[Python-Dev] External Package Maintenance (was Re: Please stopchanging wsgiref on the trunk)

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Mon Jun 12 20:23:49 CEST 2006

On 6/12/06, Giovanni Bajo <rasky at develer.com> wrote:
> Guido van Rossum wrote:
> >>> I personally think that, going forward, external maintainers should
> >>> not be granted privileges such as are being granted by PEP 360, and
> >>> an inclusion of a package in the Python tree should be considered a
> >>> "fork" for all practical purposes. If an external developer is not
> >>> okay with such an arrangement, they shouldn't contribute.
> >>
> >> This is going to make it tougher to get good contributions, where
> >> "good" means "has existing users and a maintainer committed to
> >> supporting them".
> >
> > To which I say, "fine". From the Python core maintainers' POV, more
> > standard library code is just more of a maintenance burden. Maybe we
> > should get serious about slimming down the core distribution and
> > having a separate group of people maintain sumo bundles containing
> > Python and lots of other stuff.
> -1000.
> One of the biggest Python strength, and one that I personally rely on a lot,
> is the large *standard* library. It means that you can write scripts and
> programs that will run on any Python installation out there, no matter how
> many eggs were downloaded before, no matter whether the Internet connection
> is available or not, no matter if the user has privileges to install
> extensions, even if the SourceForge mirror is down, even if SourceForge
> changed their HTML and now the magic code can't grok it anymore, etc etc
> etc.
> If Python were to lose this standard library in favor of several different
> distributions, users could not sensibly write a program anymore without
> incurring the risk of using packages not available to some users. Perl has
> this problem with CPAN, and system administrators going through hoops to
> write admin scripts which do not rely on any external package just because
> you can't be sure if a package is installed or not; this leads to code
> duplication (duplication of the code included in an external package, but
> which can't be "reliably" used), and to bugs (since the local copy of the
> functionality can surely be more buggy than the widespread implementation of
> the external package).
> Let's not get into this mess, please. I think we just need a smoother way to
> maintain the standard library, not an agreement to remove it, just because
> we cannot find a way to maintain it properly. The fact that there hundreds
> of unreviewed patches to the standard library made by wannabe contributors
> is a blatant sign that something *can* be improved.

I'm with you, actually; developers contributing code without wanting
to give up control are the problem. You should go talk to those

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

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