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Is the Python Community Becoming Toxic?

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The Python community is amazing. I started learning Python over 15 years ago and the community was almost always very supportive in helping me figure things out. However, the past few years there seems to have been a shift. I’m not sure if it’s just because Python has grown so much in popularity or if it’s something more basic, such as people becoming more sensitive about things. Whatever it is, the community seems to be heading away from what it once was.

I first started thinking about this during Brett Cannon’s PyCon keynote about his experiences in the open-source community and how we need to be nice to each other. Too many people think they can be rude when requesting features or bug fixes. But he also mentioned that maintainers also need to have a good attitude and not drive away potential new contributors.

A couple months after this keynote was when Guido Van Rossum, creator of the Python language, suddenly retired as the head of Python. At the time, the reason given was that there was so much acrimony and fighting over PEP 572 that he stepped down early.

This year we saw multiple members of the PyTest team drop out of the project.

While Reddit and StackOverflow remain very popular, in my experience I have found them to be difficult to break into. The Reddit Python community, while very large and diverse, is full of trolls and the moderators don’t seem to follow Reddit’s own rules. I personally have had problems simply posting articles on there while others I know have been harassed because their project wasn’t deemed to be “Pythonic” enough. The PySimpleGUI project has been demonized repeatedly there, for example.

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