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

From: Alex Sassmannshausen
Subject: Re: The Guile community we could have (or: solving Worse is More Accessible)
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 2015 11:04:40 +0200

+1 for your thoughts too Chris!


Taylan Ulrich Bayırlı/Kammer writes:

> 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.
> Taylan

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