Kindness

boB Stepp robertvstepp at gmail.com
Fri Jul 13 22:25:59 EDT 2018


On Fri, Jul 13, 2018 at 7:54 PM Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info> wrote:

> It's not helped by do-gooders who by their own admission have no idea of
> the context sticking their nose in to tell off those who chastise Bart...

I'm not sure if I am one of the "do-gooders" or not in your
perspective, Steve.  I have been sniffing around this list for about
the past four years, so I believe I have a good understanding of the
"context" you refer to.  I just cannot help but think there must be a
better way of interacting with Bart?  But the last time I "stuck my
nose in", Bart, by his own self-admission, stated he had no intentions
of either contributing to Python or trying to properly learn Python.
He is beginning to remind me of a curmudgeonly old uncle that many
families have, that keeps unexpectedly popping in for a stay, leaving
the family exasperated and wondering what to do as the uncle
continually offers his unsolicited advice.

But leaving all issues of Bart aside, the news of Mr. van Rossum
abdicating his role of leadership leaves me wondering about the
welcoming aspect of the Python community.  If the creator himself
apparently has been burdened by sharp criticisms of his decisions,
something seems definitely awry.  But I only occasionally poke about
in the dev and ideas mail archives, and did not know about the
committers one until yesterday, so I am definitely unqualified to
comment here. However, I have been following this list for a few years
now, and my emotional perception of this list is that its "snarky
content" has been gradually rising over this time frame.  Of course
this is just my perception, unbacked by data, and I freely admit I may
be mistaken.  But I wonder ...

A few weeks ago I spent a good chunk of my weekend looking at this
list's Gmane archives from the earliest years available.  I did not
read every post, but I don't recall stumbling onto any of the
Bart-like threads.  I may have just gotten lucky and missed them, but
instead I was left with the impression of the type of community that
Mr. van Rossum has obviously worked so hard to foster.  I have read
several articles since yesterday that noted that Mr. van Rossum's
leadership skills went beyond his technical competence to somehow
creating this warm, open community of Python-loving folks.  I have
greatly benefited from this community in my on-and-off attempts to
learn Python.  For instance, Steve, I have lost count of how many
times you have helped me out on the Tutor list with long, carefully
written answers to my questions that must have taken good chunks of
your valuable time.  Many thanks to you and others who have been so
generous in sharing their expertise and time with me!  But after
delving in the archives, I cannot help but feel that the "now" is not
quite as good as the "then".  So I continue to wonder ...

Only those of you who have been there from Python's earliest years can
truly know if my emotional perceptions have any validity.  I was *not*
there.  But what I finally wonder is if this might not be the time for
the community to engage in self-reflection, and see if we can do
better on achieving the welcoming and openness that I think this
community continually strives for, and, perhaps, even make room for
those curmudgeonly, old uncles that keep popping in for unexpected
visits?



-- 
boB


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