[Catalog-sig] pre-PEP: transition to release-file hosting at pypi site

PJ Eby pje at telecommunity.com
Sun Mar 10 23:41:22 CET 2013

On Sun, Mar 10, 2013 at 5:16 PM, Donald Stufft <donald at stufft.io> wrote:
> If someones release process forces PyPI to have security, uptime, and privacy issues then I'm very sorry but their release process is going to need to change. It's not fun, it's a shitty situation, but trying to bend over backwards to enable their current release processes is like trying to bend over backwards to enable people to still walk into their banks vault and grab a stack of currency.

When people in group 1 express disapproval of people in group 2, this
creates a rallying effect among members of group 1, and a *negative*
counter-reaction in members of group 2.

This is effective if, and *only* if, the people in group 2 have less
power in the situation than the people in group 1.   For example, if
co-operation from the people in group 2 are not needed in order to
carry out the wishes of group 1.

However, in the situation under discussion, such co-operation is
required, which means an alternative motivational strategy is

That strategy involves giving persons in group 2 a better reason to
care than "because we in group 1 think you group 2 people are

And by better, I mean, a reason that *benefits group 2*, and more
specifically, each individual in group 2 who chooses to co-operate.

And ideally, you work also to lower the cost of that co-operation.

That's what *this* thread was originally about (lowering the cost of
co-operation), before these "burn the witch" sentiments started up
again.  So, why not just step aside and let the adults go back to
working on the actual problem?

Just kidding, of course.   ;-)  That's an example of me using the same
type of communication style, in the opposite direction: spewing
disapproval at something I don't like, instead of giving you a reason
that benefits *you*, to do what I want.  See how it feels, going the
other direction?  Did it motivate you to be helpful?  I'm guessing
not.  ;-)

Anyway, my point is this: people don't like it one bit when you tell
them what to do.

If you tell them, "you must do X", you get resistance.

But if you offer them a choice, "Are you going to do X or Y?", there's
much less resistance.

And if one choice is less convenient than the other, most will pick
the easier choice.

So, would you rather fight with developers to make them do it your
way, or have most of them do exactly what you want and most of the
rest get pretty close, but not have to fight with them about it?

Right now, the impression you and certain other people are giving me
is that it is more important that whatever action we take be seen as
censuring the practice of off-PyPI hosting, than that we actually fix
the problems!

And it's difficult to take such a position seriously, because the
post-hoc rationalization of harms is, well, unconvincing at best to a
neutral party.  When PyPI was first built, it didn't *have* hosting,
so there was nothing morally wrong about off-site hosting then.

And when hosting was first added, automated downloading didn't exist
yet, either.  So it still wasn't wrong.

And when I added automated downloading, I made the choice to encourage
people to collaborate by making it as easy as possible.  So offsite
hosting still wasn't wrong, in fact it was a documented alternative.

And that's been the case for, oh, 8 years now?

So what you're actually doing isn't crusading against evil-doers, it's
more like saying that every restaurant that isn't McDonalds should be
immediately remodeled, because you have just noticed the shocking
trend that hardly any of those restaurants will serve you food as

And that of course, the restaurant owners should undertake the
remodeling and procedure changes, retraining, retooling, etc. at
*their* expense, on *your* timeline.

Just so that *you*, who *chose to visit those restaurants in the first
place*, can get your food a bit more quickly.

Sure, I know that's not how *you* see it.

But surely you can see that's how the *restaurant owners* are going to see it.

And if you want them to co-operate, it's probably going to be in your
interest to focus your attention on their side of the equation, rather
than on yours.  You already agree with your point of view.  They

I realize that can be difficult to do when you have strong feelings
about a subject.  For example, as I write this I keep backing up and
deleting all sorts of unhelpful things I find myself wanting to say.

And I'm doing that because I'm consciously reminding myself that
*getting to a solution* is more important to me than *making you feel
bad* for being "wrong on the internet".

What's more important to you?  The *actual* state of PyPI, or the
state of who is to be considered right or wrong?

If it's the former, you would probably find it useful to your goals,
to please refrain from calling me and that other 10% of PyPI thieves.
Or really any other names whatsoever, explicitly OR implicitly.


More information about the Catalog-SIG mailing list