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

bunslow bunslow at gmail.com
Tue Nov 28 03:26:10 EST 2017

I certainly didn't take away the right lesson! And lesson well learned,

On Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 12:55 AM, Nathaniel Smith <njs at pobox.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 7:22 PM, bunslow <bunslow at gmail.com> wrote:
> > My first submission to this list was predicated on what I'd read in PEPs
> --
> > and many of those, since they recommend major-enough changes to require a
> > PEP, have sections (often lengthy) dedicated to "what's wrong with the
> > status quo". My attempt to imitate that obviously crossed some
> boundaries in
> > retrospect, and of course now that it's brought up here I see that
> spinning
> > it as "what can be done to make it better" is psychologically much more
> > effective than "why the current way sucks" (because semantically these
> are
> > either approximately or exactly the same). But that's where it came
> from, at
> > least with some of my earlier threads, and I suspect the author of the
> topic
> > message of the OP will have a similar sentiment.
> To quote Brett's original email:
> > 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.
> You can and should talk about problems with the status quo! But it's
> totally possible to do this without insulting anyone. Brett's talking
> about tone, not content.
> > (One major example I can point to is PEP 465 -- because it proposed such
> a
> > major change to the language, literally half its text amounts to "what's
> > wrong with the status quo", quantifiably and repeatedly. It was also a
> > highly persuasive PEP due in no small part to its "why current things
> suck"
> > section.)
> Maybe, but you won't find the word "suck" anywhere in that section
> :-). And of course, the nice thing about PEP 465 is that it's
> complaining about a missing feature, which sort of by definition means
> that it's not complaining about anyone in particular's work.
> Nonetheless, an earlier draft of PEP 465 did inadvertently talk about
> an old PEP in an overly-flippant manner, and I ended up apologizing to
> the author and fixing it. (Which of course also made the PEP
> stronger.) It's cool, no-one's perfect. If you think you've made a
> mistake, then apologize and try to do better, that's all.
> -n
> --
> Nathaniel J. Smith -- https://vorpus.org
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