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Formal Question to Steering Council (re recent PEP8 changes)


Rhodri James wrote at 2020-7-2 14:39 +0100:
>We've had the requested 24 hour cooling off, and I don't imagine anyone
>is surprised that the situation remains unchanged.  The commit message
>that caused the controversy is still in the PEP repository, and is still
>controversial.  Whether you think it's the best thing since the last
>best thing or the biggest load of bollocks since the last biggest load
>of bollocks is irrelevant.  It's there, it espouses a political stance,
>and by implication the Steering Council support it.
>
>Since explicit is better than implicit :-), I would like to formally ask
>the Steering Council to answer the following questions.

I am no member of the Council. Thus, your questions are not directed
to me. **BUT** you made your questions public and thus you are
likely prepared to receive public comments.

The commit message tries to provide the motivation for
the change. In my view, it is good to document change motivations
and a commit message is not a bad place for that.

In the replaced sentence
`When writing English, follow Strunk and White`
I interpret "Strunk and White" as a reference to some
document containing rules for readable English and "Strunk and White"
are likely the authors of this document. I do not associate "White"
with "white" in contrast to "black" (or some other colour).
However, I do not know this document nor "Strunk and White". Thus,
the PEP text should get improved. If it is refers to a standard,
it should be be an online standard and the PEP should include its URL.
Otherwise, non-english people are indeed at a disadvantage.

In contrast, The replacement is well understandable and applicable
to all languages.

Thus, in my view, the change is really an improvement.
One could motivate it differently, however.