On the Reign of ‘Benevolent Dictators for Life’ in Software

Sometimes, open-source projects need an enlightened despot.

On Monday, a small change was made in Django, a popular open-source software framework. The change didn’t alter any code: It struck a paragraph from a tiny text file titled “committers” that described the purpose and provenance of the software bundle.

In Github—a website that helps store and manage the Django codebase—the change got a short, cryptic title: Removed BDFLs section from docs/internals/committers.txt.

But in that moment, Django as a community grew up a little bit. Django had lost its Benevolent Dictators for Life.

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