how (many) are we [was: Re: [PD] Segmented patch chords?]

B. Bogart ben at
Wed Mar 16 19:43:06 CET 2005

I know of a few women PD users but I've never met a female developer of
PD externals. Actually there is a place in Montreal called studioXX
( whose mandate is to increase the exposure of
female artists to technology. I heard they are about to start a
pure-data workshop there. (oh and look its own own MiS teaching it!)

I think the problem is the old problem of privilege as much as anything.
It's not a problem specific to women, but all "minorities". Actually I
was thinking that open-source should/could be a very interesting thing
in context of first peoples communities. I think communities like these
would be very ideologically connected to the open-source concept. (from
my white western "priviliged" perspective anyhow) Imagine if there was
an open source OS (and there may be) that was centered around the
ideology of a non-western community, a true fusion of spirituality and
creative computing.

Interaccess was involved in something called the "Container Project"
( that basically got funding to
plunk a shipping container / computer lab into rural areas, in our case
Jamaica, and taught workshops and so on there. Strangely there was
little exposure to open-source software. People learned how to do HTML
on old os9 macs and on windows98. I wonder if there is such a thing in
the western world for first peoples communities.

I think it is in all of our benefit that the diversity of contributers
to open-source (and PD & Linux in particular) increase and reflect the
diversity of our (global) community.

I've always felt a little strange about starting these things, since in
most cases those with the knowledge (white men) end up teaching the
"minorities" (maybe marginalized groups is a better term). I hope one
day a woman will teach PD at studioXX !

Sorry for the blabbing, the topic just captured my imagination.


PS: out of 1000 potential users, how many visual artists are there among
us? maybe 50?

Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
> Its good to see more women getting involved.  But it remains a sad fact
> that out 40+ Pd devs, almost all are white males.  I was just
> discussing this with my girlfriend ideas, it seems to be a pretty
> amorphic issue.  I read an interesting article about this problem
> regarding free software development in general.  It seems many women
> don't want to be openly female in such forums because it often leads to
> obnoxious and/or harassing emails.  So many women choose gender-neutral
> online identities to avoid this.  Then there was another interesting
> point about how free software development tends to be kind of a macho
> realm, with people trying to one-up each other.  Many women (and men as
> well) find this quite annoying.
> Just my two bits...
> .hc
> On Mar 14, 2005, at 12:23 PM, B. Bogart wrote:
>> The last PD class I taught at Interaccess (Toronto, Canada) was 50%
>> female. This class was the first in a series on pd, gem, audio,
>> electronics and microcontrollers.
>> On top of that of all the workshops I've taught there have always been
>> about 30% women and more.
>> I don't know how many of my students keep up with PD...
>> b.
>> Ian Smith-Heisters wrote:
>>> That's the thing. I have personally met one other person that uses PD.
>>> Otherwise, I know of you guys only via the list.
>>> Another interesting demographic question would be what are the
>>> national/gender makeups. Is there a single female that, say, has a
>>> developer's account on the CVS?
>>> There was a discussion on Ars Technica a while back about the
>>> prevalence
>>> of men in programming. Somewhere in there came up the fact that during
>>> the internet boom autism rates in Silicon Valley went up 200%. Autism
>>> effects men more than women for some reason that no one can figure  out.
>>> Also, the profile of asperger's syndrome (high-functioning autism) is
>>> the same profile of a geek: anti-social, amazing ability to focus on
>>> details no one else can see.
>>> Anyway. I count 2 Pd users and a bunch of emails that may be generated
>>> by bots.
>>> -Ian
>>> Frank Barknecht wrote:
>>>> Hallo,
>>>> Mathieu Bouchard hat gesagt: // Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
>>>>> My impression is that when I started lurking on the Pd list, which
>>>>> was in
>>>>> mid-2002, the Pd crowd was already many times bigger than the jMax
>>>>> crowd
>>>>> -- say twenty times, and possibly a lot more.
>>>> Which reminds of something related: How many Pd users do you all
>>>> think there are?
>>>> Ciao
> ________________________________________________________________________
> ____
> Man has survived hitherto because he was too ignorant to know how to
> realize his wishes.
> Now that he can realize them, he must either change them, or perish.
>                                              -William Carlos Williams
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