Python Warts: The where, when, how, and why of a PyWart.

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Mon Feb 18 23:31:01 CET 2013

On 2/18/2013 1:04 PM, Rick Johnson wrote:

>    This thread is actually an extension (of sorts) to a thread
>    started by "Anatoly tecktonik" back in December 2012; posted on
>    the python-ideas mailing list; titled: "Documenting Python
>    warts on Stack Overflow".

This was a threat to abuse StackOverflow with off-topic posts if 'we' 
did not pay him more attention.

>    I don't feel that python-ideas was the proper location to
>    discuss this issue (and neither did the BDFL)

Correct. I said so first, though Guido saying so later had more effect ;=(.
I also said that the post was obnoxious and best ignored. You dirty 
yourself by associating yourself with that post.

I will just briefly repeat two points:
1. we already have a searchable list of Python problems -- the tracker; 
2. everything that Anatoly complained about has already been discussed, 
sometimes ad nauseum.

His real complaint is that he tends not accept and respect that other 
reasonable and intelligent people disagree with him and that we develop 
Python for all users, not just him.

> Anatoly, I've seen your posts on python-ideas regarding this issue
 > and wanted to inquire as to your progress so far.

Anatoly has made progress in restraining his most obnoxious behaviors, 
such as repeatedly re-opening closed tracker issues, and otherwise 
trying to divert developer attention from issues we can and will fix* to 
his pet dead issues. You would do him a disservice if you encouraged him 
to regress in that respect.

However, moving his diatribes to python-list from the tracker, pydev, 
and python-ideas *would* be progress, and I hope you succeed in 
encouraging him to do that. I have so far failed.

*The mostly volunteer developers have closed an average of perhaps 5 
issues a day for the last 2 years that I have been watching. Quite 
amazing. A few are rejections of proposed enhancements or behavior 
changes, but most are fixes and improvements.

 > Also, you should not be surprised that many
> in the Python community do not want a searchable list of warts available;

Such a lie. Issues on the tracker are *not* removed. Neither are posts 
on the mailing lists.

Rick, it is one thing to say you don't like some feature of Python -- I 
am sure you don't -- and wish it to be changed -- I am sure you do. It 
is really quite another to lie about people who volunteer their efforts 
to improve Python. The more you do this, the most you encourage 
developers to ignore python-list.

> But let's not fool ourselves, of /course/ the word "wart" is subjective!

As someone who has suffered from aggressive, objectively real warts for 
at least 2 decades and probably will for the rest of my life, I do not 
find the bad metaphor very amusing. I wish people would stop using it.

Terry Jan Reedy

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