[Distutils] When can we kill Python 2.6 support?

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Sat Sep 3 14:13:40 EDT 2016

I think the fact that Python 2.6 is past EOL means it's definitely up for
consideration. As for the 3% usage, as a trite comparison that's the amount
of scientists who deny climate change. So IMO that suggests 2.6 is not used
enough to burden PyPA with the maintenance and those who still want to use
it can take over maintaining 2.6 compatibility.

On Fri, 2 Sep 2016 at 14:06 Donald Stufft <donald at stufft.io> wrote:

> The packaging tools generally support 2.6+ and 3.(2|3)+ and that's sort of
> been
> where they've been at for a while now. I would like to think about what we
> need
> to be to start considering Python 2.6 as "too old" to support. In pip we
> generally follow a usage based deprecation/removal of supported Pythons
> but we
> don't have any real guidelines for when something is at a low enough usage
> to
> consider it no longer supported and we instead just sort of wait until
> someone
> makes a case that it's "low enough".
> This issue tends to impact more than just pip, because once pip drops
> support
> for something people tend to start dropping it across the entire ecosystem
> and
> use pip's no longer supporting it as justification for doing so.
> I would like to take a look at Python 2.6 and try and figure out if we're
> at a
> point that we can deprecate and drop it, and if not what is such a point.
> Looking at pure usage numbers for "modern" versions of pip (6, 7, and 8)
> for
> downloading from PyPI I see the usage is ~3% of downloads are via Python
> 2.6.
> The only thing lower than Python 2.6 that is still supported is Python 3.3.
> Python 2.6 itself has been EOL since 2013-10-29 which is now just about 3
> years
> ago. It's SSL module is not generally secure and requires the use of
> additional
> installed modules to get it to be so. I believe the only place to get a
> Python 2.6 that is "supported" is through the Enterprise-y Linux
> Distributions
> like RHEL/CentOS/etc.
> Do we think that a ~3% usage of Python 2.6 and being end-of-life'd for ~3
> years
> is enough to start deprecating and dropping 2.6? If not what sort of
> threshold
> do we think is enough? It'd be nice to get the albatross of Python 2.6
> support
> off from around our necks but I'm not sure how others feel. Obviously all
> of
> the existing versions of all of the tooling will still be fully functional
> so
> Python 2.6 users will simply need to not upgrade their tooling to continue
> to
> work, *but* it also means that they will be left out of new packaging
> features
> (and likewise, people can't rely on them if they still wish to support
> 2.6).
> Thoughts?
>> Donald Stufft
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