Working discussion for PEP 8016: The boringest possible steering council model

I feel like a major difference is that PEP 8013 doesn’t allow the CoA to delegate their authority, and the intent appears to be that the CoA is making decisions themselves on PEPs with regularity. Sort of one of the core ideas of PEP 8016 is that while final decision does ultimately rest within this steering committee, that they have the freedom to effectively implement some other PEP without involving a heavyweight process. This could allow us to say, give direct democracy a try on a PEP or two and see how it works out, and give them the power to tweak how that process works over time without involving a full vote of the entire electorate. It is of course possible that they ultimately decide the best model is to have decision making stay within that steering committee, but that there is an easier way to experiment and ultimately implement changes to the process.

One example I like to think of, is that originally there was no concept of a long standing delegation like myself and Paul Moore (originally Nick Coghlan) have for PyPI and the packaging interoperability PEPs. However because Guido more or less had complete authority to experiment and tweak the PEP process, we were able to try that out and it ended up working out quite well (and if ti hadn’t, Guido had the power to revoke that delegation). Giving the steering committee flexibility to implement our processes however they see fit, means that it’s far easier to adjust to the changing needs of the Python community. Of course the steering committee does have a decent amount of power, so we do limit their ability to effect how the committee itself is chosen or serves by encoding that in the PEP and requiring a full vote for that.

With regards to whether we can allow non-committers to be a part of the steering committee or not. I don’t personally care? I’m not opposed to allowing anyone to serve on the committee and leaving it up to the core developers who are voting to decide if they are OK with a specific person who isn’t a core developer being on the steering committee or not. I suspect though that if someone is not a core developer and they get elected to the steering committee, that feels like a really strong signal that that person should probably already be a core developer anyways.