[Distutils] When can we kill Python 2.6 support?

Daniel Holth dholth at gmail.com
Sat Sep 3 16:36:59 EDT 2016

It would be convenient to drop 2.6 in wheel too.

On Sat, Sep 3, 2016, 14:14 Brett Cannon <brett at python.org> wrote:

> 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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