[Distutils] When can we kill Python 2.6 support?

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Sat Sep 3 02:03:00 EDT 2016

On 3 September 2016 at 07:47,  <tritium-list at sdamon.com> wrote:
> Nick might have something better to say about this, but I don’t think catching enterprise-y linux distros like RHEL out of the blue is a good way to go, so even if we decide right now to drop 2.6 support, it shouldn’t actually ship with breaking changes for like... 3 months?  Maybe a little more or little less.

It won't (or at least shouldn't) be out of the blue:

>From a specifically Red Hat perspective, it's probably worth
mentioning that Red Hat doesn't commercially support pip in
conjunction with any version of Python 2.6 - we only provide a Red Hat
supported pip for the Software Collections runtimes, and the lowest
version of Python we provide as an SCL is 2.7.

My "Developing in Python on Red Hat Platforms" talk with Graham
Dumpleton in the DevNation/Red Hat Summit cross-over track this year
[1] was also basically telling people "Stop using the system Python to
run your own stuff, especially on RHEL 6", and advocating the use of
higher level alternatives like OpenShift v3, Software Collections, and
Ansible instead (depending on whether you were writing network
services, client applications, or system administration scripts).

So if pip 9.0 were to deprecate Python 2.6 support, I think that would
be an entirely reasonable decision for PyPA to make from an upstream
maintainability perspective - if folks genuinely want long term
infrastructure software maintenance for Python projects, they need to
be pestering commercial redistributors about funding that, rather than
assuming volunteers will always deliver it for free even when they're
running newer Python versions themselves.

The deprecation cycle would then mainly be about giving pip's
*community* users a heads up that CI testing against Python 2.6 was
being dropped, with Python 2.7+ likely becoming a requirement in a
future version.


[1] http://www.slideshare.net/ncoghlan_dev/developing-in-python-on-red-hat-platforms-devnation-2016

Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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