[Python-Dev] Proposal: defaultdict

Michael Chermside mcherm at mcherm.com
Fri Feb 17 23:47:33 CET 2006

Martin v. Löwis writes:
> You are missing the rationale of the PEP process. The point is
> *not* documentation. The point of the PEP process is to channel
> and collect discussion, so that the BDFL can make a decision.
> The BDFL is not bound at all to the PEP process.
> To document things, we use (or should use) documentation.

You are oversimplifying significantly. The purpose of the PEP
process is to lay out and document the reasoning that went
into forming the decision. The BDFL is *allowed* to be
capricious, but he's sensible enough to choose not to: in
cases where it matters, he tries to document the reasoning
behind his decisions. In fact, he does better than that... he
gets the PEP author to document it for him!

The PEP (whether accepted, rejected, or in-progress) serves
as the official documentation of how the decision was made
(or of what option it is that is still undecided). If a
_trivial_ decision is already made, there's no need for a
PEP, but if a difficult decision has been made, then
documenting it in a PEP saves years of having to justify
it to newbies.

-- Michael Chermside

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