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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: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday July 17 2018, @01:34PM (1 child)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 17 2018, @01:34PM (#708320) Journal

    You make a good point. There REALLY IS bloat. But my point is that not all increased demand for cycles and bytes are due to bloat. I had been re-reading BYTE magazine from it's first issue.

    https://www.americanradiohistory.com/Byte_Magazine.htm [americanradiohistory.com]

    https://archive.org/details/byte-magazine [archive.org]

    I am struck by:
    * how shockingly primitive the technology was
    * how much they could get done with so little
    * how limited the usefulness of systems actually were
    * how poor the programming productivity was compared to modern tools / languages

    That leads me to another point. Sometimes the "bloat" or inefficiency you describe is due to efforts to save human programmer time. The most expensive resource these days is no longer the computer, but the people who write software. Sure I could write in assembly language and optimize to the hilt. But the gains would be VASTLY outweighed by the cost. Instead most software is written in higher level languages, more abstract frameworks, etc. The inefficiency is outweighed by the cost savings of development.

    Hypothetical example: If I can write a web based business application in Java and it only needs twice the CPU and six times the memory of a program in C++, but I can beat my competitor to market by a year, my bosses will say that is cheap at the price! You need an extra 64 GB of ram on this fire breathing 8 socket server? No problem! I'm optimizing for dollars, not for cycles and bytes. That is a legitimate tradeoff which people can choose to make.

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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Tuesday July 17 2018, @01:36PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 17 2018, @01:36PM (#708321) Journal

    Another example: If you asked most people this question: Would you prefer to have your next software upgrade six months sooner if it used 25 % more memory? I wonder what the answer would be?

    --
    Trump is a poor man's idea of a rich man, a weak man's idea of a strong man, and a stupid man's idea of a smart man.