[pydotorg-www] Current python.org contributor process
fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk
Thu Apr 22 23:12:53 CEST 2010
Suppose "someone" did decide they wanted to help python.org by supplying
a patch, this is roughly the set of steps they would have to go through:
Go to http://python.org
Click on "Help maintain the website" in the left sidebar:
Click on website maintenance: http://www.python.org/dev/pydotorg/website 
The instructions here are on how to checkout the repository from the
command line with the svn tool. ( Please note that this repository
contains several hundred megabytes.) This takes a looooooong time. :-(
By default this gives you a directory called "beta.python.org". You then
open a file build/README with instructions.
The first step is to install the build system dependencies: mako,
pyyaml, and docutils.
The next step is running make, which if you are on Windows requires
first installing Cygwin - another lengthy procedure.
To actually make changes you need to know / learn ReStructured Text, a
custom markup from pyramid and possibly yaml.
If you don't have checkin rights you'll need to generate a patch
(assuming you know how) - and then there is nowhere to post it (no issue
tracker for the website), other than perhaps emailing it to
webmaster at python.org.
Anyone who doesn't think this constitutes a "high barrier to entry" is
For what it's worth my *memory* (fallible) is of Fred Lundh's through
the web experiment attracting a great deal of interest and contributions
- that was for the Python documentation rather than the website though.
Also for those using it as a counter-example, we do get a lot more
changes / contributions to the documentation since switching away from
Latex to reStructured Text (which I am a fan of). There isn't a flood of
patches from non-contributors - but legally we aren't permitted to take
large contributions from non core developers without a signed form
anyway. We do occasional (perhaps even regular) patches on the tracker
and the core developers all find it much easier to maintain and change.
Certainly that move was a success.
All the best,
 The first link on the "Help maintain the website" page is to "Report
problems or suggest an improvement" (
http://wiki.python.org/moin/PythonWebsiteCreatingNewTickets ). This
suggests emailing webmaster at python.org (not a bad move) - or making
changes on this wiki page: http://wiki.python.org/moin/SiteImprovements
A wiki page is not a substitute for an issue tracker and that wiki page
is a mess.
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