[Python-Dev] Evolving Python (was Re: Feature bloat in Python ...)

Barry A. Warsaw bwarsaw@beopen.com
Sun, 23 Jul 2000 22:07:40 -0400 (EDT)

I think we're going about this all wrong.  We all have our pet peeves,
syntax gripes, missing functionality, etc. about Python.  We're all so
quick to identify these problems and expect everybody else to agree
with us.  We proposal solutions or enhancements to the language that
of course, everybody should immediately agree on.  But we never get
consensus.  Given the size of the developer community, and the
diversity of applications and experience, we never will on any of
these features.  If we put each PEP and pre-PEP up for a vote here,
I'll bet every one would fail.

The Perl6 and Tcl crews should take a lesson here.  You cannot design
a language by committee.

I'm beginning to think that our role on python-dev is different than
we thought.  I think for a particular proposal for a new language
feature, or core language functionality, it is our job to explore the
details and ramifications as much as possible.  These should be
summarized in a PEP, and it must have running code or a working patch.

Guido can't possibly follow every thread in this mailing list and he
shouldn't have to.  But he can read a PEP, apply a patch, play with
the new feature and decide yeah, nay, lukewarm-but-needs-more-work.
We need to make Guido's job as language designer and BDFL easier, not
harder.  Sniping at each other means he has to get involved in petty
crap among his advisors.

This is what I'd hoped the PEPs and python-dev would be for: to
encourage people to explore ways to improve the language and for
people to work together to write good proposals and build good code.
Even if it's eventually rejected.

If you have a language feature that you're willing to champion, then I
encourage you to write a PEP and develop a patch.  Post the patch to
SF so others can play with it.  Without working code, a language
proposal should by default be considered incomplete.