[Python-Dev] Patch making the current email package (mostly) support bytes

lutz at rmi.net lutz at rmi.net
Fri Oct 8 17:51:45 CEST 2010

stephen at xemacs.org wrote in the full message below:
> If having 1 *and* 2 is so important to particular users, but they come
> into conflict because of proposed changes in Python, then they're
> going to have to give up 3, come here, and articulate their needs. 

But I _did_ come here and articulate my needs, and received this
antagonistic response for my efforts.  If you really value user
input, you may want to explore the nature of your reaction to it.
Trust me: criticism goes with the territory any time your actions
impact a large group of people.  This seems inherent here.

Frankly, your view of the roles of developers and users seems so 
upside down to me that I doubt anything I could say here would
matter.  You're more than welcome to ignore an interjection of 
reality and adopt a closed group mindset, of course, but you do
so at the peril of the system you're working on.

For my part, one week from now I'll be standing up again in front 
of a group of 20 Python beginners, and basically apologizing for 
both the present and ongoing 3.X changes they must conform to in 
the near future.  Python may not be Perl 6 yet, but its image is 
already tarnished in the real world where people make technology 
choices, due to its rapid pace of change.  It's a genuine problem.

In the end, I suppose I'm just one of those lazy end users you
mentioned who are too busy to spend 24/7 hanging out on this 
list in order to head off changes that will break their code. 
(Yes, sarcasm intended.)

--Mark Lutz  (http://learning-python.com, http://rmi.net/~lutz)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen at xemacs.org>
> To: lutz at rmi.net
> Subject: Re: [Python-Dev] Patch making the current email package
> 	(mostly)	support bytes
> Date: Fri, 08 Oct 2010 14:33:22 +0900
> lutz at rmi.net writes:
>  > To put that more strongly, the Python user base is much larger than 
>  > this list's readership.
> Agreed.  Nevertheless, this is the channel (not "channel") that the
> developers listen on, and substantial effort is made to let Python
> users know that.  I think they do know it, too.
>  > If I'm using 3.1 email, so are many others.
> That's not obvious.  3.1 email is unusable for several applications.
> In fact, for human factors reasons (humans are very likely to
> communicate with other humans who use the same encodings, and to
> accept occasional glitches they must deal with manually), MUAs are
> likely to port relatively easily as "good enough" software.  But I
> doubt very much that folks writing MTAs or spam filters that must run
> unattended, often in long-lived, very active processes, are producing
> production versions using Python 3 email yet.
>  > People will accept the 3.X world you make up to a point, but it's 
>  > impossible to code to a moving target, much less base a product on 
>  > it.
> "Impossible is nothing."  It's a decision that each individual
> developer makes for herself.  I haven't heard Mailman devs complain
> about the impossibility of dealing with the proposed changes, for
> example.  Quite the reverse, in fact.
>  > At some point, they'll simply stop trying to keep up; in fact, 
>  > some already have.
> Predictable and predicted.  Where's the balance?  I don't know, but
> "channeling" the users is not a lot of help.  There are three worthy
> goals here:
> 1. Taking advantage of improvements in to-be-released Pythons.
> 2. Not changing one's own working code.
> 3. Not participating in python-dev/email-sig.
> Take any two; one can't have all three.
> More specifically, it's interesting that most of the users you talk to
> care enough to actually say they don't want more incompatible changes.
> But what are we supposed to take from that?  Some fixes have to be
> incompatible; do the users want the fix or the compatibility?  You
> waffle (as a good representative often must):
>  > Fixes are a Good Thing, of course, and this particular change's scope
>  > remains to be seen; but to channel most of the users I meet out there
>  > in the real world today: Enough with the 3.X changes already, eh?
> But that's also a decision each developer *can* make for himself.
> Python does not withdraw products, or even withdraw support, just
> because the core developers release something they consider better.
> If having 1 *and* 2 is so important to particular users, but they come
> into conflict because of proposed changes in Python, then they're
> going to have to give up 3, come here, and articulate their needs.  As
> you are doing -- but to have real influence, you're going to have to
> do the review of David's patch that he requests.
> I really don't see how the process can work any other way.

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