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

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Tue Feb 19 04:22:40 CET 2013

On 2/18/2013 6:55 PM, Rick Johnson wrote:
> Pointing out problems on appropriate list is fine,

I agree. Python-list is the most free among lists.

> But i don't believe a "Bug Tracker" and a "Language Wart" listing are the same.

I agree. Anyone is free to make their own site or blog, call it what 
they want, and run it however they want.

 > My belief is that a Tracker is for posting patches for "bugs";
 > meaning either the kind that throw errors:
> [Warning: Naively hypothetical examples ahead!]
>      py> 1+2
>      Exception: Seg Fault!

We take these seriously if they involve core python. There is even, 
somewhere, a separate list of 'crashers' that we think should be fixed. 
The one left are the ones we do not know how to fix. Some reports are 
closed as "won't fix" when the crash is a result of freedom we will not 
take away. Two examples are ctypes and the possibility of hacking the 
bytecode and other fields in CPython code objects.

> ...or the kind that produce illogical results:
>      py> 1+2
>      12

Would that all bug issue were so clear. The hard one involve behavior 
that is not clearly defined in the docs.

The tracker is also for improvements, though I think idea are best 
discussed off the tracker first to discover if there is really any 
support and possibly to improve the idea. There are currently 1170 open 
'enhancement' requests on the tracker. Most are likely forgotten about 
and will never go anywhere without off-tracker discussion.

The tracker is definitely not the place for 'How do I use Python?' 
questions, or "How do I fix my code?" questions. They belong here.

> I also believe a Bug Tracker is a serious place where stict etiquette
 > and posting rules should be maintained:

Absolutely. Thank you for saying that.

>   * only post if you have a working solution!

That is ideal, but some people find problems they do not know how to 
fix. What is annoying however, is people how say "I could contribute 
code, but I am too busy, so I want one of you volunteer to do the work I 
will not do."

>   * express the problem as succinctly as possible in text.
>   * provide example code that exposes the error in a succinctly manner.

These two apply to posts here too. I am still amazed at 'My code doesn't 
work. How do I fix it?" posts.

>   * check any emotional baggage at the door.
>   * only present "real bugs" and not illusions or preconceived notions  > of how a certain chunk of code, or syntax, or whatever, should behave.

I would add that when people do post the last kind of issue, they should 
respect the developers enough to accept an issue being closed and not 
reopen it to drag on the discussion. We have too limited time for too 
many issues and are not quite keeping up as it is.

I have little or no argument with the other points you made.

Terry Jan Reedy

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