[Python-ideas] Advocating your ideas [was: Using an appropriate tone in emails]

Stephen J. Turnbull turnbull.stephen.fw at u.tsukuba.ac.jp
Tue Nov 28 03:53:02 EST 2017

This discussion started on Python-Ideas (q.v.), and is also somewhat
applicable to Python-Dev.  I think further discussion belongs on
Core-Mentorship, though.  Cc'd and reply-to set.

bunslow writes:

 > 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".

That's a good point!

However, even a for modest enhancement, you do need to advocate from
"what's wrong with the status quo".  But that is most persuasive when
it can be phrased as "you can't do X", or at least "you can't do X
without Y", and this change allow that feature.

And Y usually should not be something that most Python programmers do
in the ordinary course of writing code, such as defining functions or
classes.  This is quite a fine point though.  I note that Nick
defended a *very* short context manager (the "null" context manager)
on the grounds that typical Python programmers think of context
managers as being a bit magical.  They use them all the time in the
recommended idioms for file handling and the like, but they very
rarely write them.

Again, "writing loop statements" is usually considered something that
doesn't qualify as a "Y", but we got comprehensions and then
generators.  I'm not sure what the lesson is here.  Maybe it's that
crossing the statement/expression boundary is a Y.  Or maybe it's that
comprehensions and generators are imports of features successful in
other languages, so were relatively easy to accept.


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