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

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Tue Jul 28 14:57:28 CEST 2015

On 28 July 2015 at 13:35, Ben Finney <ben+python at benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> People can, do, and probably must make many decisions through
> non-rational processes. I don't propose to change that.


> Choices can be made that, when challenged, lack compelling rational
> justification. I do propose that such a challenge should be taken as a
> healthy desire to improve Python, not a personal attack.

While that is fine, you appear unwilling to accept the possibility
that people may not have the time/energy to develop a detailed
rational justification for a change that they have made, and demanding
that they do so when they are offering the time they do give on a
volunteer basis, is what I claim is unacceptable.

> Those are separate. When I decide to avoid travelling a particular route
> to work one day, my decision could very likely be made non-rationally.

Would you be happy if someone insisted, when you arrive at work, that
you rigorously justify your choice, down to the smallest detail? "Why
didn't you avoid road A, as there's a bridge over that road and when
you go that way you risk the bridge collapsing and killing you?
There's no way it makes sense to take such a significant risk when by
going down road B you could avoid it, for no more than 10 minutes'

As a further point, even if your challenge is from a desire to ensure
the best possible outcome for Python, you may not know the subject
area as well as the core dev involved (that's pretty much by
definition for these mailing list debates). In order to explain the
decision, the core dev may need to give you a lot of information that
they already know, from experience. Your demand for explanation has
now turned into a demand for free education. Is that still acceptable?
Must Steve Dower or I explain all of the relevant intricacies of
Windows to you just so that you can understand our explanation of why
we made a particular Windows-related change?

The issue is not one of your motives in asking for explanations - it's
the implication that you are entitled to require others to *provide*
those explanations, to whatever level of detail *you* require.

I hope that clarifies my position. In the spirit of what I've said
above, I hope you won't take it the wrong way if I point out that this
discussion has become a drain on my limited personal time, and I am no
longer finding it of interest. As a result, I'm not going to follow up
further. If what I've said doesn't justify my position sufficiently,
we'll simply have to agree to differ.


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