[python-committers] Transfer of power

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Thu Jul 12 15:16:49 EDT 2018

On Thu, 12 Jul 2018 at 11:53 Barry Warsaw <barry at python.org> wrote:

> On Jul 12, 2018, at 07:57, Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> wrote:
> >
> > I would like to remove myself entirely from the decision process. I'll
> still be there for a while as an ordinary core dev, and I'll still be
> available to mentor people -- possibly more available. But I'm basically
> giving myself a permanent vacation from being BDFL, and you all will be on
> your own.
> Leaving my emotions out of it for now, and with my heartfelt gratitude for
> everything you’ve done, I am absolutely certain that the community you’ve
> built is strong enough to carry on.
> I’m honored that a some of you think I can fill 1/3 of Guido’s shoes,
> although in all humility I have my doubts.  Aside from that, it’s important
> to recognize that we have so many intelligent and compassionate
> contributors, that much of Python’s ongoing development can essentially
> carry on unchanged.  Yury, for example worried about replacing Guido’s
> extensive knowledge across so much of Python, and there’s the concern that
> Guido’s unique authority as BDFL will be difficult to replicate.  E.g even
> if you still absolutely hate PEP 572 (which I don’t), it is now
> unequivocally part of Python.  It’s up to all of us to accept that, move
> on, and learn to use it tastefully.
> I think this change in governance will increase the importance of the
> BDFL-Delegate.  We have trusted experts in many of the sub-topics of
> Python, and I have so much more confidence in letting them make the
> decisions relevant to those sub-topics.  E.g. Nick, and now Paul for
> packaging, Yury et al for async, etc.  I know that experts and
> BDFL-Delegates will make the right choices in these sub-topics, with the
> right intentions, and the best of their abilities.  Even Guido recognizes
> that we’re all just trying to do our best.
> Where the BDFL role is most important is in those holistic decisions about
> global features, such as PEP 572.  These things impact everyone and every
> corner of Python, so having a final arbiter(s) that is accepted by the
> community at large is critical.  I’ve long said that if I had to choose a
> single person to fill that role, it would be Brett.  He has the right mix
> of technical and social chops to make thoughtful, intelligent,
> compassionate decisions, and he has the advantage of being likely more than
> a decade away from Guido in hopeful retirement plans, unlike perhaps that
> FLUFL guy. :)

Thanks for the vote of confidence! And I haven't hit my mid-life crisis
yet, let alone gotten to worry about choosing when to retire. ;)

> That said, I think a triumvirate would work (Guido’s Unworthy Inherited
> Delegation Organization).

Nice! "GUIDO decided ..." Totally going to mess with Guido's personal SEO,
though. ;)

>   Mostly, that group would identify and work with Delegates to make the
> final decisions on such PEPs, and most importantly, confidently back them
> up, even if those decisions are unpopular.
> For PEP 572-level language decisions, the group would be the final
> arbiters, so it would have to be an odd number.  I agree with Brett that
> voting and rotation could be problematic due to the tyranny of the
> majority.  Imagine that PEP 572 were put in front of this group, and after
> all the kerfuffle, the same decision were made.  Put yourself in that place
> when you think about the governance of Python-the-language over the next 25
> years.  I personally value stability and certainty over popularity for such
> features.  PEP 572 won’t destroy Python, and I predict most of us will
> appreciate it being there once in a while.

Maybe another way to label this is design stewards? We seem to be
suggesting a cabal of folks who steward the overall design while relying on
experts as appropriate to handle finer details.

> There’s no rush to decide, and this would make for a fine discussion at
> the core sprint in September.

Oh, if this isn't settled by September then I expect there will be a lively
discussion at the dev sprints. :)
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mail.python.org/pipermail/python-committers/attachments/20180712/9de98350/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the python-committers mailing list