I’ll be a little disappointed to not have anything in place by the sprints, as most of my planned work was to get my PEPs accepted, but it seems we have a fairly sizable split within the group between the ~3 proposals so far (NBDFL, Council, delay), so under the circumstances I think it’s most fair to let those in the third group have time to think through. (I haven’t been counting or keeping track of names, but it seems like different people are +1-ing this thread than were doing it on the others.)


Consider this a +0.





Top-posted from my Windows 10 phone


From: Nathaniel Smith
Sent: Wednesday, 18 July 2018 19:37
To: python-committers
Subject: [python-committers] Proposal: an explicit,time-limited moratorium on finalizing any governance decisions


[tl;dr: We need some ground rules, because uncertainty makes it hard

to think straight. But if we get sucked into a complicated meta-debate

about the ground rules then that defeats the purpose. My proposal for

a Minimum Viable Ground Rule: let's all agree not to finalize any

governance decisions before October 1.]


We're in a constitutional crisis, and that's scary. There's no map and

none of us know what to expect. It feels like anything could happen.

You look at the mailing list and see people making big proposals -- is

one of them going to suddenly be adopted? If I look away for a few

days, will I come back and find out that something's been decided?

What are we even talking about? Do I need to jump into that thread

RIGHT NOW? It's scary.


People don't do their best work when scared. When we're scared it's

harder to listen and build up common ground with others -- but that's

exactly what we'll need to do to get through this. And also, like...

being scared sucks. I would prefer to be less scared.


So: can we do anything to make this less scary?


One thing that would help is if we had some ground-rules for how the

decision itself will be made. Knowing what to expect makes things less

scary. There's another thread going on right now trying to do that

(subject "Proposal on how to vote"). But... if you look at that

thread, it turns out deciding on how to vote is itself an important

decision with lots of subtle issues, where we probably want to give

people time to think, brainstorm, critique. Heck, in the end we might

decide a vote isn't even the best approach. So I'm not saying we

shouldn't be having that discussion, we definitely should, but... it's

also giving me a new source of anxiety: that we'll all be so eager to

get *some* certainty here that we'll end up trying to force a decision

prematurely. Kind of a catch-22: the decision about how to make

complex decisions is itself a complex decision, which is what we don't

know how to do yet.


Is there some way to avoid this loop? Can we come up with some ground

rules simple enough that we can agree on them without a big debate?

Well, there's one thing I am pretty sure of: this is a big decision,

there's a lot to think about and talk about, and that we won't regret

taking some time some time to do that. And besides, trying to force it

to happen faster will make people more scared and dig in their heels.


So here's my proposal for an initial, Minimum Viable Ground Rule: we

should set a date and promise that no actual decisions will be

finalized before that. Until then we are just talking and

brainstorming and gradually converging on points of consensus. (And to

be clear, the point of this is to give us breathing room, not set a

deadline -- we shouldn't dawdle, but if we get there and it turns out

we need more time, then that's OK.)


What would be a good date? The core sprint is coming up Sept. 10-14,

and this seems to be a likely topic of conversation there. And then

after the sprint, those who aren't present will need time to catch up

with any discussions that happened at the sprint. So to make things

concrete, I propose: no governance decisions finalized before October

1, 2018.


Probably this is what will end up happening anyway, but if we make it

explicit in advance and tell everyone, then at least we'll all know

that it's OK to stop refreshing our email constantly and redirect that

energy in more useful directions.


What do you all think?





Nathaniel J. Smith -- https://vorpus.org


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