[Python-Dev] OK, time to retire (was: Re: python-dev Summary for 2005-01-16 through 2005-01-31)

Brett C. bac at OCF.Berkeley.EDU
Wed Mar 2 04:52:06 CET 2005

Steve Holden wrote:
> Michele Simionato wrote [on c.l.py]:
>> Brett Cannon:
> [... python-dev summary ... boilerplate change ...]
>> +1 for this idea. The summary looks much better now :)
>> Keep the good work going,
> Sorry, but i have to disagree. I hope you won't take this reply 
> personally, Michele, since it's directed to all c.l.py readers, as well 
> as (particularly) at Python users who [unlike you] are mostly take and 
> rather less give. Although this is inherently the nature of open source, 
> in certain cases this can be taken too far.
> Now, the reason for this specific rant is this: I can tell a cry for 
> help when I see one. Brett has done a magnificent job of providing 
> python-dev summaries since Andrew decided he'd had enough, and he is to 
> be congratulated for it. I managed to offload another bunch of work on 
> him (moderation of various troublesome PyCon mailing lists), but at 
> least I was able to recompense him by letting him into PyCon for nothing.
> But frankly, I think it's time someone else stood up and said "Brett, 
> you've done a magnificent job. Hesitant though I am about replacing you, 
> I would like to volunteer for the task, because only when you are free 
> from the burden of writing the python-dev summaries will we see what 
> else you are capable of". Since I am at best an intermittent reader of 
> python-dev I can say this without fear of having to stand up myself.

[I am going to use this to reply to both Steve and Martin]

As Steve mentioned above, he can spot a cry for help when he sees one.  I think 
the problem is that I am a total sucker when it comes to the Python community 
and python-dev.

Anyone who has been on the python-dev list for as long as I have been a 
participant has most likely seen my almost yearly "thank you" emails I send the 
list (which there will probably be another one of once I choose where I am 
going to pursue my doctorate; I have acceptances but I am still waiting to here 
back from 9 more schools).  Usually it is just me gushing to python-dev, 
thanking the list for how Python has gotten me where I am today.  And that 
statement is completely sincere; python-dev has sculpted me into the programmer 
that I am (does this mean I can blame python-dev for my own buggy code?  =). 
And for that I will be eternally grateful to all of the wonderful people I have 
gotten to work with and know on this list.

It has also made me want to help people to get involved on python-dev in hopes 
others would benefit from python-dev the same way I have.  Granted, python-dev 
tends not to attract people like I was when I started getting involved (a 
philosophy degree and 4 CS courses does not equal a good programmer by default 
  =), but I have always hoped that through my efforts some other people could 
come to enjoy hacking on Python, learn some things, and advance the language.

But I think the big problem is that the Summaries have become a "gift" in the 
truest sense of the word.  I lost all personal benefit from the Summaries over 
a year ago.  Initially I learned a ton from all of the reading I was doing and 
the research required to understand what the heck people were talking about. 
But I have graduated from "The School of Hard Knocks".  At this point I do the 
Summaries entirely altruistically, giving back what I can to the community in a 
way that I know benefits many people which happens to have zero benefit to me now.

The Summaries consume what little free time I do have for Python which is 
unfortunate.  I have always hoped I would get to the point in my programming 
abilities that I would be a larger asset to python-dev as a programmer than as 
a writer.  I would like to think I have reached that point finally after my 
over two and a half years on the list (I can't believe I first posted to the 
list on June 17, 2002!).

So, to make sure I don't squander what time I do have for Python waiting for a 
possible replacement that might never come, I have decided that I am going to 
stop doing the python-dev Summaries after PyCon; the Summary covering the last 
half of March 2005 will be it for me.  Hopefully I will be more valuable as an 
active participant on python-dev again instead of as a passive listener who 
just happens to chime in on occasion and squash a simple bug when I am 
procrastinating from doing my homework.

This has been a long time coming and I needed a swift kick in the ass to 
finally get me to stop.  I thank you, Steve, for giving me that kick like the 
English gentleman you are.  =)


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