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PEP 609 -- PyPA Governance

Title:PyPA Governance
Author:Dustin Ingram <di at>, Pradyun Gedam <pradyunsg at> Sumana Harihareswara <sh at>
Sponsor:Paul Ganssle <paul at>


This document describes a governance model for the Python Packaging Authority (PyPA). The model is closely based on existing informal practices, with the intent of providing clarity into the functioning of the PyPA and formalizing transparent processes for the PyPA.


The Python Packaging Authority (PyPA) is a collaborative community that maintains and advances many of the relevant projects in Python packaging. The software and standards developed through the PyPA are used to package, share, and install Python software and to interact with indexes of downloadable Python software such as PyPI [1], the Python Package Index.

Currently, the PyPA is an informal and loosely defined organization that lacks true authority, and the inclusion of a given project under the PyPA umbrella or the creation of new projects has been done in an ad-hoc, one-off manner. Similarly, individual membership in the PyPA is not well-defined.

While this model has more or less worked for the PyPA in the past, it results in an organization which is missing certain features of a stable ecosystem, namely a clear and transparent decision-making process. This PEP seeks to rectify this by defining a governance model for the PyPA.


Relevant terms for groups of individual contributors used in this PEP:

PyPA members:
Anyone with the triage bit or commit bit, on at least one project in the PyPA organization [2].
PyPA committers:
Anyone with the commit bit on at least one project in the PyPA organization, which should correspond to everyone on the PyPA-Committers [4] mailing list.
PyPA community:
Anyone who is interested in PyPA activity and wants to follow along, contribute or make proposals.
Packaging-WG members:
As described in the Packaging-WG Wiki page [5]. For clarity: there is no formal relationship between the Packaging-WG and PyPA. This group is only included in this list to disambiguate it from PyPA.


The following section formalizes the goals (and non-goals) of the PyPA and this governance model.

Goals of the PyPA

These goals are the primary motivation for the existence of the PyPA. These goals are largely already being carried out, even though most have not been explicitly defined.

Provide support for existing projects under the PyPA

In the event that a given project needs additional support, or no longer has active maintainers, the PyPA will ensure that the given project will continue to be supported for users to the extent necessary.

Foster the creation and acceptance of standards for PyPA projects

The PyPA should, as much as possible, strive for standardization and coordination across PyPA projects, primarily though the governance process outlined below. PyPA projects are expected to abide by applicable specifications maintained by the PyPA.

Guide decisions which affect multiple PyPA projects

The PyPA community (especially PyPA members) should be expected to provide opinions, insight and experience when ecosystem-wide changes are being proposed.

Determine which projects should be under the guidance of the PyPA

For example: accepting new projects from the community, organically creating projects within the PyPA, etc.

Enforce adherence to a Code of Conduct across all projects

Generally this means leading by example, but occasionally it may mean more explicit moderation.

Non-goals of the PyPA

These are specific items that are explicitly _not_ goals of the PyPA.

Determine who is and isn't a PyPA member

This is for members of individual projects to decide, as they add new members to their projects. Maintainership of a project that is under the PyPA organization automatically transfers membership in the PyPA.

Micromanage individual projects

As long as the project is adhering to the Code of Conduct and following specifications supported by the PyPA, the PyPA should only concerned with large, ecosystem-wide changes.

Goals of the PyPA's Governance Model

These are new goals which the governance model seeks to make possible.

Transparency in PyPA membership

Provide a transparent process for decisions taken, regarding project membership in the PyPA.

Document PyPA's use of PEPs

Formally document how the PyPA uses Python Enhancement Proposals (PEPs), for maintaining interoperability specifications defined by the PyPA.


The processes for the PyPA's activities are outlined below:


The PyPA will use PEPs for defining, and making changes to, the interoperability specifications maintained by the PyPA. Thus, the Python Steering Council has the final say in the acceptance of these interoperability specifications.

It is expected (but not required) that the Python Steering Council would delegate authority to sponsor and/or approve/reject PEPs related to packaging interoperability specifications, to individuals within the PyPA community. At the time of writing (June 2020), the Python Steering Council has standing delegations [6] for currently active packaging interoperability specifications.

The details of the process of proposing and updating the interoperability specifications are described in the PyPA Specifications [3] document.


PyPA Committer Votes

A PyPA member can put forward a proposal and call for a vote on a public PyPA communication channel. A PyPA committer vote is triggered when a PyPA committer (not the proposer) seconds the proposal.

The proposal will be put to a vote on the PyPA-Committers [4] mailing list, over a 7 day period. Each PyPA committer can vote once, and can choose one of +1 and -1. If at least two thirds of voters vote +1, then the vote succeeds.

PyPA committer votes are required for, and limited to, the following kinds of proposals:

Addition of a project to the PyPA

Proposing the acceptance of a project into the PyPA organization. This proposal must not be opposed by the existing maintainers of the project.

Creation of a new project in the PyPA

Proposing the creation of a new tools / project in the PyPA organization.

Removal of a project from PyPA

Proposing the removal of a project in the PyPA organization.

Updates to the Governance/Specification Processes

Proposing changes to how the PyPA operates, including but not limited to changes to its specification and governance processes, and this PEP.

Leaving PyPA

A project that is a part of the PyPA organization, can request to leave PyPA.

Such requests can made by a committer of the project, on the PyPA-Committers [4] mailing list and must clearly state the GitHub user/organization to transfer the repository to.

If the request is not opposed by another committer of the same project over a 7 day period, the project would leave the PyPA and be transferred out of the PyPA organization as per the request.

Code of Conduct enforcement

Each project that is a part of the PyPA organization follows the PSF Code of Conduct [7], including its incident reporting guidelines and enforcement procedures.

PyPA members are responsible for leading by example. PyPA members occasionally may need to more explicitly moderate behavior in their projects, and each project that is a part of the PyPA organization must designate at least one PyPA member as available to contact in case of a Code of Conduct incident. If told of any Code of Conduct incidents involving their projects, PyPA members are expected to report those incidents up to the PSF Conduct WG [8], for recording purposes and for potential assistance.