A Letter to /r/python

(with some notes about bipolar disorder)

There were a few recent threads that occurred in /r/python which greatly disturbed me, because of their general tone towards both me, and a tool that I’ve been toiling on very hard over the past year and a half.


I mention negativity, because it sprung forth from some of these threads in a very aggressive manner, from some very (in these threads) vocal members of the /r/python community.

It appears I have some haters out there. This is new to me.

One comment, for example, struck me as extremely odd:

If only these people didn't advertise themselves as the next best thing to sliced bread, collecting undeserved fame, jobs, influence, and as consequence harming very large number of people and technology in general, I wouldn't mind them doing whatever projects they like.

My response to this comment is — first off, my fame, while certainly categorized under “cult of personality” is not necessarily accidental. It’s called marketing. I worked very hard at becoming well known within the Python community, and toiled away at it for years. The popularity of Requests was accidental, but there were many libraries that existed before it that I had created in an attempt to get GitHub stars. I wanted to be like Armin Ronacher on GitHub. I succeeded.

Also, for the past 6.5 years, I have not had the most glorious job in the world. I consider myself to have been mildly underpaid, considering what I was responsible for — the entire deployment experience (including uptime) of Python apps on Heroku, one of the largest deployment platforms in the world.

Also, “harming a very large number of people”? What? I’ve never harmed a soul with my influence — I use it to build the community up. I’m not a member of the Social Justice Warrior League (nothing against you if you are — you do you!). I’m Kenneth — a nice guy who builds nice tools and takes a lot of pictures.

So, this comment is just off the rails, and deeply disturbs me.

Another quote from one thread:

Pipenv is garbage.

There are a few things I’d like to say:

To those that criticize the project for making too many releases (multiple releases a day) — I’ll say a few things:

Some facts:

Of all the work I’ve created, I’m most proud of Pipenv — more than I am of Requests. Pipenv was much more difficult to create, and even harder to maintain. Much. And, it has the potential to shape the future of Python in a way that Requests does not.

So — thank you for your time, and thank you for listening to my thoughts and perspective.

I love you all — even if some of you don't love me anymore.


P.S. I'm hosting a Google Hangouts session today, if anyone would like to speak to me about any of these topics.

Thoughts & Musings: a (Public) Journal

A collection of hand-written essays by Kenneth Reitz.