On Jul 12, 2018, at 07:57, Guido van Rossum <gu...@python.org> wrote:
> I would like to remove myself entirely from the decision process. I'll still 
> be there for a while as an ordinary core dev, and I'll still be available to 
> mentor people -- possibly more available. But I'm basically giving myself a 
> permanent vacation from being BDFL, and you all will be on your own.

Leaving my emotions out of it for now, and with my heartfelt gratitude for 
everything you’ve done, I am absolutely certain that the community you’ve built 
is strong enough to carry on.

I’m honored that a some of you think I can fill 1/3 of Guido’s shoes, although 
in all humility I have my doubts.  Aside from that, it’s important to recognize 
that we have so many intelligent and compassionate contributors, that much of 
Python’s ongoing development can essentially carry on unchanged.  Yury, for 
example worried about replacing Guido’s extensive knowledge across so much of 
Python, and there’s the concern that Guido’s unique authority as BDFL will be 
difficult to replicate.  E.g even if you still absolutely hate PEP 572 (which I 
don’t), it is now unequivocally part of Python.  It’s up to all of us to accept 
that, move on, and learn to use it tastefully.

I think this change in governance will increase the importance of the 
BDFL-Delegate.  We have trusted experts in many of the sub-topics of Python, 
and I have so much more confidence in letting them make the decisions relevant 
to those sub-topics.  E.g. Nick, and now Paul for packaging, Yury et al for 
async, etc.  I know that experts and BDFL-Delegates will make the right choices 
in these sub-topics, with the right intentions, and the best of their 
abilities.  Even Guido recognizes that we’re all just trying to do our best.

Where the BDFL role is most important is in those holistic decisions about 
global features, such as PEP 572.  These things impact everyone and every 
corner of Python, so having a final arbiter(s) that is accepted by the 
community at large is critical.  I’ve long said that if I had to choose a 
single person to fill that role, it would be Brett.  He has the right mix of 
technical and social chops to make thoughtful, intelligent, compassionate 
decisions, and he has the advantage of being likely more than a decade away 
from Guido in hopeful retirement plans, unlike perhaps that FLUFL guy. :)

That said, I think a triumvirate would work (Guido’s Unworthy Inherited 
Delegation Organization).  Mostly, that group would identify and work with 
Delegates to make the final decisions on such PEPs, and most importantly, 
confidently back them up, even if those decisions are unpopular.

For PEP 572-level language decisions, the group would be the final arbiters, so 
it would have to be an odd number.  I agree with Brett that voting and rotation 
could be problematic due to the tyranny of the majority.  Imagine that PEP 572 
were put in front of this group, and after all the kerfuffle, the same decision 
were made.  Put yourself in that place when you think about the governance of 
Python-the-language over the next 25 years.  I personally value stability and 
certainty over popularity for such features.  PEP 572 won’t destroy Python, and 
I predict most of us will appreciate it being there once in a while.

There’s no rush to decide, and this would make for a fine discussion at the 
core sprint in September.


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