[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)

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Wed Jul 22 13:09:34 CEST 2015

On 22 July 2015 at 03:18, Stephen J. Turnbull <stephen at xemacs.org> wrote:
> The only *practical* suggestion from "the core" has been self-
> restraint on the part of "the crowd"

I would have said the following has been covered, but maybe not. At
the risk of repeating something that's already been said, here are
some guidelines for people asking for comments on a commit.

1. Post *once*. Don't post again until there is some feedback from the
core dev addressed - the reason threads become self-sustaining is that
people respond to each other without any new input from the "other
side" (i.e. the core dev who made the commit/decision).

2. Do your research - read the issue tracker comments before posting.
Look at dates, times, and history. The commit that triggered this
thread was made over a year ago - we're discussing ancient history
here - and the original issue was raised by the lead developer on
mock. There's not a lot of explanation in there, so *maybe* asking for
more detail is acceptable, but what's wrong with a comment on the
issue along the lines of "I know this is history, but are there links
to any discussion on including the assret mis-spelling that I could
read up on?")

3. Prefer comments on the tracker over mailing list discussions.
Consider hard why you feel it's necessary to take the discussion to a
forum with a wider readership. Honestly assess whether or not you're
simply hoping to muster numbers in support of your view. If your
arguments are no better than "look, lots of people agree with me",
then leave it to someone with more compelling arguments (if there are
any) to speak up.

4. Seriously consider, if you don't use the functionality in question,
why do you feel entitled to an opinion? Bystanders' views are not
disallowed, but you should start from the assumption that the opinions
of people directly affected by the change have *far* more weight than

5. Assume that the decision was well-considered and made with good
reasons. If you don't understand the reasons, and feel you need to,
ask for them, but refrain from judgement until you have the reasons.
The original mail in this thread ("is this a joke?" is a particularly
bad violation of this rule - does anyone seriously think a core dev
commits code as a joke???).

Yes, these constitute a very high bar for commenters. So what? The
bars being set by commenters on core developers are also very high.


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