So by this policy, RHEL and SuSE users would be off worse than with my original proposal (10 years).
Red Hat continues to provide patches for RHEL within the "Extended Life Cycle" (years 8, 9 and 10), but it's an optional add-on.
My understanding is that you keep the patches available - but you don't produce any new ones, right?
So another interpretation of the above with Nick's proposal could be 10 years on RHEL. (though obviously I'm biased in favor of RHEL)
I wouldn't count mere availability of old patches on the server as "support".
Approaching this from another angle: please do add me to the "nosy" on any compatibility bugs with running latest python code on RHEL.
I'll try to remember, but really can't promise. But then, as I said before: I think Linux support in Python is particularly easy. For example, there isn't a single distribution-specific test in configure.in.
The other compat issues are in the toolchain: e.g. very recent versions of gcc . In downstream Fedora, we tend to be amongst the first to run into new compilation warnings (and, occasionally, "exciting" code-generation bugs...)
Dropping support for old gcc versions (or other old compiler versions) is probably an issue on its own. It will be difficult to figure out what work-arounds are in place for what particular compiler glitch.