Discussion:
New Python.org website?
Magnus Lycka
2006-01-19 11:05:36 UTC
Permalink
Steve Holden wrote:
> The trepidation was accounted for solely by a concern that Python would
> become involved in any kind of religious controversy, or that someone of
> extreme views might claim that Python was associated with, or against, a
> particular religious belief.

I'm sure there are a number of places where people without extreme views
react strongly to christian symbols--whether the reasons for this are
well founded or not.

ASEA, the A-part of the ABB group, stopped using their old logo in 1933.
They realized that what used to be a symbol for electrical motors in
schematic diagrams had become associated with something entirely
different. In 1933 the general opinion on nazis weren't nearly as
negative as it is now, but whatever you thought about politics, ASEA's
old logo no longer gave the right associations to people. On the other
hand, people on Bali don't seem to worry a bit about the swastikas on
their shrines and temples. Different context.

We can obviously argue on how much we should worry about the assocations
people in various corners of thge world get, whatever we intended. In
Sweden, the python snake has for some reason become associated with bad
smells. (I think it was Pippi Longstocking who used an expresion that
got stuck in the souls of the Swedes--it's all Astrid Lindgren's fault.)
I don't expect Guido to rename Python for that reason (Monty would feel
fairly neutral in Sweden), but it sometimes seem to be a disadvantage.
I think some people I've tried to convince would have been more
impressed if Python had been called XYZ or whatever...

Here at work, our conference rooms are named after old norse gods, and
the new room that was named Vile, was rapidly renamed Vili, when people
thought about the meaning of "vile" in English.

Actually, considering the status snakes have in christian tradition, I
guess you could claim that the snakes neutralize the cross!

Personally, I think it looks more like plus sign than like a cross.

> Quite apart from the fact that language
> choice should not be a religious issue (:-), you are correct in saying
> that we must be mindful of sensitivities; as I mentioned, the outline of
> the logo hasn't been raised in the year since it was first mooted. I
> hope this doesn't mean we need *two* Python logos!

It's probably possible to make a Python logo that doesn't look
like any religious symbol. I think the plus sign shaped logo
had some advantages though. It's not very pretty, but it's simple
and a plus is something positive, something that adds value...
Obaid R.
2006-01-22 07:55:52 UTC
Permalink
Terry Hancock wrote:
> On 18 Jan 2006 18:05:18 -0800
> "Obaid R." <yhdanid at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > I hope it is not counted against me that I am the first
> > one to point out that the logo is shaped like a cross.
> [...]
>
> Hey, looks more like a Yin-Yang symbol to me. ;-)


True. But I hope you are not arguing that since it looks to you like a
Yin-Yang that it makes it therefore not look like a cross. For even
Steve did say that there is no point arguing against what appears like
a matter of fact.

>
> > And why ask with any trepidation, Steve? People of
> > different backgrounds have dissimilar sensitivities. I
> > hope you agree that it would be unfair to blame people for
> > such deeply personal affairs. If trepidation on the part
> > of even the Red Cross was enough to cancel such
> > sensitivities, we would not have had a Red Crescent or a
> > cooperation between them. If not proving one's
> > subscription to some set of beliefs, such symbols at least
> > disprove the same for others.
>
> No, I'm sorry, intolerance is bad, no matter who practices
> it. And what may be forgiveable on a battlefield is not
> forgiveable in my workplace. I can understand that there
> were specific circumstances leading to the Red Cross/Red
> Crescent schism, and that it had to do with long standing
> religious intolerance on both sides. It doesn't make it an
> example to follow.
>


It is apparent that you know only part of the story. Kindly allow me to
comment here. Contrary to what you might have heard there was never
organized religious intolerance of Christianity by the Muslim side. To
give just one easy to follow fact of history, consider this: to this
day there are Arabic and Aramaic speaking Christians of Catholic,
Orthodox, and Coptic origins living in the Middle East. Some say about
twenty million or so. The Muslims who lived in modern day Spain, on the
other hand, were either wiped out or forcibly made to convert to
Christianity. And their numbers were in the hundreds of thousands if
not millions. And this is just one example.


> But sheesh, if I objected to every picture of the moon I
> see (or pictures that vaguely resemble a moon), I would be
> in a very sad state. Come to think of it, I have a crescent
> as a background on my company website (it's Neptune, not
> Luna, but it certainly resembles a crescent moon more than
> that Python thing resembles a cross). Nevertheless, I am not
> Muslim.
>


But you see Terry, the point is not that it is just a picture. And
let's not forget that as far as we know the moon has always been a
natural part of all human life on this earth before and after Islam,
and even for those who never heard of Islam. And so the moon is not a
Muslim monopoly.

If the crescent was dropped altogether as an identifying symbol no
Muslim will lose sleep over it. Do you know why? Because it is not an
object of worship, Terry.

Here is Almighty God's command to us concerning the sun and moon:

"Among His Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon.
Do not prostrate to the sun and the moon, but prostrate to Allah, Who
created them, if it is Him ye wish to serve." (Translation, Glorious
Qur'an, 41: 37)


The crescent found its way on top of domes on Mosques only to point to
the direction of the Qibla in Mecca, where all Muslims face to pray.
When a Mosque is built the crescent on the dome is made to face
parallel to the direction of Qibla. The early Muslims could have chosen
any other symbol to point to the Qibla, but they choose the crescent
only to be different, and hence to be free from the consequences that
other symbols might bring. After all some of these symbols are more or
less worshiped. And here I am thinking of the cross.

I feel I must stress again that there is no intolerance here, brother.
It is hard to deny the fact that many people do kiss the cross, kneel
before the cross, and pray beneath the crucifix, is it not? If that is
not worship then what is? A "Muslim" who does that to the crescent is
no Muslim. Period. For a Muslim kneels to no one and worships no one
but Almighty God.

And just to point to you the significance of this in case you don't
know, the greatest sin in Islam is the worshiping of others (or things)
besides Almighty God, who has no equals.

"Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He
forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with
Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed." (Translation, Glorious
Qur'an, 4: 48)


And so to summarize: even if I invent a product and place a crescent on
it, you are (as a non-Muslim) not under any obligation or threat of
confusing your support for your faith (whatever it may be), because the
moon is not a Muslim object of worship nor is it a Muslim monopoly. You
forcing the cross on a product that Muslims might use, on the other
hand, puts them in a difficult position. After all the cross seems like
an object of worship and it seems the indispensable source of identity
for Christianity.


> > I do realize that I have no say in the decisions affecting
> > Python's current and future plans. But it makes sense to
> > think that like any other marketed product, Python must
> > take into consideration the nature of its target audience.
> > And if it is to appeal to international users, then points
> > of deep contention are better avoided. Don't you agree? I
> > am glad the shape has no significance and I thank you for
> > patience.
>
> In America, we call this attitude "politcal correctness",
> and it's a dead end street, my friend.
>
> You do realize that the visual "namespace" for highly
> symmetric symbols that have no religious significance to
> anyone anywhere is EXTREMELY crowded, right?
>
> Especially if you are willing to stretch a picture of two
> intertwined snakes into a "Christian" cross (Just to savor
> the full irony here, let's remember that snakes are
> traditionally a symbol of either Paganism or Voodoo).

> The "Red Cross/Red Crescent" thing is a sad reality, IMHO. A
> relief organization originally based in Europe uses a flag
> which is the inverse of the Swiss flag, because the Swiss
> have been (for many, many years) neutral, and that flag
> happens to sport a cross, because, (guess what?) Switzerland
> was traditionally a Christian country. Then someone who is
> apparently incredibly intolerant of other people's religious
> symbols actually goes and *TAKES OFFENSE* at this symbol of
> neutrality, so that they have to go and create an alternate
> one just to pander to that intolerance.
>
> There is no "Red Yin Yang", "Red Eightfold Path", "Red Star
> of David" or "Red Serpent and Rainbow" to my knowledge, and
> it would be incredibly stupid for there to be any such.
> Apparently, the state of religious tolerance is better in
> the countries where those symbols hold sway.
>
> At worst, the cross might be a reference to "The Spanish
> Inquisition", which anyone who knows anything about Python
> should know is topical. The language is European in
> origin, so the use of symbol which has become broadly a
> European symbol (secularly -- look at the flags of Europe,
> as well as religiously).
>
> And besides, we all know it's impossible to avoid "religious
> wars" when it comes to computer languages.
>
> In reality, though, it is accidental, and very slight
> resemblance. If you can somehow manage to take offense at
> that, then please go get some counseling.
>
> Cheers,
> Terry
>
> --
> Terry Hancock (hancock at AnansiSpaceworks.com)
> Anansi Spaceworks http://www.AnansiSpaceworks.com



Please do no let my professed background lead you to false assumptions.
I do realize what "political correctness" in America is. I am not sure
I agree though that it is a dead end street. It may be for those who
think that marketing or even political "spin" contribute nothing to the
branding, and selling, and hence adoption of products and ideas. Try
telling that to those who were "convinced" of the need to go to war.
Nevertheless, the dead end theory is not in keeping with what the
literature and experts in Business, political science, and Marketing
propagate.

The point they make is more or less this: it does not matter what you
(the marketer) thinks of people's sensitivities. Your views (as a
marketer) on that matter do not count; it is the views of the target
audience and their sensitivities that do. That, of course, assumes one
wishes to push for the highest adoption rates of a given product by a
target audience given a specified budget and time frame.

And not all logos are offensive to all people or most people. There is
a dead end only if we make one. There are many great logos out there:
Sony's, IBM's, Microsoft's, Linux's, Apple's, Google's, etc. And almost
all come for a Christian background all the same. The crowded
name-space your speak of notwithstanding.

To conclude, decision makers can call others names, suggest therapy for
them all they wish, and even claim that a cross is a circle and all
shapes should mean the same thing to all people all they please. But
although easy to do, that, I put it to you, is a sure recipe for
failure for the selling of any product or idea.

And while I agree that choosing a good logo is difficult, it should not
be impossible. Others have done a fine job even when they come from
similar backgrounds as the one you claim Python came from. Now refusing
to identify people's feelings to try to avoid hurting them, even when
brought forward to one's attention in good faith, and even going to the
point of ridiculing such concerns will do nothing to hurt these people,
Terry. Customers are always right. And they will look elsewhere.


Peace
Tony Meyer
2006-01-22 07:55:59 UTC
Permalink
>> But sheesh, if I objected to every picture of the moon I
>> see (or pictures that vaguely resemble a moon), I would be
>> in a very sad state.
>
> But you see Terry, the point is not that it is just a picture. And
> let's not forget that as far as we know the moon has always been a
> natural part of all human life on this earth before and after Islam,
> and even for those who never heard of Islam. And so the moon is not a
> Muslim monopoly.

Perhaps you're not aware of this, but the 'plus' shape existed before
Christianity, too.

=Tony.Meyer
Steve Holden
2006-01-22 11:26:36 UTC
Permalink
Obaid R. wrote:
> Terry Hancock wrote:
>
>>On 18 Jan 2006 18:05:18 -0800
>>"Obaid R." <yhdanid at yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>>I hope it is not counted against me that I am the first
>>>one to point out that the logo is shaped like a cross.
>>
>>[...]
>>
>>Hey, looks more like a Yin-Yang symbol to me. ;-)
>
>
>
> True. But I hope you are not arguing that since it looks to you like a
> Yin-Yang that it makes it therefore not look like a cross. For even
> Steve did say that there is no point arguing against what appears like
> a matter of fact.
>
>
>>>And why ask with any trepidation, Steve? People of
>>>different backgrounds have dissimilar sensitivities. I
>>>hope you agree that it would be unfair to blame people for
>>>such deeply personal affairs. If trepidation on the part
>>>of even the Red Cross was enough to cancel such
>>>sensitivities, we would not have had a Red Crescent or a
>>>cooperation between them. If not proving one's
>>>subscription to some set of beliefs, such symbols at least
>>>disprove the same for others.
>>
>>No, I'm sorry, intolerance is bad, no matter who practices
>>it. And what may be forgiveable on a battlefield is not
>>forgiveable in my workplace. I can understand that there
>>were specific circumstances leading to the Red Cross/Red
>>Crescent schism, and that it had to do with long standing
>>religious intolerance on both sides. It doesn't make it an
>>example to follow.
>>
> It is apparent that you know only part of the story. Kindly allow me to
> comment here.
[...]

Now, this is exactly the reason for the trepidation in my original reply.

Allow me to simply state, regardless of the content of the rest of this
reply, that such discussions are completely off-topic for this list.

I have no objections to people holding or voicing religious beliefs, nor
to discussions of history. It's simply that c.l.py is a very
high-bandwidth list, and every off-topic thread reduces its usefulness
for people seeking information about and assistance with Python.

Experience shows that this kind of exchange can expand and run on for
days, so I'd be very grateful if the participants would take this
discussion to private email or some other forum.

regards
Steve
--
Steve Holden +44 150 684 7255 +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC www.holdenweb.com
PyCon TX 2006 www.python.org/pycon/
skip
2006-01-19 14:58:43 UTC
Permalink
>> I'm assured that in print ads the only "content" anyone reads is in
>> picture captions, and you damn well better make sure your message is
>> conveyed there. Any other "content" only wastes space. I see no
>> reason to think that a web page should be designed using any other
>> assumption.

Roel> I don't agree. I read websites in search for information
Roel> (content), not to find advertisements. If a site I want to visit
Roel> looks too much like an advertisement, I handle it the same as I
Roel> handle any other advertisement: throw it away.

Sure, but that's not what JW said. He said that *when looking at ads* the
only bits of content people read are the captions of the pictures. He said
nothing about what people read when they are reading non-advertising
content.

Skip
Fernando Perez
2006-01-15 00:41:27 UTC
Permalink
Tim Chase wrote:

>> http://beta.python.org
>
> In both Mozilla-suite (1.7) and FireFox (1.5), the links on the
> left (the grey-backgrounded all-caps with the ">>" at the right)
> all intrude into the body text. They're all the same length:

Just as an FYI, I see the same problem under Linux, using Firefox 1.0.7 and
Konqueror 3.5. Galeon 2.0.0 renders it correctly.

I am using a 1920x1200 screen, so if there is any hard pixel-based design in
a website, I'm likely to see it garbled into a mess (though the regular
'old' python.org renders just fine on all the browsers I have installed).

Kudos to those doing the work, I just hope these problems are ironed out
before going live.

Cheers,

f
Tim Parkin
2006-01-15 22:19:37 UTC
Permalink
sjdevnull at yahoo.com wrote:
> JW wrote:
>
>>On Fri, 13 Jan 2006 11:00:05 -0600, Tim Chase wrote:
>>
>>
>>>http://tim.thechases.com/pythonbeta/pythonbeta.html
>>>
>>
>>Very strange. With FF 1.0.7, I can just get the buttons to violate the
>>next column if I "View>Page Style>Large Text", but I wouldn't have noticed
>>it unless Tim had pointed it out. Tim's gifs are much worse than what
>>I see. WIth ""View>Page Style>Basic Page Style", it looks really good.
>
>
> Mine looks like Tim's gifs, with "Basic Page Style".
>

Hi,

I've got an old copy of the html and tried to fix the general problem.
It's currently on another website

http://pyyaml.org/downloads/masterhtml/

Feedback appreciated (it's just the left hand nav width I'm concerned
about, all the other html and some styles are probably old). I've tried
this with 'min font size' adjustments and it doesn't seem to break. If I
don't get any bad feedback I'll roll the changes out.

Many thanks

Tim
Tim N. van der Leeuw
2006-01-18 10:43:24 UTC
Permalink
I need to supply a username/password before I can look at the SVN
repository in my webbrowser; I tried username/pwd 'anonymous' but that
don't work.

cheers,

--Tim
Rocco Moretti
2006-01-11 15:44:36 UTC
Permalink
Roy Smith wrote:
> Steve Holden <steve at holdenweb.com> wrote:
>
>>http://beta.python.org
>
> All I can say is, "Wow!". If nothing else, it will forever eliminate the
> idea that the web site doesn't look professional. It's almost *too* slick.

I agree with the "too slick" impression. The "learn why" pictures
particularly unnerve me. It looks like a marketing team with a focus
group got ahold of the website.

Great for reaching the PHB crowd. I'm not sure what J. Random Hacker
will think though.
Markus Wankus
2006-01-18 14:10:14 UTC
Permalink
Well I think the new site is definitely a step in the right direction.
The old site is definitely "utilitarian" and is quite functional, but
not "sexy". And I think the whole point is to (hopefully) have a good
first impression of the language and community by "impressing" (if you
will) new users with a cool website.

So, while I agree that the beta site does have a definite "nineties
corporate" feel to it, I think it is better than the old site and would
like to throw some kudos to whoever spent the time on it. I'm sure it
wasn't a small job.

At any rate, opinions will always differ. You are always going to get
the people who want a cool flash-based animated site with 3D stereo
surround sound, and the other end of the spectrum where you will be
flamed if you do anything more than hand-code the html, on Unix machines
only, using Vim or Emacs, ensuring it has a gray or neutral beige
background, *and* uses the default font giving that classic 1981
"university professor who refuses to use anything except Netscape
Navigator" feel.

I use Eclipse a lot in my day-job and there are debates like this all
the time whenever a change is made in the UI, but usually sanity (and
quite nice-looking software, BTW) are the result. FWIW - they have just
re-done the L&F of their website as well. I must admit I like it
(eclipse.org), but others do not - I'm sure we'll hear from them shortly
- ;-). To each his own.

I think it would definitely be cool to use a Python-based web app for
the site. Plone is alright, but has a definite Plone approach that can
be hard to shoe-horn your stuff into (although I think these guys have
done an *awesome* job on their site: http://www.schooltool.org/). Zope
is flexible but a beast to learn. And, well...there are just so many
others. ;o) I'm still looking, myself...

Markus.


Tim Parkin wrote:
> Leeuw van der, Tim wrote:
>
>> I think that in general, I don't like the fact that links to
>> high-profile users are featured so prominently. That row of pictures
>> there looks good to me 'as such' but linking there to 'success stories'
>> feels, dunno, perhaps a bit cheesy to me. (That might be just my dutch
>> upbringing)
>> I would certainly want to see such links somewhere on the front page,
>> just not so prominently.
>>
>>
> Possibly so... however in my experience, selling python to people is
> made a lot easier by being able to say 'look these guys are using it'.
> This may not help sell it to programmers, but as a businessman trying to
> sell my programming services, it's exceptionally important.
>
>>> btw do you have a problem with using n