[Python-Dev] we will probably be having an difficult discussion about the stdlib after PEP 594 is done

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Fri May 24 15:30:54 EDT 2019

On Fri, May 24, 2019 at 11:07 AM Nathaniel Smith <njs at pobox.com> wrote:

> On Fri, May 24, 2019, 08:08 Ben Cail <benjamin_cail at brown.edu> wrote:
>> Why not have the PSF hire someone (or multiple people) to be paid to
>> work on the maintenance burden? This could be similar to the Django
>> fellows:
>> https://www.djangoproject.com/fundraising/#who-is-the-django-fellow. It
>> seems like a good thing for Django, and Python is used by many more
>> people than Django. Why not pay someone to do the work that others don't
>> want to do? The person in this position could be guided by the PSF
>> and/or the Steering Council, to do the work most necessary for the good
>> of the language as a whole (like maintaining old modules that other core
>> devs don't want to work on).
>> You could market it together with the maintenance burden: "you want to
>> use all these old modules, but we don't want to maintain them. So pay us
>> some money, and we'll hire someone to maintain them."
> I think the basic idea here is a good one, but:
> - transitioning from an all-volunteer project to a mixed
> paid-staff+volunteers project is a big step, and we'll need to take time to
> figure out what that would look like before people are comfortable with it.
> - even if we have folks paid to help with maintenance, it won't mean we
> suddenly have infinite resources and can do everything. We'll still need to
> pick which things to prioritize. And I think if you asked 100 people to
> name the most critical issues facing Python today, most of them would not
> say "maintaining xdrlib".

I'll just quickly say that the steering council has gotten out from under
the PEP backlog enough to start a conversation with the PSF about staffing.
It's initially around PM-type things (e.g. Python 2 sunset, PEP 588), but
if that works out then I would assume we would expand the conversation to
other types of staffing. IOW it's too early to start talking about this
topic but just know the steering council is aware of what the DSF does and
the general idea of potentially hiring folks to help on the dev-side of
things (and Nathaniel's point about setting expectations I think is spot-on
:) .
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