[python-committers] An alternative governance model

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Fri Jul 20 18:50:38 EDT 2018

On Fri, 20 Jul 2018 at 15:36 Nathaniel Smith <njs at pobox.com> wrote:

> 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?

It isn't really title and more about workload/responsibility. So if the
title changed to "Chief PEP herder" but it was still on my shoulders to
have final say then I don't expect an issue as they would understand what
that means to me and my time. If I'm one of three on a council then I might
still get more time but I'm not as sure; it's definitely possible, but not
as much of a sure thing. If the group was 10 then probably not because that
means I am just one of about a quarter of all authors over the past year.

> 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 megalomania
> 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 be exploring ways to get more dedicated time on
> CPython, through company's donating time, or sponsoring people through
> the PSF, or whatever makes sense.

I think that's a constant discussion to have which never really ends.
People with more time to effectively contribute is always welcome. :)


> -n
> [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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