What do you want in Python packaging's future governance model?

Change: Include end-users (as opposite of “tool writers”) in the decision making process, but in a way that incentivises them to engage and contribute to the PyPA projects/ecosystem.

One example of a possible way to do that[1] is incentivise end-users to organise themselves community-driven thematic “study groups”[2] which would work kind of a counter part to PyPA projects and provide input to the decision making process (e.g. study group on workflow tools, study group on backwards compatibility, study group on binary extensions, etc…). Between other attributions, these groups could:

  • study the challenges in thematic areas, analyse existing solutions and trade-offs, carry out “user research”/“user studies”/surveys and offer the outcomes as input to help guide the PyPA.
  • liaise with PyPA project maintainers to organise community events such as “hackathons” to help towards tools’ improvement with actual PRs.
  • liaise with PyPA project maintainers to foster contribution (e.g. by helping to write “how to contribute guides”, “project architecture/design overviews”, etc…)

Effect: Right now it is not uncommon to hear that the decisions of the PyPA are biased towards “tool writers” instead of end-user experience. In some sense, this is a bit natural, because “tool writers” dedicate volunteer time to change the packaging landscape directly. We can improve this balance in the decision making process by involving more the users, but it would also be nice if this involvement can be somehow “capitalised” towards direct contribution.

Having pro-active end-user lead study groups would also help to minimise any eventual “gate keeping” (or “perceived gate keeping” sentiment) that might appear.

  1. From the top of my mind, brainstorm style. But there might be better approaches. ↩︎

  2. Here I use “study” in the general sense, not only restricted to “user study” or “user research” (but including them). ↩︎