[python-committers] An alternative governance model

Nathaniel Smith njs at pobox.com
Fri Jul 20 18:36:50 EDT 2018

On Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 08:58 Brett Cannon <brett at python.org> wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 20, 2018, 07:51 Nick Coghlan, <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Guido was willing to do it for so long because Python was his
>> creation, and he grew into the increasing demands of the BDFL role as
>> time went by, but even he eventually reached the point of saying "I
>> don't want to do this any more - the personal costs are outweighing
>> the personal benefits". There's no way that a new individual in a
>> comparable role to Guido's is going to have an easier time of it than
>> Guido did, and a lot of good reasons to believe that they will find it
>> significantly harder (not least of which is that Guido has been able
>> to request 50% funded "BDFL-time" from his employers since he joined
>> Google in 2005, and it's unlikely that a newcomer to the role would
>> enjoy that benefit any time soon).
> While I'm purposefully staying out of this thread as my name is currently so strongly associated with it and I don't want people thinking I'm a megalomaniac, I will say that I see no reason why I wouldn't get 50% time at Microsoft if I asked for it (I already get a day/week plus email reading every day).

Is that only if you were named BDFL, or do you think they might also
support that if you were named "Chief PEP Herder", or "Member of the
steering council",or similar?

AFAICT Guido spent a lot of time behind the scenes moving PEPs along
and generally keeping things organized. I think we might get a lot of
value out of having more people with time to focus on these things,
and it's not really limited to the BDFL. The Django project seems to
benefit a lot from their fellows program [1], and in the recent grant
the PSF got for PyPI, everyone was *very* happy that we spent money on
a project manager [2]. (And at the risk of falling into megalovania
myself, I've also written about this recently [3].)

So I don't have a specific proposal or anything, but maybe as part of
this discussion we should exploring ways to get more dedicated time on
CPython, through company's donating time, or sponsoring people through
the PSF, or whatever makes sense.


[1] https://www.djangoproject.com/weblog/2016/dec/28/fellowship-2016-retrospective/
[2] https://twitter.com/EWDurbin/status/968180960066928640
[3] https://vorpus.org/blog/the-unreasonable-effectiveness-of-investment-in-open-source-infrastructure/

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