Saturday, July 14, 2018

Headline News

Headline news in my subculture is Guido van Rossum (GvR) is stepping down as BDFL (Benevolent Dictator for Life) of the Python community.

In practice, Guido had final say over what PEPs were accepted (PEP = Python Enhancement Proposal), however he discovered winning approval for a recent PEP to be an exhausting process.

Stepping down after winning a grueling battle (assignment expressions are to appear in Python 3.8) is probably a good way to make an exit.  Guido deserves a vacation.  He's not disappearing from the scene.

An issue for most dictators is they have no exit strategy, or they appoint a heir to the throne.  Python's community will need to reinvent its own system of governance going forward.

Guido deserves praise, not only for his skills as a language designer, but as a community organizer.

Chris Angelico and Tim Peters were also behind this PEP.  I've read it through and see the logic of adding this new feature.  Like other Python semantics, it might be inelegantly abused by some.  That's no argument for not including it.