[python-committers] An alternative governance model

Ethan Furman ethan at stoneleaf.us
Wed Jul 18 05:49:34 EDT 2018

On 07/18/2018 01:43 AM, Antoine Pitrou wrote:
> Le 18/07/2018 à 04:02, Barry Warsaw a écrit :

>> 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 find this an empty argument.  What were they supposed to do when PEPs they wanted were rejected, and PEPs they thought 
foolish accepted?  If we go with a committee are we threatening to exclude those who think design-by-committee is not a 
legitamate method, or don't think it's members are legitimate choices?

No, we are not threatening anybody.  The core-devs will make their choice, and those who don't like the result can leave 
or go as they will.

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

I think that's a mistake.  Clearly, the "benevolent" part is a major criteria for the dictator, triumvirate, CoE, or 
whatever we come up with, and Guido is not the only benevolent core-dev we have.

>> 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 beg 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.

I agree:  being a good contributor does not ipso facto make for a good benevolent dictator.

I disagree that only Guido could be a good BDFL.  I do agree that good BDFLs are rare.

> 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?

I think one can oppose the NBDFL model without criticizing the proposed candidate.  After all, if the model is rejected 
it doesn't matter who the candidates were.  If the model is accepted, then I think a simple "I disagree with your 
assessment" would suffice, and you could nominate someone you felt was more qualified.


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