I finally made it to a SEAPIG meeting last night. The SEAPIG crew and Google hosted a meeting off their normal schedule, roughly entitled “How python is being used at Google”. Man, talk about a turnout!

Talking with some of the regulars there last night, the usual crowd is anywhere between 5 and 8. Last night we easily hit 45 or 50. Google hosted us in their Fremont offices, and even provided food. Whoa – that’s going to set a whole new bar for attracting people to programming user’s groups. Food? They also sensibly had a post-meeting across the street at the Red Door – a fine drinking establishment (they have Guinness on tap).

So aside from finally catching up with folks who’s names I’ve been watching while lurking on the mailing list, I picked up a couple of tidbits. First is that “pydev” – an eclipse plugin for developing python – doesn’t suck. I’m getting my Eclipse environment updated this afternoon to give it a shot. I’ve used Stani’s python editor most commonly. Not unhappy with it, but I’m curious how PyDev has actually come along.

The second was an interesting late-night observation about how to get help on a open-source project’s mailing list. Seems like one of the critical aspects to getting help is to just get a dialogue going.  And we came to a consensus (to be tried on some poor unsuspecting mailing list somewhere) that if you asked too complex a question, folks who might have opened a dialog to start helping a newbie would be scared off. Fear of looking dumb, just not knowing the answer, whatever. I know I’ve seen some complex questions and just passed over them, where I’ve gone out of my way to answer a few of the more “newbie” questions that were really simple. The trick of it is, dialog seems to encourage more dialog. You suddenly seem to get a higher chance of more people getting involved in the conversation. That leads to more ideas – and just getting more people involved is often enough to help solve the problem. It’ll be interesting to see how that pans out.

Published by heckj

Developer, author, and life-long student. Writes online at

2 thoughts on “SEAPIG

  1. Regarding dialogue encouraging more dialogue, one of my friends has suggested that the easiest way to guarantee that a difficult question gets answered is to reply with an answer that’s obviously wrong. Someone will feel compelled to write in with the right answer.

    Obviously this only works if you aren’t the one who asked the question in the first place, but it definitely does work….


  2. Hey, what’s up? I’m Ji, I was standing in the back by the meeting room door. Just stumbled into your blog while searching for slides from the presentation.

    I use vim for all programming, however I like the intellisense features in the python IDEs.


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