[Python-Dev] Significance of informational PEPs

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Thu, 18 Apr 2002 15:10:07 -0400

> PEP 1 doesn't specify anything related to programming or documenting
> Python, though.  I don't think it's worth defining a new category to
> distinguish PEP 1 from PEP 248 (Database API) or PEP 272.

The "MetaPEP" category?

> Regarding Jeremy's suggestion of introducing an "Experimental"
> category: what's the distinction be between "Experimental" and
> "Informational", if neither status carries any implication that users
> should conform to the PEP?  For example, would PEP 272 be Experimental
> or Informational, and why?

Most PEPs start their life as experimental.  Then they either become
Standard (with Draft status in between), or Rejected/Withdrawn, or
Informational if no consensus is reached but the PEP is still useful
(I expect the docstring PEPs to go here).  Some PEPs start out
Informational, if they are descriptive of historical truths.

> Aahz wrote:
> >I'm not sure what the point of an informational
> >PEP that has no consensus is, though; shouldn't such documentation be
> >spread by other means?
> PEPs seem nicely suited for this, and it's how RFCs are used, too.  I
> could just stick it on a random Web page someplace, but PEPs, like
> RFCs, are much less likely to vanish and are much shorter to
> reference.

Agreed.  For most practical purposes, PEPs are isomorphic with RFCs,
and I expect that just as the RFC process became more formalized as
the IETF community grew, we'll have to become more anal retentive
about PEP rules too.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)