Unicode has been seen as a threat to Python 3 success. “Python 3 trolls” used Unicode as the main reason to block Python 3 and stay at Python 2. Some popular members of the Python community were strong opponents of Python 3 and Unicode.
I know that Unicode is the right solution and I know that the implementation is very complex. It took many years to fix all small issues so that Python 3 now “just works”. People stopped to complain against Python 3, because we fixed the long list of the most common Unicode issues in Python.
I’m not sure that I would like to see the Python project driven by popular members of the Python community who don’t understand the deep technical issues.
I’m not sure that my example is the best one. I’m trying to explain that sometimes we have to break Python to make it evolve for the long term, but such changes would be very unpopular if you ask users if they want to break Python in the short term…
EDIT: I’m not saying that we must not listen to people outside Python core developers. We do listen to requests from popular projects, and we collaborate with them as much as possible