[Python-ideas] Using an appropriate tone in emails (was: Adding a thin wrapper class around the functions in stdlib.heapq)

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Mon Nov 27 15:39:45 EST 2017


Basically, if you're posting here, you probably want something to change.
And that means that somebody has to make that change. And someone has to
approve it. Etc. And you are trying to influence those people to
make/approve/etc. that change, since for them it's less work if nothing
change. And how do you influence people? Not by opening with an insult.

(Also if you think that none of this matters because we're all rational
actors, grow up. :-)


On Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 12:17 PM, Brett Cannon <brett at python.org> wrote:

> On Tue, 21 Nov 2017 at 14:57 Nick Timkovich <prometheus235 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 4:16 PM, Sven R. Kunze <srkunze at mail.de> wrote:
>>> Maybe, that suffices: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/xheap
>> I still think the heapq.heap* functions are atrocious and they should
>> immediately be packaged with *no additional features* into a stdlib object
>> for reasons along the line of https://mail.python.org/
>> pipermail/python-ideas/2017-October/047514.html
> I wanted to address the general tone people should aim for on this list so
> that people don't inadvertently insult people. Now I'm going to preface
> this as I'm not explicitly calling out Nick here on this, I'm just using
> his email as an illustrative example as it's what happened to trigger me to
> write this email.
> So Nick said above that the design of the heapq module is "atrocious", to
> the extent that it should be "immediately" fixed with an OO wrapper. So
> obviously Nick doesn't like the design of the heapq module. ;) And that's
> okay! And he's totally within his rights to express the feeling that the
> heapq module as it stands doesn't meet his needs.
> But calling it "atrocious" and so bad that it needs to be fixed
> "immediately" as if it's a blight upon the stdlib is unnecessarily
> insulting to those that have worked on the module. To convey the feeling
> that you think an OO wrapper would be helpful as the current design doesn't
> work for you, you could just phrase it as I just did to get the same point
> across without insulting anyone. Basically if you wouldn't like your own
> work called "atrocious" by someone you respect, then it's probably best to
> not use that phrasing when talking about a stranger's code either.
> If you want more context as to why this all matters in order to keep open
> source sustainable, you can watch my 15 minute keynote from JupyterCon this
> year for a more in-depth, verbal explanation:
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y19s6vPpGXA .
> And BTW, the heapq module is 15 years old, has a history, and there are
> explicit reasons it's designed the way it is, so from that perspective I
> would argue it has a good design.
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--Guido van Rossum (python.org/~guido)
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