[Python-il] Don't copy PyWeb-IL

Amit Aronovitch aronovitch at gmail.com
Fri Jan 22 19:26:19 IST 2010

On Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 1:29 PM, Arik Baratz
<list+python at arik.baratz.org<list%2Bpython at arik.baratz.org>
> wrote:

> 2010/1/20 Amit Aronovitch <aronovitch at gmail.com>
>> But I do not understand why do you insist on having PyWeb-IL send you
>> emails as well if you are subscribed to Python-IL anyways. Just go to "Edit
>> my membership" in the google-group and choose no-email (which should have
>> been the default IMO).
Note that the "many words" explanations here (and elsewhere) are related to
the logic of Google Groups and their default options. Not to explaining what
a person expects by subscribing to python-IL.

>  If you use regular email client (rather than google reader/google groups)
>> and want PyWeb messages to go to a different folder than python-il (I do
>> not, btw), messages are clearly tagged (subject:, to:, contents) so should
>> be no problem to setup the rule.
> It's very simple.
> Remember the zen of python? "import this" - I picked a few:
> Explicit is better than implicit
> Simple is better than complex
> There should be one-- and preferably only one --obvious way to do it
> If the implementation is hard to explain, it's a bad idea

I particularly like the "Although"s and "Unless"es of the Zen :-)

a relevant one: "Although practicality beats purity"
(I also like the "unless your'e Dutch" ;-) )

> What you did by subscribing one list to the other is made the explicit act
> of subscribing to a mailing list implicit (by subscribing to another). The
> fact that it takes you long paragraphs to explain what one should "simply
> do" shows complexity, which wasn't there in the first place. And, of course,
> there should be one OBVIOUS way to subscribe to a mailing list - to do it
> If you believe in the principles of Python, you have to consider what is
> the MOST SIMPLE solution that is easiest to understand and implement. That
> is to leave mailing lists to behave the way they are designed to do, the way
> one would EXPECT them to behave.
How one expects things to behave strongly depends on who that "one" is.
People with different expectations or different knowledge might have hard
time understanding (not to mention explaining) the other one's POV, so *any*
implementation could be considered "a bad idea".

The meaning (purpose) of the two lists can be understood as:
(1) Python-IL: all things python in Israel, (maybe better named
python-all-IL), vs PyWeb-IL: web related python stuff in Israel.
(2) Python-IL: all non-web-related python stuff in Israel (maybe better
named python-nonweb-IL) vs PyWeb-IL: as before.

If you think the lists are described by option (2), no doubt your reasoning
was right, but note that to think that you must know in advance that
Pyweb-IL exists, and even then this does not seem to be the most
straightforward interpretation.

If you think option (1) describes things best, then it makes sense that a
person who subscribes to Python-IL expects to get all python contents,
including web stuff. He *does not need* to subscribe to Pyweb as well (and
might not even know it exists). If he does subscribe to both, he might
expect some duplicate contents. This is the most simple and direct
expectation based on the interpretation of the group's name. Whether this is
implemented by forwarding the other list or somehow convincing the denizens
of Pyweb to cross-post is a matter of implementation.
Now, experienced net-denizens such as the posters in this thread typically
know about the dynamics of competing mailing lists, so they settle into a
practice of searching for all groups containing python and subscribing to
all in order to avoid missing contents. But in this case (given that they
also typically know about cross-posting) they should also expect duplicate

And now we come to the question of practicality. So far, my suspicion seems
correct - NOBODY seems to want to limit themselves to non-web-related python
stuff (though some wish to reserve the option for that in the future). Some
other people (I guess) subscribe to all kinds of web-related groups, but
don't care much about python in general. How do we provide the most
usefulness to people interpreting the purpose of the groups correctly and
least damage to those who do not?
Since it is harder to convince people (some of which might not be aware that
python-IL exists) to cross-post than do a mass forward, since I consider
loss of information worse than *expected* and easily removable duplication
of messages (I am still having a hard time understanding why some people
subscribed to both groups did not expect to get duplicate messages - see
above), I thought that the current arrangement is the most practical.

Now, all this is just trying to explain and to understand. I am not trying
to convince anyone this way or the other (in fact, my personal interest is
to unsubscribe python-IL from pyweb, so I'll get a little less spam in the
moderator queue), just trying to clear up misunderstandings.

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