[Python-ideas] A tuple of various Python suggestions

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Mon Apr 11 08:01:28 EDT 2016

Executive summary: Keep your shirts on, Python-Dev is scaling.

Nick Coghlan writes:
 > On 11 April 2016 at 07:24, Keith Curtis <keithcu at gmail.com> wrote:
 > > I personally find Python very stable, but the bug counts have been
 > > heading in the wrong direction:
 > > http://bugs.python.org/issue?@template=stats
 > >
 > > I recently discovered those charts, and they have valuable data that
 > > can be turned into action.
 > How?

Wrong question, in my opinion.  "Why do you think so?" is what I'd
ask.  To me, only the last graph, which shows the closed and total
growing at the same rate (more or less), and therefore suggests that
Python development is on a stable path vis-a-vis bugginess, is
particularly interesting.

Growth in number of open issues in that situation is arguably a *good*
thing.  Why might the open issues be growing, even though the fraction
of open issues (= 1 - the fraction of closed issues) is constant?

(1) Users are reporting lots of issues.  How would that happen?
    Python is getting lots of users, and they aren't going away
    because Python is "too buggy".  Hard to see that as a bad thing.

(2) Python has a growing amount of code to be buggy, and users are
    exercising the new code and reporting issues they encounter, and
    aren't going away because it's too buggy.  Hard to see that as a
    bad thing.

(3) The reported issues are duplicates reported because nobody's
    fixing an important subset.  That's bad, but is it real?  Well,
    can't disprove that just looking at the numbers, but (a) we'd
    notice the dupes (people are looking at the issue tracker, because
    issues are getting closed) and (b) the users would go away, but
    (1) and (2) say they aren't.

The same "back of the envelope" analysis applies to the "issues with
patches," I think.

Not to be Pollyanna about it; there are problems with Python's issue
management (and Nick knows them better than most).  And perhaps there
is an opportunity to leverage that stability, and improve the open to
total ratio while maintaining user and feature growth.  But AFAICS,
those graphs don't really tell us anything we can act on (except to
reassure us that the rumors that Python is about to be consumed by
termites are unfounded).

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