[Python-Dev] How do we tell if we're helping or hindering the core development process? (was Re: How far to go with user-friendliness)

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Wed Jul 22 02:38:15 CEST 2015

Ben Finney writes:

 > Definitely agreed, and I'm not implying otherwise.
 > There is a distinction to be drawn:
 > * If challenged to do so, could one (the contributor) present a
 >   compelling justification for the change?

Aside from Paul's disclaimer, this is way too high a bar.  Nick tried
to express that in his post, but I doubt it's possible to successfully
communicate what Nick means in a mailing list post because it's a very
subtle distinction that requires a lot of "what could he be thinking"
effort from *each* reader to convey.

 > * If a participant on this forum feels entitled to challenge a
 >   change, must the contributor present an arbitrary quantity of
 >   justification of each decision when challenged?

This expression is improperly restrictive.  Contributors object to it
because it's objectively objectionable, and easy to express.  But they
also don't want to wade through arbitrary amounts of feedback which is
often context-free and/or actually misguided.  They don't want to
explain a point multiple times to casual readers who miss it, or spend
the inordinate amount of effort required to compose a post that covers
all the context needed in terms that all the casual readers can parse.
All that is much harder to explain in terms which will result in
*well-informed, to-the-point* feedback, and without sounding like "I
know what I'm doing so STFU" (the recent "to python-dev from
python-dev" post is an example of the kind of wording that can be
misinterpreted this way).

So people object to "micro-management" as a summary of frustration,
but the actual sematics are complex and subtle.

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