[Types-sig] Re: [Python-Dev] Revive the types sig?

Guido van Rossum guido@digicool.com
Mon, 12 Mar 2001 10:19:45 -0500

> > The goal of whatever it is we're doing here should be to come up with
> > a PEP, and a Wiki seems to be a good way to iteratively approach
> > writing a PEP.  (As long as eventually it's moved into the PEP.)
> I don't know about everybody else but I have a single event queue and
> that is my inbox. I can use a Wiki if there is a bidirectional mail
> engine but otherwise I would rather use a mailing list.

There's no mail interface but I strongly recommend giving Wiki a
chance.  The issue with mail is that it makes it very easy to carry on
a discussion, but it's practically impossible to extract the gist of
that discussion later from the archives.  This means that those people
who aren't able to follow the discussion in real time are lost forever.

You may try out a hybrid approach: use the Wiki to record progress as
it is made in the email discussion; then latecomers (or historians :-)
can use the Wiki to get up to speed.

Please give this a try!  We've tried the email route twice before and
it didn't work.

> > I also believe that without an outspoken author who heads the effort,
> > there's no hope.  Paul, please either lead the way or say you ain't
> > "it".  We've had enough meta discussion. 
> I disagree. The problem with previous efforts has been precisely that
> everybody comes in with radically conflicting goals and approaches. I've
> "just dived in" twice before with no success. We have a variety of very
> precise and elaborate documents here: 
> http://www.python.org/sigs/types-sig/
> And we are no closer to a final spec. It would be absolutely no use for
> me to dive in writing another one.

Not if your thinking hasn't made progress since last year.  But you
should have had enough feedback and time to think about it to have
made up your mind.

Really, if you're just inviting people to discuss this till they're on
fire, that's exactly what's going to happen, and you might as well
give up now.  (Saves you & your wife some grief. :-)

> That said, I have four new type-related PEPs sitting on my hard drive.
> But I strongly believe that it is NOT useful to start discussing
> solutions until we agree on the problem we're trying to solve. I'll
> release my PEPs, half of the audience will yell: "that doesn't solve the
> static type checking problem", another (partially overlapping) half will
> yell: "that isn't as computationally complete as ML" and so forth.

So be careful to say what your PEPs *do* solve, and tell others that
if they have a different problem, that they should look for a
different solution, and write theire own damn PEP.

Please, you've got to stop this committee-design idea.  Take the lead.
Propose a design that does what *you* need.  Allow yourself to be
selfish.  See if your critics care enough to write a counter-PEP.  If
they do, more power to them (nothing is so focusing for a discussion
as two opposing proposals).  If they don't, their criticism isn't
worth much, and you win by default.

Now, when all is said and done, you may still end up with an
unacceptable proposal, for different reasons.  But the first goal here
is to come up with a proposal (and possibly a counter-proposal).
Focus the discussion!

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)