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posted by martyb on Friday July 13 2018, @12:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the pass-it-on dept.

On a python developers' mailing list for the core developers, Python Committers, Benevolent Dictator for Life Guido van Rossum has announced that he is stepping down effective immediately and with out appointing a successor.

Now that PEP 572 is done, I don't ever want to have to fight so hard for a
PEP and find that so many people despise my decisions.

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.

After all that's eventually going to happen regardless -- there's still
that bus lurking around the corner, and I'm not getting younger... (I'll
spare you the list of medical issues.)

I am not going to appoint a successor.

[...] I'll still be here, but I'm trying to let you all figure something out for
yourselves. I'm tired, and need a very long break.


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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13 2018, @04:32PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13 2018, @04:32PM (#706687)

    While many people are crying over this, I can't help but feel like this is just him throwing a pity party for himself. The fact of the matter is that he has made many questionable decisions lately, from the point of view of the community. There is additional hostility because many of those involve his pet projects (type hints, dataclasses, asyncio, async/await, and a few more). Then you have this last one, which he supported from the start, was championed by one of his besties (who hasn't been involved in core dev for awhile), the majority of the core devs opposed, the majority of the community opposed, violated the Zen of Python (which has been used to reject things in the past). On top of that, in support of 572, they constantly dismissed examples of being "toys" or "over-complicated," even when they came straight from the standard library, bungled their own patch to implement them in the standard lib, dismissed suggestions of limiting scope in multiple ways, and finally, rather than admit defeat when problems were proven, they just doubled down and required them to be isolated in parentheses.

    So yeah, just because you brought the football to the neighborhood game, doesn't mean people aren't right to call you out for making dumb QB decisions.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13 2018, @08:03PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13 2018, @08:03PM (#706762)

    Python proponents like to say how clean and logical Python is, but I find it to be overly complicated because of all the irregularities resulting from strangely unnecessary syntax limitations.
    It's as if providing a simple, general syntax is not preferred over providing a crippled syntax for bits of functionality that Guido thought would be "more readable" but results in some things that can't be simply expressed.

    The curse of scripting languages is having limited expectations for the language which are soon outgrown.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13 2018, @08:59PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13 2018, @08:59PM (#706778)

      Any examples of said irregularities? I'd be curious to see what you think they are. Too be clear, I know there are some, such as "as" assigning different things depending on the statement it is in, or the fact that they used to disallow assignment in comparative statements to prevent confusion between "==" and "=". But the fact of the matter is that within the rules of Python, ":=" can be confused for both "==" and "=" depending on the exact circumstance. I don't see how adding a third operator that can be used anywhere an expression is allowed will lessen confusion.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14 2018, @02:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14 2018, @02:13PM (#707101)

        One of my big complaints is how hard it is to print a portion of a line. It's possible to do, but requires far too much effort, other languages I know either default to printing just a portion of a line and require the programmer to add the new line or they have a method for both which mostly vary by having one add the new line.

        I was able to do it with some research when I decided I needed to do it, but you shouldn't have to engage in that sort of hack for something that's normally a built in feature of most other languages.

  • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Friday July 13 2018, @09:48PM (1 child)

    by darkfeline (1030) on Friday July 13 2018, @09:48PM (#706789) Homepage

    >There is additional hostility because many of those involve his pet projects (type hints, dataclasses, asyncio, async/await, and a few more)

    Most of those aren't his pet projects, they were proposed and implemented by other Python developers.
    Most of those were received quite positively, with the exception being asyncio, and to a much lesser extent type hints (vocal minority, there is a lot of people who welcome type hints. MyPy is not a one man project). I can't imagine anyone disliking dataclasses, although I'm sure there's someone out there who can't help being outrages at everything.
    And also, Python IS Guido's pet project. It has turned out rather well, all things considered.

    --
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13 2018, @10:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 13 2018, @10:22PM (#706805)

      Right, you realize he specifically handed off type hints because he had a vested interest as an author in PEP 484 and many of the rest were pushed by DropBox or PSF sponsors? I included dataclasses for the same reason people don't like them: if you want to use them, you are required to add type hints to your project, which means that if you want to support older versions, you can't as they don't understand the new hints syntax. Similarly, async/await was disliked because they required programmers to change those when they became keywords, make maintenance of packages harder (different versions support different keywords now for asyncio).

      I could go on, but the fact of the matter is that these changes (among others) may not be super large and not all that consequential, but they are echos of the whole 2-3 split in the language and many people perceive them as such. They may not break your code and, ultimately, be good things for the language as a whole, but all the users of Python are not necessarily in the "community," let alone active in the mailing list or are a core dev. It isn't surprising that when all the little breaks are taken together, it can appear to some that Python is losing its way.