[Python-Dev] How far to go with user-friendliness

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Sat Jul 18 14:47:54 CEST 2015

s.krah writes:

 > I don't think growing committer numbers is CPython's #1 problem.

Maybe not; not being a committer I don't have a strong opinion myself.
However, committers, and especially the group qualified for the BD1P
role, regularly post wishes for more senior developers to these lists.

 > Hypothetically speaking, I'd wager that someone writing an
 > industrial strength concurrent garbage collector is *far more
 > likely* to share Antoine's attitude.

I hope not.  It's one thing to wish that one can be surrounded by
peers with compatible workflows.  It's another to address those who
aren't one's peers with words like "keep up the good work, it's people
like you that make this a repulsive place to be."  (That may not be an
exact quote but it's in the same spirit.)

 > All developer's who fall into that category are being put off by the
 > current climate on python-dev and python-ideas, and there's no
 > shortage of other languages to contribute to.

And you propose to do what about that?  I made a concrete proposal (a
cloture rule) that would be an improvement.  It has precedent from
Guido himself.

It's not a panacea, of course, but AFAIK the committers in general
still prefer an open community; closing the lists or asking
non-committers or non-module-owners or whatever to be "seen and not
heard" is not going to get support.  So I don't think there is a
panacea.  It's unfortunate if that means some senior developers decide
to leave, but senior developers do leave projects occasionally for a
variety of reasons.  All the more reason to cultivate an environment
where new people feel free to join and participate, IMO, YMMV.

For senior developers in a community as large as Python's, with a code
base to match, to continue to get value from participation, they're
going to need to have a bit of noblesse oblige in their makeup.  In
that sense, senior developers in Python are victims of its success.

 > Likewise, I don't think PEPs are the problem either:

I'm sorry, I wasn't clear.  The point is not a need to produce and
approve more PEPs, or even commits.  It's having more people at the
levels where they're *qualified* for commit rights or the BD1P role.
Those are the people who make it fun for each other to keep working on
a large, mature project where curating existing code is a large
burden.  Partly because they're fun and productive to work with, and
partly because they can share the burden of maintenance.


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