Nick Coghlan email@example.com writes:
On 20 July 2015 at 22:34, Ben Finney firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Paul Moore email@example.com writes:
[…] my biggest fear when doing a commit (on any project) - what if, after all the worrying and consideration I put into doing this commit, people disagree with me (or worse still, I made a mistake)? Will I be able to justify what I decided?
That seems quite healthy to me. On a collaborative project with effects far beyond oneself, yes, any change should be able to be justified when challenged.
No, that's not how this works: if folks are thinking that being a Python user, or even a CPython core developer, means that we're entitled to micromanage core developers by demanding extensive explanations for any arbitrary commit we choose, they're thoroughly mistaken.
Definitely agreed, and I'm not implying otherwise.
There is a distinction to be drawn:
If challenged to do so, could one (the contributor) present a compelling justification for the change?
This is what I claim Paul Moore's doubt (fear?) is indicative of. I maintain that this doubt is quite healthy: it helps the contributor to pause, reflect, seek assistance in making decisions, and thereby also tends to exclude poorly-justified changes which would otherwise be committed.
If a participant on this forum feels entitled to challenge a change, must the contributor present an arbitrary quantity of justification of each decision when challenged?
This seems to be what many contributors object to, but I don't assert this at all. I never meant to imply that mere participation here entitles a person to demand justification for changes.
Folks are granted core committer privileges because we trust their instincts. We trust them to know when they're acting within the limits of their own expertise and experience, and we trust them to know when it would be beneficial to seek feedback from a wider audience before making up their minds.
That's all good, and it's quite compatible with the healthy doubt I described above.
But the authority and responsibility to make changes, to decide what constitutes a reasonable risk, to decide which updates are appropriate to send out to tens of millions of Python users worldwide remains ours.
No objection from me.
I am not asking that contributors be at the mercy of limitless demands for justification from arbitrary participants in this forum.
I am asking that contributors should have compelling justification for any change they commit, if someone with sufficient authority were to ask for it.
That doesn't make contributors any more answerable to arbitrary participants here. It does make explicit that contributors, while trusted of course, are answerable to more than their instincts and what “feels right”: they are answerable also the community of core contributors as a condition of that trust. They are also effectively answerable to their own conscience about what justification that community may ask in future.
-- \ “We suffer primarily not from our vices or our weaknesses, but | `\ from our illusions.” —Daniel J. Boorstin, historian, 1914–2004 | _o__) | Ben Finney