[Python-Dev] How do we tell if we're helping or hindering the core development process?

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Wed Jul 22 06:52:12 CEST 2015

On 22 July 2015 at 13:23, Nikolaus Rath <Nikolaus at rath.org> wrote:
> If it were up to me, I'd focus all the resources of the PSF on reducing
> this backlog - be that by hiring some core developers to work full-time
> on just the open bugtracker issues, or by financing development of
> better code review and commit infrastructure.

Ah, but the PSF can't do that without infringing on python-dev's
autonomy - switching to my PSF Director's hat, while we'd certainly be
prepared to help with funding a credible grant proposal for something
like the Twisted technical fellowship, we wouldn't *impose* help that
the core developers haven't asked for. That again bottlenecks on core
developer time, though - figuring out how to reasonably run such a
fellowship programme (especially the recruiting aspects) without
alienating volunteers is yet another "hard community management

>From the "strange but true" files, it's also the case that growing the
core developer community *isn't* actually the PSF's highest priority -
that honour goes to growing the Python *user* community, and the
reference interpreter itself is only one aspect of that (while
is only a draft, it still gives a good guide as to the extent of the
PSF's wider activities).

> The current situation
> looks like a downward spiral to me. New contributors are frustrated and
> leave because they feel their contribution is not welcome, and core
> developers get burned out by the gigantic backlog and the interaction
> with frustrated patch submitters - thus further reducing the available
> manpower.

We actually still have a lot of paid core developer (and potential
core developer) time locked up in facilitating the Python 2 -> 3
migration, as we didn't fully appreciate the extent to which Python
had been adopted in the Linux ecosystem and elsewhere until folks
started seeking help upgrading.

Knowing that doesn't help in the near term, of course, but it does
mean we know there's a relatively large pool of paid development time
currently being directed elsewhere that may be brought more directly
to bear upstream in the future.


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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