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

Robert Collins robertc at robertcollins.net
Wed Jul 29 18:54:54 CEST 2015

On 29 July 2015 at 02:17, Ben Finney <ben+python at benfinney.id.au> wrote:
> Paul Moore <p.f.moore at gmail.com> writes:
>> 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.
>> Good.
>> > 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.
> I've said many times now that's not what I'm advocating.
> I've made a clear distinction between the need to *be able to* justify a
> change, versus arbitrary demands to do so by arbitrary members.
> The latter is what you're arguing against, and of course I agree. I've
> never advocated that.

I'm arguing against the former. Being able to survive a crowd sourced
grilling on any arbitrary change would be quite the chilling effect,
and its a level of backpressure that the committers who engaged in
this discussion have rejected. Some have rejected contributing *at
all* as a result of the discussion. Others, like me, are telling you
that you're wrong, that we don't accept that we can be called up for
any odd commit and asked to justify it to anyone.

There is a social contract around our commits - and it does permit
enquiry and discussion, but not with the degree of heat or antagonism
that was present in this thread.


Not by uninformed folk: If you're going to second guess the onus is on
you to educate yourself about the issue first. This particular one,
for instance, requires going back through the history of mock right to
its founding in 2007, and walking forward through the merge into the
stdlib in Python 3,3 (because its popular) and finally the realisation
that large chunks of peoples code were silently not testing what was
desired and the fixing of that. Discussing the thing we discussed *in
that context* is a very different discussion to what we had, where
every second message was someone misunderstanding what the issue is
and chiming in to say that this is surprising and unPythonic and
against the Zen and oh my.

>> 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.
> Hopefully this repetition is enough: I do not claim any such entitlement.

If you don't claim such entitlement, who does? Whose entitlement are
you arguing for? If its Guido's, I think we can stop arguing - sure,
he is entitled to ask for a lot, but I don't want to argue about what
entitlements someone else has: they can argue on their own.


Robert Collins <rbtcollins at hp.com>
Distinguished Technologist
HP Converged Cloud

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