[meta-sig] Re: [Python-Dev] SIG: python-lang

Tim Peters tim_one@email.msn.com
Thu, 1 Jun 2000 01:20:59 -0400

Two observations:

1. "Follow the Guido."  It doesn't matter how many alternative forums
   we set up or what their nature is, the "serious" discussion will
   migrate instantly to exactly whichever particular one of them Guido
   happens to be active in at any moment.  This seems to me to follow
   from the very nature of a BDFL organization:  when one guy makes
   the rules, that's the one (& often only!) guy you really want to
   talk to.

2. There are very few "new" language suggestions that weren't already
   old by the end of '91.  But the community displays no collective
   memory, and in part because the historical record is *already*
   sprayed across far too many forums.

For purposes of language evolution, it's time Python did this the way every
other language does:  relatively careful proposals and separate (but
related) rationales, refined over time by interested parties rather than
re-argued from scratch every time a newcomer shows up on c.l.py demanding
satisfaction.  Some combination of the SIGs, ToDo list and FAQ is the
closest thing we've got to that now, and that mish-mash doesn't work for
this purpose.

I don't know how to solve that, but it sounds like each of the rest of you
does <wink>.  I know what's needed in the *end*, though:  a permanent
repository for spec and rationale docs, coupled with free-form discussion
forums.  Nothing of permanent interest should remain in the forum:
everything a newcomer to an issue needs to know should appear in the
appropriate spec or the rationale.  And every particular idea needs a
champion whose job it is to update those docs, else the idea drops out of

However, as with any other scheme, this one too (*however* implemented) will
end up being a piss into the wind if Guido doesn't participate (language
design is the one area where he can't pretend it's somebody else's job --
being BDFL isn't all job offers and lavish honeymoons <wink>).

just-sucking-up-to-the-boss-ly y'rs  - tim