If a great feature comes up after development starts, too bad -- the next development cycle will usually be less than nine months away.
Bah. For most features, 9 months is an eternity compared to the time it takes to code it. About the only exceptions I recall are new-style classes and Unicode; major packages like email or xml also are exceptions, but they are usually developed outside the Python CVS tree first anyway.
--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)