all about appearance - and control - I never mentioned having  
to run code on pm.org - you have made that bit up :-) Thus my comment  
about mail being easy to misunderstand. PM.org servers can be run  
anywhere - we have many times thought of running our own. I would  
expect that the company running that server would have a sponsorship  
link on it.

I think pm.org needs a new system - like PHP - a system that is  
shared across all groups ... thus

> 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
>    Melbourne?)

provide all these advantages (which I agree is good) across PM groups.

perl.net.au is for all perl in Australia, not all PM - there is a  
huge difference - and so there should be. PM is not about companies.  
perl.net.au has filled that niche very nicely.

One of the many things groups get wrong, especially large  
communities, is not focusing on a small enough area. I believe  
perl.net.au is about bringing all perl communities and business  
together across Australia and NZ - as it says on the site. It is  
therefore larger and out of scope for Perl Mongers. This type of  
broad areas causes the small groups to be swallowed up.

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

If you redirect - as you are - that will not stay that way. You can't  
control that, it is just the way of the internet. Eventually,  
especially if we all do it, the PM groups in Australia will loose  
their identity and become  Perl Net meetings.

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

Exactly my point. I would be happy if this discussion was about  
bringing the pm.org groups together - I think it would be daft to  
have a single wiki though - even MediaWiki splits its' content up.

> 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.

Yes - although the PHP group - who are central have the same problems  
- in the end what is important is that it is easy to maintain.
The fact that it is separate or grouped together will not produce any  
more likelihood of updates (see any of the big communities).

> 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.

Yep, I fully support that, and really hope that it does.
This discussion neither weakens nor strengthens that at all.

> > 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.
> 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:
> http://www.perlfoundation.org/legal/trademark.html

If you read carefully and understand - that is a trademark for a good  
reason. For the same reason you keep copyright in the company that  
created software even if it is released as GNU - same thing. The  
camel is registered to protect it, like you copyright your code to  
whom ever you wrote it for/with/yourself to protect it.

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

Absolutely. About 90% of what you write I agree with :-) I am not  
asking for something very different, just separate.


* - *  http://www.osdc.com.au - Open Source Developers Conference * - *
Scott Penrose
Open source developer
scottp at dd.com.au

Dismaimer: Open sauce usually ends up never coming out (of the bottle).

Please do not send me Word or PowerPoint attachments.
See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/no-word-attachments.html

Microsoft is not the answer. It's the question. And the answer is no.

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