On Mon, 8 Oct 2018 at 13:08, Victor Stinner <vstinner@redhat.com> wrote:

I just finished to write the PEP 8015: "Organization of the Python
community". I had limited time to write it, so sorry if some parts
still look "raw". Full content below. HTML version:


Right now, the HTML page still returns me a 404 error. In the
meanwhile, you can read it at:


Summary with few quotes:

This PEP formalizes the current organization of the Python community and
proposes 3 main changes:

* Formalize the existing concept of "Python teams";
* Give more autonomy to Python teams;
* Replace the BDFL (Guido van Rossum) with a new "Python board" of 3
  members which has limited roles, mostly decide how a PEP is approved
  (or rejected or deferred).

"This PEP describes the organization of the whole Python community,
from Python users to the Python board. Describing all groups and all
roles in the same document helps to make the organization more

"The number of changes is mininized to get a smooth transition from the
old to the new organization."

Thanks to all friends who helped me to late reviews ;-)


PEP: 8015
Title: Organization of the Python community
Author: Victor Stinner
Status: Active
Type: Informational
Content-Type: text/x-rst
Created: 2018-10-04


This PEP formalizes the current organization of the Python community and
proposes 3 main changes:

* Formalize the existing concept of "Python teams";
* Give more autonomy to Python teams;
* Replace the BDFL (Guido van Rossum) with a new "Python board" of 3
  members which has limited roles, mostly decide how a PEP is approved
  (or rejected or deferred).

Note: the "BDFL-delegate" role is renamed to "PEP delegate".


This PEP describes the organization of the whole Python community, from
Python users to the Python board. Describing all groups and all roles in
the same document helps to make the organization more consistent.

The number of changes is mininized to get a smooth transition from the
old to the new organization.

One key design of the organization is to avoid decision bottlenecks.
Discussions and decisions are distributed into Python teams where
experts in each topic can be found. The expectation is smoother
discussions on PEPs: fewer people with better knowledge of the topic.

Previously, almost all decisions have been taken by the Benevolent
Dictator For Life (BDFL). The growing popularity of Python increased the
pressure on a single person. The proposed organization distributes
decisions and responsibilities to reduce the pressure and avoid wearing
them down.

To keep most of the decision power within the hands of the community,
the Python board has very limited roles. The idea is to reduce the risk
that a group of people or companies "takes over" the Python project
through just a couple individuals. The project must remain autonomous
and open to everybody.

The most sensitives PEPs are decided by democracy: in that case, a PEP
is only approved if the majority of core developer vote "+1" (see the
`PEP process`_ section below for the vote details).

Common Guidelines

* The Python community is open to everyone.
* Members must respect the `Python Community Code of Conduct
  <https://www.python.org/psf/codeofconduct/>`_ which ensures that
  discussions remain constructive and that everybody feels welcomed.
* Python is and will remain an autonomous project. It cannot be owned by
  a company.
* People with decisions power should reflect the diversity of its users
  and contributors.

Community Organization

Right now, there are different group of people involved in the Python
project. The more involved you are, the most decisions power you get. It
is important that the people acceding to the deepest group are the most
trusted ones.

This PEP formalizes the following groups:

* Python Users
* Python Contributors
* Python Teams Members
* Python Core Developers
* Python Board Members
* PSF Code of Conduct Workgroup

Python Users

This is the largest group: anyone who uses Python.

Python Contributors

Once a Python user sends an email to a Python mailing list, comments the
Python bug tracker, proposes or reviews a Python change, they becomes a
Python contributor.

Python Teams

Python became too big to work as an unique team anymore, people
naturally have grouped themself as teams to work more closely on

"themself" -> "themselves"
specific topics, sometimes called "Special Interest Group" (SIG).

Team members are Python contributors and Python core developers. The
team is responsible to select who can join the team and how.

How is this bootstrapped? Do I get to declare myself the "import team" and then I get to choose who joins after that?

Team members can get the bug triage permission on the team bug tracker
component. Working in a team is a nice way to learn more to maybe later
become a core developer.

A team might become allowed to decide on their own PEPs, but only the
board can allow that (and the board has the power to revoke it as well).
Such case is exceptional, currently a single team has such permission:
the Packaging team.

See `Annex: Examples of Python Teams`_.

Python Core Developers

One restricted definition of a core developer is the ability to merge a
change (anywhere in the code) and have the bug triage permission
(on all bug tracker components).

Core developers are developers who proved to have the required skills to
decide if a change can be approved or must be rejected. Python has a
long history, big constraints on backward compatibility, high quality
standards (ex: changes require new tests). For these reasons, becoming
a core can take several months.

Becoming a core developer means more responbilities. For example, if a

" responbilities" -> "responsibilities"
developer approves a change, they become indirectly responsible for
regressions and for the maintenance of that modified code.

Core developers are also expected to be exemplary when it comes to the
Code of Conduct. They are encouraged to mentor contributors.

Promote a contributor as core developer

Once an existing core developer considers that a contributor is ready to
join the core group, to become a core developer, that core developer
asks the contributor if they would like to become a core developer. If
the contributor is interested in such new responsibilities, a vote is

The vote is public and organized on the python-committers mailing list
for 1 month. Usually the core developer who proposes the promotion has
to describe the work and skills of the candidate in the email opening
the vote.

A contributor is only promoted if the number of +1 exceed the number of
-1. Other votes (null, +0 and -0) are ignored.

If the candidate is promoted, usually they get a mentor for 1 month to
help them to handle new responsibilities. If the candidate is not
promoted, a new vote can be organized later, when the candidate gets the
missing skills, for example 6 months later.

Python Board

The Python board is made of the most trusted developers since it has the
most decisions power. The roles of this group are strictly limited to
ensure that Python keeps its autonomy and remains open.

Board members are elected for 3 years, a third of it is refreshed every
year. This way, a member will stay for one full Python release but the
board composition will be updated frequently.

Election of board members

The Python board is composed of 3 people. They are elected for three
years, and each year a member is replaced. A board member can be
candidate for the seat they is leaving. Candidates have 2 weeks to
apply, and a vote is open for 1 month. The vote uses the `Condorcet
method <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condorcet_method>`_.  Votes are
private during the vote, but become public when the vote completes.

Board members must be Python core developers.  It is important that the
members of the board reflect the diversity of Python' users and
contributors. A small step to ensure that is to enforce that two members
cannot work for the same company (or subsidiaries of the same company).
In addition, to encourage more people to get involved, a core developer
can only be a board member twice (up to 6 years total).

Is the two-term limit forever, or just consecutively?

To bootstrap the process, 3 members will be elected at the board
creation. The first members will stay for 1, 2 or 3 years (3 years for
the candidate with most votes, 1 year for the candidate with least

If a board member steps down, a new vote is organized to replaced them.
If the situation of a board member changes in a way that no longer
satify the board constraint (eg: they move to the same company as
another board members), they have to resign.

Board roles

Board roles:

* Decide how a PEP is approved (or rejected or deferred).
* Grant or revoke permissions to a Python team. For example, allow
  a team to give the bug triage permission (on the team component) to a

To decide how a PEP is approved (or rejected or deferred), there are two

* The board elects a PEP delegate (previously known as "BDFL-delegate"):
  a core developer who will take the final decision for the specific
  PEP. The Python team of the PEP or the board select the PEP delegate.
* If the board decides that the PEP is too risky (like language
  changes), a vote is organized (see `PEP process`_ for details on the
  vote). The board decides when the vote is opened.

The board keeps the "vision" and consistency of Python. It also makes
sure that important features reach completion. Their ability to pick PEP
delegates is meant to help them to achieve that goal.

Special Case: Board Members And PEPs

A board member cannot be a PEP delegate.

A board member can offer a PEP, but cannot decide how their own PEP is

So do the two other board members then make the decision? Or is there some third person who will step in to make up the loss of a vote (e.g. the release manager if they happen to not already be a board member)?

PEP process

There are 2 main roles on PEPs:

* PEP Authors
* PEP Delegate

PEP Authors do their best to write high quality PEP.

The PEP delegate is responsible to help the authors to enhance their PEP
and is the one taking the final decision (accept, reject or defer the
PEP). They can also help to guide the discussion.

If no decision is taken, the authors can propose again the PEP later
(ex: one year later), if possible with new data to motive the change. A
PEP Delegate can also choose to mark a PEP as "Deferred" to not reject
the PEP and encourage to reopen the discussion later.

PEPs specific to a Python team are discussed on the team mailing list.
PEPs impacting all Python developers (like language changes) must be
discussed on the python-dev mailing list.

Vote on a PEP

When the board decides that a PEP needs a wider approval, a vote will be
open for 1 month to all core developers. Such vote will happen on the
mailing list where the PEP has been discussed. The PEP must have been
discussed for a reasonable amount of time before it is put to vote.

A PEP is only approved if the number of +1 exceed the number of -1.
Other votes (null, +0 and -0) are ignored.

Lack of decision

If a discussion fails to reach a consensus, if the board fail to choose
a PEP delegate for a PEP, if a PEP delegate fails to take a decision,
the obvious risk is that Python fails to evolve.

That's fine. Sometimes, doing nothing is the wisest choice.

PSF Code of Conduct Workgroup

The workgroup's purpose is to foster a diverse and inclusive Python
community by enforcing the PSF code of conduct, along with providing
guidance and recommendations to the Python community on codes of
conduct, that supports the PSF mission of “ongoing development of
Python-related technology and educational resources”.

We work toward this common goal in three ways:

* Review, revise, and advise on policies relating to the PSF code of
  conducts and other communities that the PSF supports. This includes
  any #python chat community & python.org email list under PSF
* Create a standard set of codes of conduct and supporting documents for
  multiple channels of interaction such as, but not limited to,
  conferences, mailing lists, slack/IRC, code repositories, and more.
* Develop training materials and other processes to support Python
  community organizers in implementing and enforcing the code of

The organization of this workgroup is defined by the
`ConductWG Charter <https://wiki.python.org/psf/ConductWG/Charter>`_.

Is this here to mean the expectation that the conduct WG will manage CoC issues for the core development team?


Annex: Examples of Python Teams

Below are examples of some Python teams (the list will not be kept up to
date in this PEP).

Packaging team

The packaging team runs its own PEP category and can approve (or reject)
their own PEPs.

* Website: `packaging.python.org <https://packaging.python.org/>`_
* Mailing list: `distutils-sig
* Bug tracker component: ``Distutils``
* Example of members: Paul Moore, Nick Coghlan, Donald Stuff
* Stdlib module: ``distutils``
* Current PEP delegate: Paul Moore

IDLE team

IDLE is a special case in the Python standard library: it's a whole
application, not just a module. For this reason, it has been decided
that the code will be the same in all Python stable branches (whereas
the stdlib diverges in newer stable branches).

* Bug tracker component: ``IDLE``
* Example of members: Terry Reedy, Cheryl Sabella, Serhiy Storchaka
* Stdlib module: ``idlelib``

Mentorship team

Becoming a core developer is long and slow process. Mentorship an an
efficient way to train contributors as future core developers and build
a trust relationship.

* Websites:

  * https://www.python.org/dev/core-mentorship/
  * https://devguide.python.org/

* Repository: https://github.com/python/devguide
* Mailing list: `core-mentorship
  <https://www.python.org/dev/core-mentorship/>`_ (private archives)
* Example of members: Guido van Rossum, Carol Willing, Victor Stinner

Note: The group is not responsible to promote core developers.

Documentation team

* Mailing list: `doc-sig
* Bug tracker component: ``Documentation``
* GitHub tag: ``type-doc``

The team also manages documentation translations.

See also the Mentorship team which maintains the "Devguide".

Security team

* Website: https://www.python.org/news/security/
* Mailing lists:

  * ``security@python.org`` (to report vulnerabilities)
  * `security-sig
    (public list)

* Stdlib modules: ``hashlib``, ``secrets`` and ``ssl``
* Example of members: Christian Heimes, Benjamin Peterson

The ``security@python.org`` mailing list is invite-only: only members of
the "Python Security Response Team" (PSRT) can read emails and reply;
whereas security-sig is public.

Note: This team rarely proposed PEPs.

Performance team

* Website: https://speed.python.org/
* Mailing list: `speed
* Repositories:

  * https://github.com/python/performance
  * https://github.com/tobami/codespeed

* Bug tracker type: ``Performance``
* GitHub label: ``type-performance``
* Stdlib module: ``cProfile``, ``profile``, ``pstats`` and ``timeit``
* Example of members: Victor Stinner, INADA Naoki, Serhiy Storchaka

Usually PEPs involving performance impact everybody and so are discussed
on the python-dev mailing list, rather than the speed mailing list.

Asynchronous programming team

* Website: https://docs.python.org/dev/library/asyncio.html
* Mailing list: `async-sig
* Bug tracker component: ``asyncio``
* GitHub label: ``expert-asyncio``
* Stdlib modules: ``asyncio`` and ``contextvars``
* Example of members: Andrew Sveltov, Yury Selivanov

PEP only modifying ``asyncio`` and ``contextvars`` can be discussed on
the async-sig mailing list, whereas changes impacting the Python
language must be discussed on python-dev.
python-committers mailing list
Code of Conduct: https://www.python.org/psf/codeofconduct/