OK, here goes. My apologies in advance if this seems negative. I feel that this has appeared without much context, so there’s a large sense of “why am I being asked this” about my position here. And maybe my frustration about that lack of context is showing through. But that’s a separate discussion, that has been raised elsewhere, so I’ll say no more here.
Let me start with a very broad question. Why do we even feel we need a “Vision and Strategy” here? I appreciate that in some sense it’s a good thing to have in the abstract, but we’re (nearly) all volunteers and have limited time to work on packaging, so why is this being prioritised over more specific issues? And if we do decide on an overall strategy, how does that fit with the idea that people should work on what they are interested in? This isn’t a business, so even if we decide on a strategy of (say) “make packaging work better for people who aren’t programmers” then how does that work for contributors who have no interest in educating non-programmers or UX issues?
Looking at the survey itself:
Vision My big problem with this section of the survey is that it is written from the point of view of expecting contributors to write their own suggestions. I think many people, when faced with this, will simply respond “I don’t know” - I know that was my response. I think that someone should come up with a proposal, and offer that for discussion. You’d get much more useful feedback and engagement if you give people something to engage with, rather than just saying “so what do you think?” The “mission statement” does this to an extent, but by putting it in a survey there’s no opportunity for discussion, just a simple “say why you do or don’t like it”.
Contribution isn’t just about making suggestions, it’s also about expressing and discussing a view on proposals, and this feels like it ignores that sort of contribution. Maybe the intention is for that type of discussion to come later. But if so, there’s no context to this survey to reassure people that they can wait and will get their chance later.
Influences I really have no idea what the heck this is meant to be about. Political factors? This reads like some sort of exam paper on “the social context of open source” rather than a survey The whole tone turned me off here, and I feel completely unmotivated to respond. With the exception that I really want to make the point that “we need more competition in the installer frontend space, having pip be the only option for install/build functionality is unhealthy”, so maybe I have an answer for the 3rd question, at least - but it doesn’t fit well with the “write an essay on the impact over the next 3-5 years” feel of the section.
Comparison with other ecosystems Meh, I see the point, but I have very little familiarity with other languages’ packaging ecosystems, so I can’t really say much. But I do have a problem with the tone here - the repeated implication that Python wants to become “the world’s best Packaging service”. Why? It’s not a competition, I want Python’s packaging to be good, yes, but not if in doing so we make trade-offs that make it “less like Python”. For example, I value Python’s “not corporate” feel, and as a result, I don’t want Python packaging to lose that “feel” in the process of trying to work better for corporate users. But I’ve no idea how to express that in the context of the questions offered here.
Learning from other open-source communities This is fine. I don’t have enough involvement in other open source communities to have any significant input, though, so this is another section I end up just not responding to.
I hope this is useful. As I said, I’m very conscious that it’s mostly very negative - which was why I was reluctant to say anything. That’s why I wish the thought processes that led to this survey had happened in public - it’s much easier to question some of these things before someone’s put a bunch of work into developing a questionnaire, etc. I know that forums like discourse are rubbish for that sort of discussion - but IMO, small groups having private conversations, or individuals working in isolation, are far worse, unless someone makes a significant effort to publicise what’s happening offline (and speaking as someone who’s almost never involved in these types of offline discussion, we don’t have a good track record for doing enough of that, in all honesty).