[python-committers] Transfer of power

Raymond Hettinger raymond.hettinger at gmail.com
Thu Jul 12 16:27:53 EDT 2018

> On Jul 12, 2018, at 6:14 PM, Antoine Pitrou <antoine at python.org> wrote:
> I think it would be worth studying the governance structure (*) of a
> bunch of open source projects picked according to a set of criteria:
> - major project in # of users and contributors
> - non BDFL-governed
> - mostly volunteer-driven
> - with an established decision process for major enhancements
> (*) (e.g. as an informational PEP)

That makes good sense.  We would do well to learn from those who came before us :-)

For the time being, I propose that we shift into low gear and defer major language changes for a while -- that will give us time to digest the changes already in motion and it will give the other implementations more of a chance to catch up (we've been out-running them for a while).

For the smaller decisions, I suggest that for the most part we leave the final calls to the subject matter experts, original authors, and module maintainers when applicable (Yuri for async, Vinay for logging, Nick for functools, Brett for imports, Inada/Victor for the eval-loop and opcodes, Bob for JSON, etc.)  The people who've invested the most time in a subject area are probably the best ones to be decision makers for those areas.  But mostly, we should aim for consensus and only appeal to a decision maker when there is a major divergence about which way to go.

For the bigger decisions (and there aren't many coming up), I have some suggestions on ways to improve the discussions so that the interested parties can have a more equal say in the outcome and so that the discussions can be more time efficient (it takes too much time to keep-up with long-running, active threads).

Essentially the idea would be have a wiki/faq editable by all the participants. It would include the key examples, arguments for and against, and rebuttals which can be collected into a current-state-of-the-conversation.  This would be somewhat different than the current PEP process because currently PEP authors dominate the conversation and others can get drowned out too easily.  (This idea is modeled on the California Legislative Analyst Voters Guide which summarizes proposals and has statements and rebuttals from both proponents and opponents).

Also, it would be nice to have the decisions made by someone other that the principal proponents.  From my own experience with PEPs, I know that the psychological effects are powerful -- if you are the one spelling out all the details and defending the idea against all the slings and arrows, then it is only natural to come to identify with the PEP and come to believe that the only righteous outcome is for it to be accepted.


More information about the python-committers mailing list