[python-committers] Transfer of power

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Mon Jul 16 15:38:44 EDT 2018

On Sun, 15 Jul 2018 at 19:38 Tim Peters <tim.peters at gmail.com> wrote:

> [Tim]
>> If they tied, that's fine too.  Ties favor the status quo (same as if the
>>> proposed change had been rejected).  For that reason, I'm not even wedded
>>> to an odd number.
> [Brett Cannon]
>> That's a good point. Since this is typically going to be a yes/no
>> question instead of an A/B question, ties that go in favour of the status
>> quo aren't a stalemate issue.
> Thanks for reading my mind :-)  I certainly didn't spell it out.

Just glad I still have the knack for it on occasion. :)

> Predictably contentious A/B issues, like how to allocate limited resources
> (how much do we spend on grants vs sponsoring conferences?), are mostly in
> the PSF's court.  Likewise A/B decisions with legal consequences (now that
> the DPRK has ruled the PSF license counterrevolutionary, which license
> should we use there instead?).
> Guido's most visible (well, to us committers) BDFL role has been in
> "yes/no", "go/nogo" language/library design questions, which don't even
> overlap with the PSF's proper concerns.
> But I'm not sure it's fully appreciated just how active Guido has been in
> those at times.  The "accepted/rejected" at the end of major PEPs is just a
> small part of that.  Along the way, e.g., it's been pretty common to see a
> "Save your breath.  That's not going to happen." from Guido to end a
> distracting alternative (sub)proposal persistently promoted by one (or a
> few) very active and/or loquacious posters.

IOW the design guidance he provided as the discussion progressed and his
thoughts evolved/formed on the topic.

> Those "small" pronouncements typically go by with little notice except by
> those shut down, but may well be crucial in keeping productive discussion
> going at all.  And they need to be timely to do any good.  Whoever makes
> such decisions needs to be down in the mud, wrestling with the issues while
> they're hot topics, not judging at leisure weeks (or even days) later.
> I'm not sure "a committee" can do that at all.  Then again, there seems to
> be consensus that the current PEP discussion process is sometimes broken
> anyway, even with a BDFL.

There are definitely perks to having a BDFL such as timely shutdown of side
threads, consistency/guidance in design, etc.
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