Err-hmm. I think I MAAAAAAAAY have been a bit strong there. Especially
after looking up the word 'sycophant' (if your reading this Mr Publicity
Officer, consider yourself sacked). Now in a typical last-minute
politician's attempt to recover and prevent the loss of _ALL_ his votes,
I might try re-stating the above using the age-old technique of "tact".
1. There are a lot of students around who are genuinely
interested in programming.
2. You would expect a Programmers' Society to be ideal for
them, and be active participants.
3. This has not really happened so far in ProgSoc. Why?
Because so far it appears ProgSoc management have only been
interested in making money through TFM. They don't even
have a good idea on what to use the money for. Other
ProgSoc activities have been limited to things like
sponsoring teams for National programming competitions - a
worthy cause indeed, but the way used for the choosing of
the team(s) appears at first glance suspect.
4. Where does that leave the common programming enthusiast?
They've most likely given up with any ideas of programs they
had and have resorted to mass FTPing, IRC, USEnet, MUD or
some other net.distraction. Damn shame really.
5. What can be done about it? Well, guidance and encouragement
in things programmatic for starters. People don't learn new
things unless 1) they know about it, and 2) it's immediately
useful to them. Even if this is the case, they may not know
how to go about learning it. ProgSoc can put its "great
minds" to use by:
* Disseminating information about useful tools etc. to
other members, both new things and old. How about
short articles in the Society newsletter briefly
explaining them with references to more detailed
information on the net? Short seminars/demos
showing how these tools are useful in practice?
Advice for members working on their own personal
* _Tricking_ members into learning new things by
convincing them it's FUN. Here's an example: WWW.
WWW is a great information service, and we should
make as much use of it as we can. But to generate
WWW nodes, a person must learn TeX or HTML. A lot
of us don't know either, but would like to learn if
given the chance. I've noticed that one or two of
our esteemed members have their own set of pages on
WWW describing themselves, their timetables. etc.
I've also seen this practice in other universities.
Why not let any ProgSoc member do the same? We'll
prolly need to make ftoomsh a WWW server, and
produce a tutorial on how to go about it (or make
one available). We could even have a competition
for who can make the best home page!!! It's that
simple, and I'm sure members will get a lot out of
I'm sure there are other things we could do if we put our heads
together, but that's good for starters. I'll forego bagging previous
ProgSoc executives this time (sorry about that guys), but I will say
that this issue of wider member participation doesn't seem to be in
their hearts. It is in mine. IMHO members should have the opportunity
to get more than FTM for their $10 membership fee. If not, then we
should call ourselves a publisher, not a Society.
Thanks for listening.
PS. Thanks to sbug for pointing out that what's good for the Right
Honorable Prime Minister is not necessarily good for me. Seems
like sbug can be useful after all.
-- Dennis Clark | Email: email@example.com School of Computing Sciences | University of Technology, Sydney | Phone: +61 2 817 2310