[Python-Dev] Encouraging developers

Facundo Batista facundo at taniquetil.com.ar
Wed Mar 7 14:10:16 CET 2007

A.M. Kuchling wrote:

> 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?

I think that there's a barrier entry: there's no place to ask for help
on silly problems when you're trying to help (!).

Let me explain my bad english wording, with an example. Yesterday night
I started modifying socket.py and test_socket.py. "Of course", I said,
"let's see if the tests pass ok *before* start changing anything".

Went to ~/devel/reps/python/trunk/Lib, and made: 

  $ python2.5 test/test_socket.py    ...   Wrong!

Damn! Tried a lot of stuff...

  $ cd test
  $ python2.5 test_socket.py    ...   Wrong!
  $ python2.5 regrtest.py test_socket ... Wrong!
  $ python2.5 regrtest.py test_socket.py ... Wrong!
  $ python2.5 regrtest.py socket ... Wrong!

And thousand more combinations. The best I could do is actually execute
the tests, but python was getting the installed socket module, and not
the repository socket module (even that I was in the same directory of
the latter).

I didn't know what to try. I was stuck. This never happened to me when
working on Decimal. What went wrong in my head in the middle?

I finally understood the problem, and build python from the repository,
and made the tests from *this* python (actually, this was an easy step
because I'm on Ubuntu, but *I* would be dead if working in Windows, for

Ok. *Me*, that I'm not ashame of asking what I don't know, if I didn't
resolve it I'd finally asked in python-dev. But how many people would
have throw the towel withoug getting so far?

How many people want to submit a patch, or even a bug, or finds a patch
to review, but don't know how to do something and thinks that python-dev
is not the place to ask (too high minds and experienced people and

What I propose is a dedicated place (mailing list, for example), that is
something like a place where you can go and ask the silliest questions
about helping in the developing process.

- How can I know if a patch is still open?

- I found a problem, and know how to fix it, but what else need to do?

- Found a problem in the docs, for this I must submit a patch or tell
something about it? How?

- I found an error in the docs, and fixed it, but I'm spanish speaker
and my english sucks, can I submit a patch with bad wording or I must
ask somebody to write it ok?

Me, for example, has an actual question to this list: "How can I know,
if I change something in the doc's .tex files, that I'm not broking
the TeX document structure?".

Just my two argentinian cents.


.   Facundo
Blog: http://www.taniquetil.com.ar/plog/
PyAr: http://www.python.org/ar/

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