A python-dev post from Steve Holden gave rise to a wider discussion about the effectiveness of the buildbot system. But also to the question of having more people involved in core Python development who are knowledgeable about the Windows aspects of the core and the stdlib.

To get involved you certainly don’t need to be a Windows guru, nor a Python guru. You don’t need to have oodles of time on your hands. (Although all of the above would help). You do need a willingness to chase down occasionally obscure failing code paths and propose and implement patches. Or workarounds. Or documentation improvements. At present there is a very small number of us watching and fixing win32 issues and, speaking for myself, I have very little time available to help. The more people there are, each of which may have very little time, the more time is available overall to help Python develop and improve.

If you’d like to get involved but haven’t bothered previously, please bother now.

If you’d like to get involved but aren’t sure what to do, ping me or drop into #python-dev on IRC or just go to the Python bug tracker and look for Windows-related problems. (That search isn’t exhaustive as it relies on someone setting the Component field, but it certainly brings some results back).

Guido’s recently expressed a wish to give more people commit privileges, and MSDN have in the past generously provided free licences to allow core developers to develop and test on different Windows and Visual Studio versions.

There’s documentation on python.org for developers, and a new in-progress document by Brian Curtin on the Python sprints site.

Even if your contribution is to confirm that a bug still applies, or has been fixed, or to add tests to an undertested module which you use yourself, or to clarify or add some documentation, it will still be a very useful addition.