[Python-Dev] proposed amendments to PEP 1

Raymond Hettinger python@rcn.com
Mon, 28 Apr 2003 20:09:15 -0400

> I propose adding the following text:
>      ...  The BDFL may also initiate a PEP review, first notifying the
>      PEP author(s).

Periodic updates to the parade-of-peps serves equally well.

>      For a PEP to be accepted it must meet certain minimum criteria.
>      It must be a clear description of the proposed enhancement.  The
>      enhancement must represent a net improvement.  The implementation,
>      if applicable, must be solid and must not complicate the
>      interpreter unduly.  Finally, a proposed enhancement must be
>      "pythonic" in order to be accepted by the BDFL.  (However,
>      "pythonic" is an imprecise term; it may be defined as whatever is
>      acceptable to the BDFL.  This logic is intentionally circular.)

Peps can go through a lot of stages before they get to this point.
That can include having other peps explore other options;
refinements to the idea, etc.

>From these proposals and the annoucement earlier this week,
I sense a desire to have fewer peps and to more rapidly get
them out of the draft status.

In general, I don't think this is a good idea.  If someone wants
to do a write-up and weather the ensuing firestorm, that is 
enough for me.  If it has to sit for a few years before becoming
obviously good or bad, that's fine too.

Also, some ideas need time.  My generator attributes idea had
no chance for Py2.3.  After people spend a year or so using
generators, they might collectively begin to see a need for it.
Also, someone may be able to help express the rationale
more clearly.  As written, the rationale would result in instant
death for the pep.  After a pep dies, it becomes a permanent
impediment for similar ideas even if someone comes up
with better use cases or a slightly improved implementation.

The first time I proposed something like a DictMixin class,
it was violently shot down.  A few months later, I had an
improved version and those with a long memory immediately
pointed out, "hey, that was shot down".  After one more
round, it was accepted, the alpha reviewers loved it, and
it got applied through-out the library.   Early rejection of
peps will doom some useful ideas before they have a
fighting chance.  The authors can read the parade of peps
and adapt or withdraw as appropriate.

IOW, I like the process as it stands and am -1 on the 
amendment.  It should be up to the pep author to 
decide when to stick his head in the guillotine to
see what happens :)

Raymond Hettinger

"Theories have four stages of acceptance: 
     i) this is worthless nonsense; 
     ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view. 
     iii) this is true but quite unimportant. 
     iv) I always said so."
                  - J.B.S. Haldane, 1963 

"All great truths began as blasphemies" - George Bernard Shaw