To paraphrase the Bible: "For where two or three gather, there is politics with them."
Changing the commit message, as it has been merged, is now practically hard and highly unusual. If you use GitHub search, you can find other examples of commit messages that would be rewritten if that was doable without cost: https://github.com/python/cpython/search?q=fuck&type=Commits: such commits would not be merged now I imagine *if it was caught before merging* (of course, the repo was not even in git at the time, so there were no pull requests et cetera at the time...) but would have to stay in if already merged. In this case, as is common I think for most software developers or anyone writing any text: I think the main reason all messages are different: commit, email and PR is because they were written at different times and the writer found better ways of distilling their thought process and also got external input through the email thread. In particular, I think it is common for commit messages to be different from the PR messages (precisely because of this!) and as many has said, and as we should remember, this commit (the actual change) was brought by a volunteer in their own time, and had broad agreement (though not unanimous) on the mailing list, yet now we have ended up having a massive mail thread discussing their particular contribution and I am sure they feel obliged to read all these messages. So let's compare the three:
*Commit* "Instead of requiring that comments be written in Strunk & White Standard English, require instead that English-language comments be clear and easily understandable by other English speakers. This accomplishes the same goal without upholding relics of white supremacy. Many native English speakers do not use Standard English as their native dialect, so requiring conformation to Standard English centers whiteness in an inappropriate and unnecessary way, and can alienate and put up barriers for people of color and those whose native dialect of English is not Standard English. This change is a simple way to correct that while maintaining the original intent of the requirement."
*Email* "[...] Instead of requiring that comments be written in Strunk & White Standard English, PEP-8 should require instead that English-language comments be clear and easily understandable by other English speakers. This accomplishes the same goal without alienating or putting up barriers for people (especially people of color) whose native dialect of English is not Standard English. This change is a simple way to correct that while maintaining the original intent of the requirement."
*Pull Request* "Instead of requiring that comments be written in Strunk & White Standard English, require instead that English-language comments be clear and easily understandable by other English speakers. This accomplishes the same goal without alienating or putting up barriers for people (especially people of color) whose native dialect of English is not Standard English. This change is a simple way to correct that while maintaining the original intent of the requirement. This change also makes the requirement more clear to people who are not familiar with Strunk & White, since for programmers, the main relevant aspect of that standard is "be clear and concise;" simply saying that instead of referencing Strunk & White communicates this more effectively."
Clearly, the last sentence (starting "This change also") was added after the email thread, *however* note the commit (message) was written before that discussion took place or the PR was made. I think all three texts (barring the addition in the third one) have the same spirit because - "a person of color" is anybody who is not Caucasian/white according to the definition as I understand it and so does Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person_of_color - "white supremacy" has the academic definition similar to/being "white privilege": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_supremacy and that's how I read it here, not an ideology, especially given the context and so I think working against alienation of "persons of colors" is aligned/has a similar meaning to with reducing [the relics of] "white privilege" [in not being alienated in terms of language expected in Python comments] and are similarly "political" (I would say "inclusive" and "uncontroversial", but to each their own). I think if you think any one of these 3 is "political", they all are, so to fall over the commit message in particular (because it says "white supremacy"?) seems inconsistent to me.
All 3 texts to me are not political, or at least not political beyond what has already been decided: inclusivity in language is explicit in the CoC: "Using welcoming and inclusive language. We're accepting of all who wish to take part in our activities, fostering an environment where anyone can participate and everyone can make a difference." You might disagree whether that should be in the Code of Conduct or whether it was correctly applied here, however there is no disagreeing that the contributor was upfront and honest about the reason why they wanted this change.
To call this a "betrayal" as Ethan did seems to imply that the contributor hid their reasoning, but they never did. In Ethan's example, it is more like the leader of the small band asked for some water for his men because they are thirsty and then the leader has a drink as well from the water given: technically he is not one of "his men", but it does not change the nature of the request nor would it change the response to the request.
On Tue, 30 Jun 2020 at 18:57, Rhodri James firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
On 30/06/2020 16:54, Piper Thunstrom wrote:
I do not. We must, as a community, examine our prejudices and aim to be welcoming or we're going to see a split in Python much worse than Py2 -> Py3.
Curiously I am yet to see any acknowledgement that the change itself may be detrimental to neuro-atypical people, of whom there are a fair number in the wider Python community (I've taught a number of them Python, so I know that to be true). I didn't consider the point before Steven and Stephen raised it -- like most people, I don't automatically scan for prejudices except the ones I know I am prone to -- but it does fit with what I know of the Aspergers kids I've met.
The fundamental issue is this: your politics are not my politics. Keara's politics are not my politics. I don't know either of you well enough, but I strongly suspect that your politics and Keara's politics are not the same either. That's a perfectly natural state of affairs for human beings.
The commit message going with the (mild) relaxation of writing standards is a political statement. I hope there's no argument about that. That sets a precedent. Unless the Steering Committee pronounce otherwise (and I hope they do), it is now OK to publish political statements as part of a commit message, presuming they can be contorted to relevance somehow (and that's usually not hard). I guarantee you won't like some of those message, _but the precedent is being set._ Just because a statement is controversial doesn't mean it can't be accepted.
Ultimately, putting political statements in non-political places is divisive. This whole exercise is a demonstration of that divisiveness. That's why I don't think they should be allowed in commit messages, even when I agree with them. And that's why I think the commit message in question should be amended ASAP.