[python-committers] An alternative governance model

Antoine Pitrou antoine at python.org
Wed Jul 18 04:43:47 EDT 2018

Hi Barry,

Le 18/07/2018 à 04:02, Barry Warsaw a écrit :
> A singular BDFL provides clear leadership.  With a council of elders, it will be more difficult to communicate both to the Python community, and to the larger, more peripheral user base, that any particular individual has the authority to make decisions.  Regardless of size, there would ultimately be some one person communicating any council decision.  There will inevitably be ambiguity as to the authority of said decision.  

Why do you think non-BDFL projects have a problem with """ambiguity as
to the authority of said decision"""?  What is your basis for that

I'm worried that you seem to be descending into magical thought,
believing for some reason that nothing else than monarchy could ever
work for a software project.

> If you’ve read this far - thank you!  Now for the big reveal.  I think the Next BDFL should be… (drum roll)…
> Brett Cannon

Since you're opening this can of worms, I'll say it:

- I'm -1 on a new dictator-for-life (*)
- I'm -1 on Brett Cannon as a new dictator-for-life

You're creating a huge problem here.  Whatever dictator you come up
with, not everyone will be ok with that choice.  What are they supposed
to do?  If one doesn't think X is legitimate as a dictator, how does one
keep contributing to the project?  In other words, you are threatening
to exclude people, perhaps seasoned contributors.

(*) (I'm leaving the "benevolent" part out, since clearly it was only
tied to Guido's personality, not to any inherent statutory limitations)

> I’ve long said — somewhat in jest, since I never expected Guido to actually ever retire! — that Brett would be my choice for the next BDFL.  I think he’s the perfect candidate, and he’s already demonstrated qualities that I think make him a fantastic leader.

I bed to disagree, Barry.  Brett is a good contributor, that doesn't
make him legitimate as a dictator.  Only Guido could be, and he has
stepped down.

The amount of cheerleading here ("""smart, compassionate, passionate,
respectful, young, tall, and has the right mix of technical excellence
and social skills""") is embarrassing.  What if we don't subscribe to
your views of Brett's qualities: do you expect us to publicly criticize
Brett so as to justify our opposition?

Your proposal is turning this discussion into some kind of Napoleonic
plebiscite.  This is frankly unpleasant :-/



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