[Python-3000] We should write a PEP on what goes into the stdlib

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Fri Jun 16 19:01:46 CEST 2006

On 6/15/06, Talin <talin at acm.org> wrote:
> Michael Chermside wrote:
> > I agree. If we have a PEP with rules for acceptance, then every time we
> > don't follow those rules exactly we will be accused of favoritism. If
> > we have informal rules like today and decide things on a case-by-case
> > basis, then everything is fine.
> Let me make a suggestion that might help resolve the disagreement.
> One of my favorite podcasts is "Life of a Law Student",
> (http://www.lifeofalawstudent.com/) in which a first year law student
> named Neil Wehneman makes a daily podcast of what he learned in law
> school that day. One of the ideas that he talks about (Intro to the Law
> #2) is the difference between a "Rule" and a "Standard":
> A 'rule' is a definitive test, intended to provide certainty. An example
> is the speed limit - you are either exceeding the speed limit, or you
> aren't.
> A 'standard', on the other hand (at least, in its legal definition) is a
> set of factors to be weighed by a judge when making a decision. Its
> purpose is to provide flexibility, allowing human judgement to stay in
> the loop, but at the same time giving a framework for making those
> judgements in a consistent way.
> An example of a standard is fair use under copyright law. When a judge
> decides whether something is fair use, they use a standard consisting of
> a number of factors, including the amount of the work copied, the
> commercial or non-commercial use of the work, and so on.
> Note that none of these factors are a simple "yes/no" decision -
> instead, a judgement must be made as to how much a particular case fits
> the standard. A use of a work can be completely commercial, completely
> noncommercial, or something inbetween. To the extent that it is
> noncommercial, that weighs in favor of it being declared fair use; To
> the extent that it is commercial, that weighs against.
> So what I would suggest, then, is the creation of a standard (in this
> legal sense) for what factors should be considered in deciding whether
> to include something in the stdlib.
> Moreover, the standard should be clearly labeled as such - to prevent
> people from interpreting the document as a set of hard rules that they
> can use to beat other people over the head with.
> So for example, it might say something like: "To the extent that the
> module has enjoyed widespread adoption and use within the Python
> community, this weighs in favor of inclusion." and so on.

At this point, I am dropping the PEP idea and I am going to make it a
general doc at python.org/dev/ when a take my intro doc (
http://www.python.org/dev/intro/) and break it out into individual docs for
bugs, patches, committing, and getting things into the stdlib or language.

So basically I am going with the Standards approach.  =)

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