[Python-Dev] SIG: python-lang

Greg Stein gstein@lyra.org
Wed, 31 May 2000 11:37:32 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 31 May 2000, Paul Prescod wrote:
> Greg Stein wrote:
> > 
> > Hehe... you make it sound like I'm a criminal on trial :-)
> Sorry about that. But I'll bet you didn't expect this inquisition did
> you?

Well, of course not. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Hmm. But you're not Spanish. Dang...

> > I share that concern, and raised it during the formation of python-dev. It
> > appears that the pipermail archive is truncated (nothing before April last
> > year). Honestly, though, I would have to say that I am/was more concerned
> > with the *perception* rather than actual result.
> Right, that perception is making people in comp-lang-python get a little
> frustrated, paranoid, alienated and nasty. And relaying conversations
> from here to there and back puts Fredrik in a bad mood which isn't good
> for anyone.

Understood. I don't have a particular solution to the problem, but I also
believe that python-lang is not going to be a benefit/solution.

Hmm. How about this: you stated the premise is to generate proposals for
language features, extensions, additions, whatever. If that is the only
goal, then consider a web-based system: anybody can post a "feature" with
a description/spec/code/whatever; each feature has threaded comments
attached to it; the kicker: each feature has votes (+1/+0/-0/-1).

When you have a feature with a total vote of +73, then you know that it
needs to be looked at in more detail. All votes are open (not anonymous).
Features can be revised, in an effort to remedy issues raised by -1
voters (and thus turn them into +1 votes).

People can review features and votes in a quick pass. If they prefer to
take more time, then they can also review comments.

Of course, this is only a suggestion. I've got so many other projects that
I'd like to code up right now, then I would not want to sign up for
something like this :-)

> > > did not include meta-sig because (or python-list) because my issue is
> > > really with the accidental elitism of the python-dev setup. If
> > 
> > I disagree with the term "accidental elitism." I would call it "purposeful
> > meritocracy." 
> The reason I think that it is accidental is because I don't think that
> anyone expected so many of us to abandon comp.lang.python and thus our
> direct connection to Python's user base.

Good point.

I would still disagree with your "elitism" term, but the side-effect is
definitely accidental and unfortunate. It may even be arguable whether
python-dev *is* responsible for that. The SIGs had much more traffic
before python-dev, too. I might suggest that the SIGs were the previous
"low-noise" forum (in favor of c.l.py). python-dev yanked focus from the
SIGs, and only a little from c.l.py (I think c.l.py's burgeoning traffic
reduced readership on its own).

> It just happened that way due
> to human nature. That forum is full of stuff that you or I don't care
> about -- compiling on AIX, ADO programming on Windows, Perl idioms, LDAP
> (oops, that's here!) etc, and this one is noise-free. I'm saying that we
> could have a middle ground where we trade a little noise for a little
> democracy -- if only in perception.

Admirable, but I think it would be ineffectual. People would be confused
about where to post. Too many forums, with arbitrary/unclear lines about
which to use.

How do you like your new job at DataChannel? Rate it on 1-100. "83" you
say? Well, why not 82? What is the difference between 82 and 83?

"Why does this post belong on c.l.py, and not on python-lang?"

The result will be cross-posting because people will want to ensure they
reach the right people/forum.

Of course, people will also post to the "wrong" forum. Confusion, lack of
care, whatever.

> I think that perl-porters and linux-kernel are open lists? The dictators
> and demigods just had to learn to filter a little. By keeping
> "python-dev" for immediately important things and implementation
> details, we will actually make it easier to get the day to day pumpkin
> passing done.

Yes, they are. And Dick Hardt has expressed the opinion that perl-porters
is practically useless. He was literally dumbfounded when I told him that
python-dev is (near) zero-noise.

The Linux guys filter very well. I don't know enough of, say, Alan's or
Linus' other mailing subscriptions to know whether that is the only thing
they subscribe to, or just one of many. I could easily see keeping up with
linux-kernel if that was your only mailing list. I also suspect there is
plenty of out-of-band mail going on between Linus and his "lieutenants"
when they forward patches to him (and his inevitable replies, rejections,


Greg Stein, http://www.lyra.org/