[Python-Dev] Encouraging developers
tony.meyer at gmail.com
Sun Mar 18 04:12:02 CET 2007
On 8/03/2007, at 2:42 AM, Paul Moore wrote:
> On 06/03/07, Scott Dial <scott+python-dev at scottdial.com> wrote:
>> Sadly the sf tracker doesn't let you search for "With comments
>> by". The
>> patch I was making reference to was 1410680. Someone else actually
>> wrote a patch that contained bugs and I corrected them. And with
>> that, I
>> was the last person to comment or review the patch in question.
> On the other hand, what I've done is similar to what you did - comment
> on someone else's patch. It seems relevant to me that the original
> poster (Tony Meyer) hasn't felt strongly enough to respond on his own
> behalf to comments on his patch. No disrespect to Tony, but I'd argue
> that the implication is that the patch should be rejected because even
> the submitter doesn't care enough to respond to comments!
There is a considerable difference between "doesn't care enough", and
"has not had time to be able to" (although in this specific case
"doesn't care enough" is correct).
I have submitted a very small (3?) number of patches, however, I
suspect that my position is similar to others, so I offer an
explanation in the hope that it adds value to this thread.
I don't submit patches because I need the problem fixed in the Python
distribution. I make the change locally, and either I am
distributing a frozen application (almost always the case), which
includes my local fix, or a workaround is made in the application
source which means that the main Python distribution fix is unneeded
(e.g. this is what I did with SpamBayes).
The particular patch mentioned is one that uses code (more-or-less)
from SpamBayes. SpamBayes has the code - it doesn't matter whether
it's in the Python distribution or not. At the time I wrote the
patch, there were (again) discussions on python-dev about what should
be done to ConfigParser. I had some time free in those days, and,
since I had some code that did more-or-less what Guido indicated was
the best option, I contributed it (writing unittests, documentation,
and commenting in the related tickets).
To a certain extent, I considered that my work done. This was
something I contributed because many people continually requested it,
not something I felt a personal need to be added to the distribution
(as above, that's not a need that I generally feel).
I (much) later got email with patches, and then later email from Mark
Hammond about the patch (IIRC Mark was looking at it and was thinking
of fixing it up; I think I forwarded the email I got to him. OTOH,
maybe he also sent me fixes - I'm too busy to trawl through email
archives to figure it out). At the time, I hoped to fix up the
errors and submit a revised patch, but my son was born a few weeks
later and I never found the time. If the patch had been reviewed
more quickly, then I probably would have found time to correct it -
however, everyone else is busy to (if I felt strongly about it, then
I would have reviewed 5 other patches, as I have in the past, and
'forced' more quick review, but I did not).
For me, submitting a patch is mostly altruistic - if I do that then
other people don't also have do the work I did, and hopefully other
people do that as well, saving me work. It's not something I
require, at all. This isn't something that is easy to make time for.
ISTM that there is value in submitting a patch (including tests and
documentation, and making appropriate comment in related patches),
even if that is all that is done (i.e. no follow-up). If the value
isn't there without that follow-up 'caring', then that is something
that should be addressed to 'encourage developers'. Contributions
don't only come from people hoping to be 'core' developers some day.
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