[Python-Dev] Becoming a python contributor

John Williams jrw@pobox.com
Fri, 01 Nov 2002 10:12:41 -0600

Martin v. Loewis wrote:

> Gustavo Niemeyer  writes:
> >My feeling is that the Python development is currently overly
> >centralized, and that you might be suffering from that now, by being
> >unable to handover some of your tasks to someone else.
> I agree with your first observation, but disagree with the second:
> there are plenty of tasks that could be handed over. There are just no
> volunteers to perform these tasks.

There aren't enough volunteers willing to dedicate a lot of time, but I 
bet there's a large group of people like me who do things like 
submitting an occasional patch of bug report.  My interpretation of the 
problem Gustavo is pointing out is that the larger group really ins't 
able to help, because everything we do places an additional burden on 
the core developers.

If more of these people were able to contribute directly (i.e. via CVS 
commit access), you'd get a double benefit, since they'd get their 
contributions in faster and it would help free up the core developers 
from a lot of busy work.  I think people with CVS access would also be a 
lot more motivated to contribute, since it removes the uncertaintly 
about whether their work will go into the release or just be wasted.

My solution is:
1. Post Martin's guidelines on how to help very prominently.
2. Offer CVS access to developers who submit useful patches.
3. Publicize #2 to promote more patches from people wanting to prove 

I'm proposing to set the bar pretty low for CVS access, but I think this 
is a good strategy overall.  As long as people are aware of the 
standards they're expected to hold up and the trust they're being given, 
most of them will do their best not to abuse it.  The cost of granting 
commit access to the wrong person is fairly low (just back out their 
changes and revoke their access), but granting access to the right 
person could pay off for many years.

Ok, I'll quit trying to sound so important now :)