[Python-Dev] Python Language Summit at PyCon: Agenda

Doug Hellmann doug.hellmann at gmail.com
Sun Mar 3 15:11:06 CET 2013

On Mar 2, 2013, at 11:41 AM, Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Fri, Mar 1, 2013 at 9:39 AM, Doug Hellmann <doug.hellmann at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Feb 27, 2013, at 11:51 AM, Michael Foord wrote:
>>> Hello all,
>>> PyCon, and the Python Language Summit, is nearly upon us. We have a good number of people confirmed to attend. If you are intending to come to the language summit but haven't let me know please do so.
>>> The agenda of topics for discussion so far includes the following:
>>> * A report on pypy status - Maciej and Armin
>>> * Jython and IronPython status reports - Dino / Frank
>>> * Packaging (Doug Hellmann and Monty Taylor at least)
>> Since the time I suggested we add packaging to the agenda, Nick has set up a separate summit meeting for Friday evening. I don't know if it makes sense to leave this on the agenda for Wednesday or not.
>> Nick, what do you think?
> I think it's definitely worth my taking some time to explain my goals
> for the Friday night session, and some broader things in terms of
> where I'd like to see packaging going, but a lot of the key packaging
> people aren't involved in Python language development *per se*, and
> hence won't be at the language summit.

OK, a summary seems like a good idea. 

> There's also one controversial point that *does* need to be raised at
> the summit: I would like to make distutils-sig the true authority for
> packaging standards, so we can stop cross-posting PEPs intended to
> apply to packaging in *current* versions of Python to python-dev. The
> split discussions suck, and most of the people that need to be
> convinced in order for packaging standards to be supported in current
> versions of Python aren't on python-dev, since it's a tooling issue
> rather than a language design issue. Standard lib support is necessary
> in the long run to provide a good "batteries included" experience, but
> it's *not* the way to create the batteries in the first place. Until
> these standards have been endorsed by the authors of *existing*
> packaging tools, proposing them for stdlib addition is premature, but
> has been perceived as necessary in the past due to the confused power
> structure.

+1 -- anything to reduce the confusion about where to get involved :)

> This means that those core developers that want a say in the future
> direction of packaging and distribution of Python software would need
> to be actively involved in the ongoing discussions on distutils-sig,
> rather than relying on being given an explicit invitation to weigh in
> at the last minute through a thread (or threads) on python-dev. The
> requirement that BDFL-delegates for packaging and distribution related
> PEPs also be experienced core developers will remain, however, as
> "suitable for future stdlib inclusion" is an important overarching
> requirement for packaging and distribution standards. Such delegates
> will just be expected to participate actively in distutils-sig *as
> well as* python-dev.
> Proposals for *actual* standard library updates (to bring it into line
> with updated packaging standards) would still be subject to python-dev
> discussion and authority (and would *not* have their Discussions-To
> header set). Such discussions aren't particularly relevant to most of
> the packaging tool developers, since the standard library version
> isn't updated frequently enough to be useful to them, and also isn't
> available on older Python releases, so python-dev is a more
> appropriate venue from both perspectives.
> At the moment, python-dev, catalog-sig and distutils-sig create an
> awkward trinity where decision making authority and the appropriate
> venues for discussion are grossly unclear. I consider this to be one
> of the key reasons that working on packaging issues has quite a high
> incidence of developer burnout - it's hard to figure out who needs to
> be convinced of what, so it's easy for the frustration levels to reach
> the "this just isn't worth the hassle" stage (especially when trying
> to bring python-dev members up to speed on discussions that may have
> taken months on distutils-sig, and when many of the details are
> awkward compromises forced by the need to support *existing* tools and
> development processes on older versions of Python). Under my proposal,
> the breakdown would be slightly clearer:
> distutils-sig: overall authority for packaging and distribution
> related standards, *including* the interfaces between index servers
> (such as PyPI) and automated tools. If a PEP has "Discussions-To" set
> to distutils-sig, announcements of new PEPs, new versions of those
> PEPs, *and* their acceptance or rejection should be announced there,
> and *not* on python-dev. The "Resolution" header will thus point to a
> distutils-sig post rather than a python-dev one. distutils-sig will
> focus on solutions that work for *current* versions of Python, while
> keeping in mind the need for future stdlib support.
> python-dev: authority over stdlib support for packaging and
> distribution standards, and the "batteries included" experience of
> interacting with those standards. Until a next generation distribution
> infrastructure is firmly established (which may involve years of
> running the legacy infrastructure and the next generation metadata 2.x
> based infrastructure in parallel), the stdlib will typically trail the
> upstream standards substantially, since many upstream enhancements
> will run afoul of the standard library's "no new features" rule,
> preventing their inclusion in maintenance releases of old Python
> versions.
> catalog-sig: authority over the PyPI index server (supported by the
> infrastructure SIG for actual operation of the service). Key people
> are expected to also participate in distutils-sig, as that is where
> the expected interface exposed to automated tools will be defined. How
> PyPI exposes the packaging and distribution standards to *users*
> through its web UI will be up to catalog-sig.
> The vehicle for *documenting* such a change in policy would be an
> update to PEP 1 to indicate that the "Discussions-To" header should
> always point to the list where any formal acceptance of rejection of
> the PEP would be announced. If preliminary discussions take place on a
> feeder list like python-ideas, or import-sig, or somewhere else, that
> will be declared as explicitly irrelevant from the PEP metadata point
> of view: the Discussions-To field would be documented as referring to
> the list that any Resolution field will eventually reference.
> Regards,
> NIck.
> -- 
> Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

More information about the Python-Dev mailing list