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Re: The Guile community we could have (or: solving Worse is More Accessi

From: Taylan Ulrich Bayırlı/Kammer
Subject: Re: The Guile community we could have (or: solving Worse is More Accessible)
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 2015 10:04:04 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.5 (gnu/linux)

Christopher Allan Webber <address@hidden> writes:

> Luis Felipe López Acevedo writes:
>>> Really the design is really well made, no problem with that, I just
>>> want to be sure that we won't disappoint the main audience and
>>> attract a lot of newsbies which i think we are not ready for.
>>> If I can vote, I will +0.
>> I get you point about the illustrations, but I disagree :)
>> My Idea was to put "newbies" first without leaving out the experts. 
>> Maybe with this change we can push ourselves a bit to make the project 
>> be ready for people getting started in programming (it is not far from 
>> that, I think).
> I think this is absolutely the right goal, and the right call.  I am
> 100% behind the visual design, partly for this very reason!  I like the
> design, it is the right level of modern, crisp and professional design,
> but with just the right touch of playfulness.  That playfulness is
> critical, I think.  Consider the community we have, and the community we
> would like to bring in?
> From what I've gathered, the traditional and public view of lisp and
> scheme is of some ancient wizards (perhaps not so far from the cover of
> SICP) casting spells from towers or potentially labs, maybe AI
> labs... I love wizards, and lisp's history has a lot to thank of fairly
> wizardly characters, but while wizards evoke a sense of magic, it is a
> kind of unapproachable magic.
> The new design appeals to me: it retains a kind of magic, but it is the
> kind of magic of childhood, and when Guile is at its best, this is
> true.  Guile is a magical, wonderful playground, and one whose limits is
> your imagination and your patience.  Perhaps you will indeed become a
> powerful wizard, but maybe you will become a magician of some other
> type.  But no matter what, magic is under your fingertips from the very
> beginning.  Come play along!
> If you'll permit me to ramble a bit, I think Guile's community is at an
> opportune time.  It's not visible to the outside world so much yet, but
> Guile's community is a deeply welcoming one... something that was
> surprising to me when I entered.  I've heard from plenty of others in
> the community that one of the reasons this or that person stayed is
> because of the level of patience and care given to questions, and this
> is a great sign.
> We aren't a diverse community... look at the gender distribution on
> these mailing lists, and that's telling enough.  But Guile has the right
> environment to become a better.  Guile's three maintainers, Ludo, Andy
> and Mark, have all expressed interest in becoming an even more welcoming
> and diverse place.  But that requires hard work.  There are lots of
> steps to be made, but how we present ourselves is foundational.
> To put it another way, many here have probably read the "Worse is
> Better" essays.  That paradox of "better" I think sticks in the craw of
> many lispers; something both seems wrong and yet frustratingly right
> about it.  Maybe another way to look at it: "Worse is more accessible",
> or "worse has the path of least resistance", or also importantly, "worse
> is where I felt welcomed."  Given that, no wonder many people feel safe
> and better rather than what lispers believe is "the right thing".
> But maybe we could have both.  I believe it requires effort, and perhaps
> a rebranding of imagery.  The wizard towers are still there if you want
> them... I doubt any lisper or schemer will give up on Guile or Scheme
> because of some fun and inviting drawings.  The fun drawings don't take
> anything away!  But they add something: they make Guile feel like
> somplace, even as a newcomer, you might belong.
> There's plenty more to do (and to be said) to make that true, but I
> think this redesign is a great step in that direction.
>  - Chris
> PS: As for the "it's not professional enough", most companies follow
>   where developers want to go these days anyway, and those who are so
>   entrenched in professionalism are probably "enterprise software"
>   shops.  Those companies are already so deeply entrenched in Java or
>   .NET that I wouldn't worry about them at this point. :)

Thank you for these wonderful words. :-)  A big +1 from me as well, for
Luis' design and your words.


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