[Python-Dev] PEP process entry point and ill fated initiatives

Mark Lawrence breamoreboy at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Nov 30 09:00:36 CET 2013

On 30/11/2013 03:39, Nick Coghlan wrote:
> On 30 November 2013 01:25, Kristján Valur Jónsson <kristjan at ccpgames.com> wrote:
>> I know that Anatoly himself is a subject of long history here, but I myself
>> have felt lessening affinity to the dev community in recent years.  It feels like
>> it is increasingly shutting itself in.
> Are you sure it isn't just that the focus of development has shifted
> to matters that aren't of interest or relevance to you? Many (perhaps
> even most) problems in Python don't require changes at the language or
> standard library level. We have cycle times measured in months, and
> impact times measured in years (especially since core development
> switched to Python 3 only mode for feature development). That's not
> typically something that is useful in day-to-day development tasks -
> it's only ever relevant in strategic terms.
> One thing that has changed for me personally, is that I've become far
> more blunt about refusing to respect those that explicitly (and
> vocally) refuse to respect us, yet seem to want to participate in core
> development anyway, and that's directly caused by Anatoly. He's still
> the only person who has been proposed for a permanent ban from all
> python.org controlled communication channels. That was averted after
> he voluntarily stopped annoying people for a while, but now he's back
> and I think the matter needs to be reconsidered.
> He refuses to sign the CLA that would allow him to contribute
> directly, yet still wants people to fix things for him.
> He refuses to read design documentation, yet still wants people to
> listen to his ideas.
> He refuses to care about other people's use cases, yet still wants
> people to care about his.
> As a case in point, Anatoly recently suggested that more diagrams in
> the documentation would be a good thing
> (http://bugs.python.org/issue19608). That's not an objectively bad
> idea, but producing and maintaining good diagrams is a high overhead
> activity, so we generally don't bother. When I suggested drawing some
> and sending a patch (I had forgotten about the CLA problem), Anatoly's
> response was that he's not a designer. So I countered with a
> suggestion that he explore what would be involved in adding the
> seqdiag and blockdiag sphinx extensions to our docs build process,
> since having those available would drastically lower the barrier to
> including and maintaining reasonable diagrams in the documentation,
> increasing the chance of such diagrams being included in the future.
> Silence.
> "Hey some diagrams would be helpful!" is not a useful contribution,
> it's stating the bleeding obvious. Even nominating some *specific*
> parts of the guide where a diagram would have helped Anatoly
> personally would have been useful. The technical change I suggested
> about figuring out what we'd need to change to enable those extensions
> would *definitely* have been useful.
> Another couple of incidents recently occurred on distutils-sig, where
> Anatoly started second guessing the decision to work on PyPI 2 as a
> test-driven-development-from-day-one incrementally developed and
> released system, rather than trying to update the existing fragile
> PyPI code base directly, as well as complaining about the
> not-accessible-to-end-users design docs for the proposed end-to-end
> security model for PyPI. It would be one thing if he was voicing those
> concerns on his own blog (it's a free internet, he can do what he
> likes anywhere else). It's a problem when he's doing it on
> distutils-sig and the project issue trackers.
> This isn't a matter of a naive newcomer that doesn't know any better.
> This is someone who has had PSF board members sit down with them at
> PyCon US to explain the CLA and why it is the way it is, who has had
> core developers offer them direct advice on how to propose suggestions
> in a way that is more likely to get people to listen, and when major
> issues have occurred in the past, we've even gone hunting for people
> to talk to him in his native language to make sure it wasn't a
> language barrier that was the root cause of the problem. *None* of it
> has resulted in any signficant improvement in his behaviour.
> Contributor time and emotional energy are the most precious resources
> an open source project has, and Anatoly is recklessly wasteful of
> both. We've spent years trying to coach him on being an effective
> collaborator and contributor, and it hasn't worked. This isn't a
> democracy, and neither is it a place for arbitrary people to get
> therapy on their inability to have any empathy for another person's
> point of view - in the end, passion for the language isn't enough,
> people have to demonstrate an ability to learn and be respectful of
> other people's time and energy, and Anatoly has well and truly proven
> he doesn't have either of those.
> Anatoly has the entire rest of the internet to play in, we shouldn't
> have to put up with his disruptions when we're actually trying to get
> stuff done.
> Regards,
> Nick.

FWIW I agree entirely with your sentiments.  Several times recently I've 
seen him in action on the bug tracker.  I've been sorely tempted to wear 
my XXXL size Asperger hat and state what I really think of his 
behaviour, but somehow managed to control myself and say nothing. 
Thankfully with your words above this seems to have paid off as nobody 
has been sidetracked any further.

And yes I'm aware that at times I'm no angel, although I believe I can 
at least offer mitigating circumstances.

Python is the second best programming language in the world.
But the best has yet to be invented.  Christian Tismer

Mark Lawrence

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