On Dec 7, 2012, at 12:50 PM, Karen Coyle wrote:
> Code4lib appears to have no rules about who can and cannot form a group. Therefore, if there are some folks who want a group, they should create that group. If it's successful, it's successful. If not, it'll fade away like so many start-up groups.
> I'm astonished at the resistance to the formation of a group on the part of people who also insist that there are no rules about forming groups. I don't recall that any other proposal to set up a group has met this kind of resistance. In fact, we were recently reminded that if you want something done in c4l you should just do it. There is no need to ask permission. So, do it.
A point of information:
Ten years ago a few of us who were already on web4lib and perl4lib and xml4lib mailing lists were talking about python more so we discussed whether we should start a python4lib list. It seemed silly because a lot of us were already on all the other separate lists, and somebody suggested just naming a new thing "code4lib" because maybe more people would want to join it and might stop worrying about choosing between other lists and defining more oddly overlapping subsets and focus instead on talking about code more openly and expansively. This seems to have had the desired effect, modulo some areas we can improve upon.
A point of history:
Over the years several regional code4lib groups formed and some wanted to have their own lists. When such suggestions have been made on this list, those suggestions have often been resisted, because of the success we had originally collapsing (combining?) people who wanted to talk about code and libraries into one big list. Maybe some resistance to seeing a code4lib4women activity broken out is similar to that. I feel that resistance; maybe I'm not the only one.
Didn't Ecclesiastes say something about "a time to form mailing lists, a time to gather mailing list subscribers together"?
I'm all for people creating new social structures to move themselves forward doing it however they see fit. The internet is a big place, and there's room for more. In this case, though, I hope it will be an "and" operation, not an exclusive "or". I would be happy to hear that a new group formed and that it's going well. I would be disappointed if people in that group ended up moving away from this one big group. It happens, and I'd get over it, sure, but it'd still be disappointing. We gain something by gathering together like we have here. It's not exclusive, nor should it be. But code4lib has added so much to me and my work that I know how much I stand to lose if we do not also keep working to stick together, however difficult that can be sometimes.
Respectfully yours, -Dan