[Distutils] Getting more momentum for pip

Marc Abramowitz msabramo at gmail.com
Thu Mar 5 17:38:48 CET 2015

This post is meant to start a discussion on how to make sure that important
PyPA projects like pip get enough eyes so that they can continually move
forward. It is absolutely NOT meant to be critical of folks who volunteer
their time to work on these projects, as I have the utmost respect for
folks who do this often thankless work. And since the word "thankless" just
popped into my head, let me say "thank you" right now to the folks who
contribute to PyPA.

I've noticed that when PRs are submitted to pip (by myself and by others),
they often languish for a while and then sometimes become unmergeable
because of conflicts.

This makes me think that the folks who review the PRs are overburdened
and/or the process needs a bit more structure (e.g.: each person thinks
someone else is going to review the PR and so no one does it).

So some ideas off the top of my head - please comment and/or add your own
suggestions to the list:

- Add more committers - this will ostensibly increase the number of folks
reviewing so that the turnaround time is decreased. And takes some pressure

- Obtain some kind of funding so that committers can be compensated for
their work and don't feel as bad about spending time on it. These people
have day jobs and families so maybe this would help; maybe not.

- Introduce some bot or automation that periodically reminds about open PRs
that are getting old or PRs that have become unmergeable, etc. Or maybe for
each PR, it picks one or more persons who is responsible for reviewing that
PR, so there is no ambiguity about who is responsible. The OpenStack folks
have quite a bit of structure in their workflow (probably too much for PyPA
projects which have less people working on them?), but perhaps there are
some things that can be borrowed. In particular, changes need a certain
amount of upvotes to be merged and reviewers usually request feedback from
certain individuals.

So I guess my suggestions boil down to:

- Add more humans
- Add more money to make humans more efficient
- Add more computer automation

#3 seems most appealing to me, but of course it requires humans to develop
it in the first place, but at least it's an investment that could pay


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