[python-committers] Please stop fixing easy issues right now! Leave them as exercices to newcomes

Victor Stinner victor.stinner at gmail.com
Fri Jun 2 05:23:29 EDT 2017


I discussed with Mariatta and Carol at Pycon US about new contributors
and the difficulty to find "easy issues" to start contributing to
CPython. The thing is that easy issues usually are fixed in less than
24 hours which doesn't give the opportunity to newcomers to fix them.

*Many* people ask me regulary "how to find easy Python issues", and
the last 3 years, I always failed to find such issues... Many "easy
issues" are older than 3 years old, have more than 20 comments and no
compromise has been found how to fix the "easy" issue...

I propose a new policy for core developers: stop fixing really easy
issues! I suggest to follow Brett Cannon's example. Instead of fixing
importlib bugs, Brett told me that he started to describe the bug and
explain how to fix it. According to his own experience, it works well
and is very valuable!

The plan is to recruit new contributors and mentor them to grow our
team. More contributors = more people to review changes = more
diversity = less bugs = etc. (long win-win list ;-))

I started with 4 issues on reference leaks found by new Zachary's
"Refleak" Gentoo and Windows buildbots. I used a script that I wrote
to identify one test leaking references, but I didn't write the fix.
Usually, writing the fix is the simplest task: the boring and complex
task is more to isolate the leaking test method. Hum, the next step is
to explain how to fix such issue, I may do that on the core
menthorship mailing list.


I added [EASY] in the issue title to advertise these issues and used
the "easy (C)" keyword. Since the proposal rule asking core dev is
new, I also write a comment to explain my plan ;-)

More generally, I now suggest to spend more time on mentoring
newcomers and review changes instead of writing new changes. This idea
is not mine, it's just a very good advice that Mariatta gave me ;-)

Since I know that it's a very different job and can be seen as less
interesting, it's not mandatory at all! It's just an advice if you
want to try "something new" ;-)

I will also try to spend more time next weeks on our core menthorship
mailing list.

What do you think?


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