Vote to promote Stéphane Wirtel as a core dev

(Victor Stinner) #1
  • Promote Stéphane Wirtel
  • Don’t promote Stéphane Wirtel

0 voters


Julien Palard and me (Victor) propose to promote Stéphane Wirtel as core developer. We open a vote until March 31 (~one week). “[A promotion] is granted by receiving at least two-thirds positive votes in a core team vote and no veto by the steering council.”

Some of you already met him at Pycon US or EuroPython.

Stéphane is contributing to Python since 2014. He fixed bugs in various parts of the code, but also implemented some nice features:

  • -d option of “python3 -m http.server -d DIRECTORY” to serve a specific directory using Python builtin HTTP Server
  • –fast and --best options on gzip CLI: “python3 -m gzip [options] file”

(Julien told me that he frequently uses “python3 -m http.server -d DIRECTORY” to read the Python documentation :-))

In my experience, Stéphane likes getting review and is fine to make any change on his code. It’s not an issue to work with him, it’s more the opposite :slight_smile: For example, he doesn’t get mad if one of his PR is rejected :wink: (I’m saying that because I sometimes get mad about that, sorry for being emotional :-))

He got 57 commits merged into the master branch of Python: authored 46 commits + co-authored 1 commit + 10 commits before Git (“Patch written by Stéphane Wirtel”).

He organized a Python conference at FOSDEM 5 times in a row (between 80 and 800 persons per year) and got a PSF Community Service Awards in June 2016 for that: “Stéphane Wirtel for his work organizing a Python User Group in Belgium, for his continued work creating marketing material for the PSF, for his continued outreach efforts with spreading the PSF’s mission.”

He is also helping to organize EuroPython, by working on the website or being a volunteer on-site.

He gave a lot of Python talks all around the world at many Pycon (France, EuroPython, Canda, Italy, Ireland, UK, San Sebastiàn, Slovakia, Ukraine) and at FOSDEM (Belgium). For example, he gave talks about Python internals (bytecode, parser), and on Python development workflow and Pull Requests.

He is always volunteer to help the Python project, not only the code. For example, he is a committer on the developer guide (devguide).

He is helping other contributors get their bugs fixed or to get their changes merged. He participated to not less than 218 PR: ping the right core dev who can review/help, test manually to validate and provide good feedback, propose enhancements, etc. Sometimes, he just says “Thank you for your contribution” which is IMHO a good practice for a healthy community :slight_smile: (we don’t do that often enough!)

Stéphane is involved in Python for 5 years. To be honest, he should have been promoted earlier, but I (Victor) wasn’t sure to promote him myself because I know him too well, and so I wasn’t objective about his work. But well, now it’s time, and Julien is supporting his promotion as well :wink:

I offer to mentor Stéphane once he would become a core dev for 1 month for help him to deal with his new responsibilities. I would require him to ask me before merging any PR during the mentoring.


Julien and Victor


(Victor Stinner) #2

FYI the vote started on the python-committers mailing list but the Steering Committee asked me to create a poll here instead.

1 Like

(Tal Einat) #3

Personally, my few interactions with Stéphane have been very positive. With Victor’s endorsement and mentoring, I’m definitely +1.


(Steve Dower) #4

+1 from me. Stéphane’s contributions in discussions are valuable, and he’s certainly competent to implement (review) the results.


(Steve Dower) #5

That looks like a lot of negative votes with no indication of what the concerns are. Anyone willing to elaborate? Either here or privately (I’m happy to share concerns shared with me in confidence without saying who said what).


(Tim Peters) #6

It would probably be easier to guess if the vote weren’t anonymous. I’m unclear on why it is anonymous. +1/-1 votes on mailing lists before were always attributed - and if there was a discussion about changing that, I missed it.

In any case, can’t really help! I voted to promote.


(Victor Stinner) #7

You missed it, because the Steering Council discussed in private:


1 Like

(Antoine Pitrou) #8

It would be even better if people posted their reasons.
Perhaps Discourse should allow anonymous posting in such situations? :wink:

1 Like

(Steve Dower) #9

I hope the wink means you recognise how terrible that idea would be :slight_smile:

If someone is not willing to put their name to their feedback, even privately, I’m not interested in reading it. There’s more than enough ways to express anonymous dislike of people on the internet, and we certainly don’t need to add an official sanctioned one.


(Brett Cannon) #10

Since everyone seems hung up on getting some form of statement from someone who voted against, I’ll publicly out myself (but I don’t plan to make this a habit as I don’t think it’s necessary and I’m really sticking myself out there by stating this about someone I see at multiple conferences a year and who I like personally).

While I very much like Stéphane as a person, I don’t think he’s quite ready to have the “training wheels” taken off and have free reign on the code base. I.e., I recently reviewed one of Stéphane’s PRs and I didn’t have any feedback, and I was surprised at that result. As a gut reaction, that tells me that I personally don’t think he’s ready to not have supervision which we all know is a big part of gaining commit rights (and I know Victor will watch him for a month, but to me that month is more to make people feel comfortable for when they operate on their own without a review and how to merge a commit, not to learn “on the job” on what’s necessary to not need a bunch of comments on a PR).


(Zachary Ware) #11

Thanks for speaking up, Brett.

For the record, I’m in the same boat: I like Stéphane, especially having met him in person a couple of times. He’s very enthusiastic and willing to tackle just about any issue, and accepts constructive criticism in stride.

However, I don’t think he’s reached the “reviewing his code is just a formality” stage at which we’ve traditionally promoted people. Perhaps that’s not the best metric (anymore, if it ever was?), but it will take some effort to move away from that idea.

I’ve resolved not to vote; I don’t want to vote against a competent developer that I’ve had nothing but good interaction with, but I also don’t think he’s ready according to my own flimsy criteria.

The percentages in the poll currently look like Stéphane will be accepted, and I’ll be happy to welcome him when that happens :slight_smile:


(Carol Willing) #12

I voted to promote Stéphane based on his work on the devguide and my expectation that Julien/Victor will mentor him for at least one month for contributions. In general, his PRs for documentation have been solid the past 1-2 years.

I trust that code PRs will be reviewed by others as part of the general core dev best practices. I hope that he will also leave low-hanging documentation issues for metnoring new contributors too.

I also trust Julien’s perspective on readiness.


(Ned Deily) #13

I find it awkward for me to comment here because I consider Stéphane a friend. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him at some PyCon sprints and have had dinner with him. I am grateful for all of the great work he has done in many areas of the Python Community, in general, and specifically in various parts of core development, such as bug triage and helping to move PRs along. And I look forward to his continued contributions.

But, for the record, I also voted against granting Stéphane commit privileges at this time. When people are proposed to be given commit privileges, I usually don’t say anything if I’m not familiar with the person’s work up to that point and defer to fellow core developers who are. In Stéphane’s case, I think I’m reasonably familiar with his work and thus I feel compelled to voice an opinion. Like some of the other core developers who have commented either here or on python-committers, from my observations of his work I don’t think he is quite ready to be making core developer decisions on his own. It’s not because he is unfamiliar with the core Python dev process, so it’s not a question of a month or so of mentoring to get up to speed. One thing that strikes me is that, when I think of Stéphane, I can’t immediately think of some particular area of Python development where he would be considered a subject expert. My sense is that he has worked on issues in a number of areas, thereby getting some breadth of experience but not necessarily the depth of experience that I think is an important part of being a core developer. None of us are experts in all areas of the code base but usually each active core developer is considered an expert in at least one area. Not to make any competency comparisons here but, as an example, I think the also current proposal to give Stephan Behnel commit privileges feels very different to me and it seems to some other core devs. Why? While I don’t know him personally, I have been aware of his work on cython and on lxml, so, among other things, I can envision him immediately filling the role of expert on our xml-related modules since he has a long track record with lxml and we really could use more help there. By contrast, I don’t see a similar obvious expert role for Stéphane at the moment.

So here’s a concrete suggestion for Stéphane. I would strongly encourage him to think about, and ask about, areas in Python, particularly in the standard library, that currently do not receive much core developer attention and which have a backlog of open issues and then pick one or maybe two areas to really focus on by really learning that area inside out and then addressing the open issues. Off the top of my head, the most obvious example to me is argparse which has long suffered from lack of core developer interest and which has a big backlog of issues and proposed changes. There are certainly other areas. Obviously, whatever area he picks, it should be an area that he would be interested in working on. Perhaps it could be discussed privately or on the mentors list. Then I think if, in six months or whenever, we could come back to this discussion and more of us could say: “Yes, Stéphane is the go to person for area x when I have a question about it and he’s been doing a great job in the design choices he’s been making there and in the PRs he’s been submitting.” then I and others would be happy to see Stéphane given full commit privileges.


(Victor Stinner) #14

I closed the vote Monday morning. Results:

  • Promote Stéphane Wirtel: 19 (70%)
  • Don’t promote Stéphane Wirtel: 8 (30%)

I’m now waiting for the Steering Committee.


(Victor Stinner) #15

Stéphane Wirtel has been promoted as a core developer: Welcome aboard Stéphane :tada:! I asked him to introduce himself on the python-committers, but he is currently in holiday (and I am not sure that he is subscribed to the list yet :slight_smile:).

Brett contacted Julien and me in private: the Steering Committee approved the promotion, but asked to extend the mentoring period to 2 mentors. Julien and me are fine with that, we already planned to decide together when Stéphane will be fully confident with his new responsibilities.

Julien Palard and me (Victor Stinner) will mentor him “strictly” for at least 2 months: Stéphane will have to ask us before merging a pull request. We plan to discuss together to decide when the strict mentoring ends. Right now, we are updating everything to make Stéphane Wirtel officially a core dev.