[Python-Dev] Encouraging developers

Phil Thompson phil at riverbankcomputing.co.uk
Mon Mar 5 20:30:20 CET 2007

On Monday 05 March 2007 6:46 pm, A.M. Kuchling wrote:
> >From <http://ivory.idyll.org/blog/mar-07/five-things-I-hate-about-python>:
> 	4. The patch mafia. I like everyone on python-dev that I meet,
> 	but somehow it is annoyingly difficult to get a patch into
> 	Python. Like threading, and the stdlib, this is a mixed
> 	blessing: you certainly don't want every Joe Schmoe checking
> 	in whatever crud he wants. However, the barrier is high enough
> 	that I no longer have much interest in spending the time to
> 	shepherd a patch through. Yes, this is probably all my fault
> 	-- but I still hate it!
> FWIW, I have a related perception that we aren't getting new core
> developers. These two problems are probably related: people don't get
> patches processed and don't become core developers, and we don't have
> enough core developers to process patches in a timely way.  And so
> we're stuck.
> Any ideas for fixing this problem?

1. Don't suggest to people that, in order to get their patch reviewed, they 
should review other patches. The level of knowledge required to put together 
a patch is much less than that required to know if a patch is the right one.

2. Publically identify the core developers and their areas of expertise and 
responsibility (ie. which parts of the source tree they "own").

3. Provide a forum (a python-patch mailing list) where patches can be 
proposed, reviewed and revised informally but quickly.

4. Acceptance by core developers that only half the "job" is developing the 
core - the other half is mentoring potential future core developers.


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