Posts Tagged With 'change'

Time Stand Still

Written by Barry Warsaw in meditations on Tue 21 November 2017. Tags: mailman, change,
I turn my back to the wind
To catch my breath,
Before I start off again

—Neil Peart, Time Stand Still

23 years ago, I met Guido, fell in love with Python, and took a turn that changed the course of my life and career. You can't ever know where your decisions will lead you, so you just have to set a course and trust the wind.

In the 1990s, as we moved the Python.Org infrastructure from the Netherlands to the US, we inherited the Majordomo list server that was running python-list@python.org. There were changes we wanted to make and features we wanted to add, but it was becoming increasingly clear that Majordomo had to be replaced. Besides being difficult to hack on, it was written in Perl, so of course that wouldn't do at all. Python was an upstart disrupting its space, and we needed a list server written in Python that was malleable enough for us to express our ideas.

It was about that time that our friend John Viega showed us a project he'd been working on. He'd wanted to connect a popular, local Charlottesville, Virginia band with their fans at UVA, and email lists were an important way to do that. Of course, no one wants to manage such lists manually, and if you're not happy with the existing options, what does any self-respecting developer do? You write yourself a new one! As for implementation language, was there really any other choice? History celebrates this momentous confluence of events: the band became the mega-rock powerhouse known as the Dave Matthews Band, and the mailing list software John wrote is what became GNU Mailman.

(Aside: I'll never forget the time my band the Cravin' Dogs played at TRAX, a Charlottesville music venue. The place …

Continue reading »


Make Music Great Again

Written by Barry Warsaw in music on Sat 21 January 2017. Tags: music, change,

I'm always going to remember January 20, 2017 as a beautiful day.

Those who know me, and know the significance of that date, will no doubt wonder if I've lost my mind. But let me explain why a day that could have been filled with crushing physical and psychic depression, instead is not only filled with light and love, but I think planted the seeds for what must inevitably come next.

I'm writing this in a sort of quantum superposition. I haven't read or heard any news since about 8pm last night. My wife and son are down at the Women's March in Washington DC and I've woken late, had breakfast, done my morning tai chi and meditation, and now I sit down to try to put some of my thoughts onto "paper".

You probably know what else happened on that date. And if so, the question is: why was last night so revitalizing, so positive? Because a trio of U-Liners played an enthusiastic set as one act in a night of three, filled with transcendent music and amazingly bright joyful people.

Call sheet

I'd thought the gig was going to be a night of protest against a new, unthinkable political reality, and the message of hate and fear that came along with it. But it wasn't a protest gig, it was a celebration.

The show was at Gypsy Sally's, a club with a great vibe down in Washington DC's Georgetown area, under the Whitehurst Freeway. I've played there several times with several different groups, including my main bands the Cravin' Dogs and the U-Liners. Some places (musical and otherwise), just have a Vibe. You can tell that magic happens there. The Barn at Keuka Lake where I've attended tai chi camp has that vibe. All the hours and hours of chi-filled …

Continue reading »