[Python-Dev] PEPs from non-core devs now need a sponsor

Steve Dower steve.dower at python.org
Tue Mar 5 12:14:11 EST 2019

On 05Mar2019 0620, James Edwards wrote:
> I have to say, this is sort of surprising for what seems like the first 
> official action of the steering committee.  Are there really /that many 
> /PEPs that a team that is now, what, 5x the size of the BFDL model is 
> worried that they'll be able to keep up?  As a long-time lurker, this 
> hardly seems to be the case.  Despite the seemingly-well-intentioned 
> rationale, this seems like an ominous sign.

FWIW, I'm 100% on board with this idea (and feel free to continue 
stealing ideas from PEP 8013 ;) ). However, the presentation of it 
certainly didn't emphasize the good rationale for the decision.

In short, the five person steering council is not the equivalent of 5x 
BDFL. If they want to delegate early decision making to the core team as 
a whole, they can, and that's what they've done here.

For non-core developers, and particularly first-time contributors, the 
PEP process typically starts at python-ideas. (Even core devs probably 
ought to start there, though part of being accepted as a core developer 
means we trust your judgement in selecting the correct venue for 
discussion, so if security-sig, datetime-sig, capi-sig, core-workflow, 
or just python-dev is more appropriate, feel free to start there.)

To "get out" of python-ideas, someone needs to suggest where it goes 
next. Most of the time, this is python-dev. However, if you don't have 
*a single* core developer on board from python-ideas, chances are the 
whole team is going to reject the proposal.

In the past, an idea would be shut down by just one negative vote 
(Guido's). In this future, an idea is promoted by just one positive vote 
(any core developer's). It's actually much easier for an "outsider" to 
get their idea in front of the whole core team than before. And 
python-ideas has core developers and regular contributors who have 
self-selected to "triage" ideas and help move them along. If the 
triagers don't like your idea, it's probably not a good idea :)

Asking for proclamation from the council/delegate is literally saying 
"this proposal is ready". As a contributor (first time or 100th time), 
if you think your proposal is ready without *anyone else* agreeing with 
you, then *we* think you have a humility problem and we'd like you to go 
work on that.

It's not a big ask to have one of the lower level mailing lists look at 
your proposal before the council has to make an official decision. You 
should *want* the mailing lists to look at your proposal. I certainly 
do, because every time they do my proposals get better, and I get better 
at writing proposals. This is a situation where everyone wins.


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