[python-committers] And Now for Something Completely Different

Alex Gaynor alex.gaynor at gmail.com
Wed Jul 25 19:34:28 EDT 2018

On Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 7:24 PM Donald Stufft <donald at stufft.io> wrote:

> On Jul 25, 2018, at 2:01 PM, Brett Cannon <brett at python.org> wrote:
> Right, and your proposal means I now have to judge proposed core
> developers on which side of popular opinion they will come down on in hopes
> that they vote in ways I agree with and thus help take the language in a
> direction I think is appropriate.
> It makes me think a bit of the US Supreme Court, where judges who might
> someday want to be on that court, learn to be very careful about hiding
> their true opinions (without directly lying of course) on a number of very
> controversial topics, knowing that coming out for/against them is likely to
> blow up their changes of ever progressing to that point.
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(I've been quite on this thread thus far, just soaking everything else up,
but this side note about SCOTUS made me want to share this potentially
relevant observation/nerdery.)

Recent trends in Supreme Court nominees increasingly have justices coming
from the DC Circuit [0]. The reason for this (IMO) is that the DC Circuit
deals very heavily in parts of the law that only lawyers care about --
primarily administrative law and suits against the federal government. They
see almost no cases dealing with social issues. As a result, nominees tend
to have records without cases that will generate significant controversy
amongst the public (while still being able to demonstrate their judicial
philosophy to folks who understand such things).

The analogy in the Python-verse might be inviting a new core developer for
their work on runtime internals, but then having the ability to sway stdlib
design once they become a core dev.

This type of system stands in contrast with the one the Rust community has,
where they have dedicated teams, which people are members of (some people
are members of many), and they define the scope of the team's
responsibility/authority. So you can be a member of the compilers team,
with no say over how the community team functions.

Hope everyone enjoyed my Supreme Court nerdery,

[0]: Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Ginsburg, Justice Thomas, Judge
Garland, and Judge Kavanaugh.

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.
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