[Mailman-Users] Now that Python 2 is dead

Stephen J. Turnbull turnbull.stephen.fw at u.tsukuba.ac.jp
Fri Apr 12 02:58:36 EDT 2019

Mike Flannigan writes:

 > I'm surprised to hear there is so much migration in Python with
 > limited backward compatibility. Perl has never had that problem.

Of course it has.  I had Perl 4 on my Debian box for a decade after
Perl 5 was released, because various apps had scripts or something
that wouldn't work or weren't tested on Perl 5.  Ditto, point releases
of Perl 5 on Debian and MacPorts.  Python is no different, except for
porting from Python 2 to Python 3.

 > I almost never have to modify my old code.

I can beat that: I have never yet modified code written for Python 3
because something broke when I upgraded Python.  I've modified (mostly
added, but sometimes rewritten) a lot of code because suddenly it was
fun rather than painful to write something (definitely comprehensions
and f-strings had that effect).

When you're writing for fun (which is true of the people who work on
core Mailman and mostly for Postorius; HyperKitty was pretty much all
done on Red Hat's tab IIUC), that's really important to keeping the
project moving.

 > I'd recommend you use Perl, but everybody knows Perl is dead :-)

The premature reports of Perl's death are not why I don't like reading

Dimitri wrote:

 > > Ada (yes) and Go's the stated goal is to be long-term
 > > stable.

That doesn't mean that security fixes in libraries or new web
protocols like DMARC won't break your code or pollute its environment,
which is the "because 2020" issue in MM2.  AFAICS, it's the same deal
for those languages -- you're going to have to deal with security
issues in libraries, not language translators, that are abandoned.  I
just don't see a big win here, unless you're able to restrict the
libraries you use to a very limited scope.  But that makes the 2020
problem for Python much less painful too.

 > > Something that basically isn't broken, like MM2, wouldn't
 > > need to be fixed "because 2020".

MM2 doesn't need to be fixed "because 2020."  It needs to be fixed
because of the hordes of orcs on the Internet.  2020 may make that
somewhat harder.  On the other hand, 2020 also makes one heck of a lot
of software more fun and powerful because Python 3 exists.

PS Just saw this:



Associate Professor              Division of Policy and Planning Science
http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp/     Faculty of Systems and Information
Email: turnbull at sk.tsukuba.ac.jp                   University of Tsukuba
Tel: 029-853-5175                 Tennodai 1-1-1, Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN

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