[Python-Dev] PEP 481 - Migrate Some Supporting Repositories to Git and Github

Donald Stufft donald at stufft.io
Sun Nov 30 20:56:22 CET 2014

> On Nov 30, 2014, at 2:28 PM, Ethan Furman <ethan at stoneleaf.us> wrote:
> On 11/30/2014 10:05 AM, Guido van Rossum wrote:
>> Python has a long history (all the way back to my choice of a MIT-style license for the first release) of mixing "free"
>> and "non-free" uses and tools -- for example on Windows we consciously chose to align ourselves with the platform
>> tooling rather than with the (minority) free tools available, Python has been ported to many commercial platforms, and
>> I've always encouraged use of Python in closed-source situations.
> For this I am grateful, and agree with.
>> Finally. And this may actually be the most important point. Python people should be doing stuff that makes Python better
>> (both taken in the most inclusive way possible). For stuff that's not unique to Python but can be used by many other
>> open-source projects, such as compilers, DVCS tools, or mailing lists, we should not be wasting our precious time on
>> building and maintaining our own tools or administering the servers on which they run. And historically we've not done a
>> great job on maintenance and administration.
> My issues with GitHub range from selfish to philosophical:
>  - (selfish) I don't want to learn git

Note: That you don’t actually have to learn git, you can clone a git repository with Mercurial using hg-git and continue to use Mercurial locally. The same of course can be said for the *other* way, but I’d argue that putting the burden of using things like hg-git or git-remote-hg on the less popular tool is a better overall decision.

>  - (practical) from what I hear git can have issues with losing history -- in a
>    project that has many volunteer and part-time developers, using a tool that
>    can munge your data just doesn't seem very wise

I have never heard of git losing history. Git goes out of it’s way not to lose things. Even unreferences commits don’t go away for months unless you purposely prune them. I’d personally call this FUD unless there’s some citation here.

>  - (practical) supporting git and hg means learning two different workflows

As I mentioned in my other email, we’re already supporting two different tools, and it’s a hope of mine to use this as a sort of testbed to moving the other repositories as well.

>  - (philosophical) in a commercial world we vote with our dollars (don't like how
>    a company behaves?  don't buy their product); in an OSS world we vote by whose
>    services/software we use;  I don't want to support, or appear to support, a
>    company that is abusive and sexist towards its employees:  it is not what the
>    PSF supports, and it's definitely not what I support.

I’m assuming this is about Github. I’ll say that Github has, at least publicly,
made steps towards doing better than they had previously there. I’m not a Github
employee so I can’t speak towards that.

It almost feels like there is some amount of co-opting this incident as a shield
to hide behind. Most people who make this statement are more than happy to continue
to use Linux for example, even though Linus is well documented being extremely
abusive towards people and has more or less said that he’s never going to change
that. I also think it’s hard to look at a company like bitbucket, for example, and
say they are *better* than Github just because they didn’t have a public and
inflammatory event.

Attempting to reduce the cognitive burden for contributing and aligning ourselves
with the most popular tools allows us to take advantage of the network effects
of these tools popularity. This can be the difference between someone with limited
amount of time being able to contribute or not, which can make real inroads towards
making it easier for under privileged people to contribute much more than refusing
to use a product of one group of people over another just because the other group
hasn’t had a public and inflammatory event.

> Not everyone is suited to demonstrate in the streets, but it shouldn't be that hard to not use a company with
> acknowledged bad practices.
> --
> ~Ethan~
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Donald Stufft
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