[Matplotlib-devel] supported python versions

Thomas Robitaille thomas.robitaille at gmail.com
Mon Sep 28 13:58:51 CEST 2015

If Python 2.6 and 3.3 support is completely dropped in Matplotlib 1.5
and 2.0, I don't think you will hear (m)any complaints from users. When
I did a survey earlier this year, only 2% of users were on Python 2.6
and 1% on 3.3:


>From an external point of view (since I am not a Matplotlib core dev),
I personally think option C makes more sense, i.e. still officially
supporting 2.6 and 3.3 in 1.5 (all the hard work is done) and then
dropping support in 2.0.


Daniele Nicolodi wrote:
> On 27/09/15 21:49, Thomas Caswell wrote:
>> We already have this 'know to work with' vs 'supported' distinction,
>> this is the current state of python 3.2 support.  We don't test on it,
>> my response to 3.2 specific bugs is 'upgrade', but if we get reasonable,
>> non-destructive patches they will get merged (which we have done, around
>> the 1.4 release, after we dropped 3.2, we merged some patches
>> from Christoph Gohlke which fixed 3.2 on windows).
>> The reality is that we should have had this discussion 6-12 months ago
>> (sorry OceanWolf), instead of on the cusp of a release, and currently
>> master (and hence both the 1.5.0 and 2.0 releases) _will_ work with
>> py2.6 and py3.3 because we are currently testing on them.  There is
>> consensus in the core developers that we will not support py2.6/3.3
>> going forward so the question is what to do about the upcoming
>> releases.
> I agree that this discussion would have been better when the 1.5 and 2.0
> releases were planned, but I don't see much of a problem in defining
> things now, as not disruptive changes have been made to the codebase.
> I agree that dropping support for python 2.6 and 3.3 is the way to go.
> What I'm objecting is the "labeling" you are suggesting both in the
> sense of the "supported" vs "known to work with" terminology and with
> release numbers.
> As Nathaniel pointed out it does not make much sense to drop support for
> python 2.6 and 3.3 in a micro/patch level release. I think it makes much
> more sense to plan to have a 2.1 release after 2.0 in which new features
> could be added and old python versions support removed. Then 2.0 becomes
> a bugfix only branch. I haven't looked at the code, but I believe that
> the only difference between 1.5 and 2.0 are the style defaults, so, if
> there is demand, I don't see a problem to also backport bugfixes to the
> 1.5 branch and release 1.5 series bugfixes.
>>  The options are:
>>  - do not document at all that as far as we know 1.5/2.0 will work on on
>> py2.6
>>  - document that as far as we know mpl does work on py2.6, but are
>> making no commitment to make sure that stays true.
> There is another option:
>  - keep supporting python 2.6 and 3.3 on 1.5 and 2.0 and drop support on
> 2.1 where new development that can benefit from new python features
> should happen
>> Danielle: If you are volunteering to maintain 1.5.x/2.0.x branches which
>> back ports bug fixes in a 2.6 compatibly that would be great, otherwise
>> given the limited resources the project currently has, that is not
>> something we can.
> I can try to contribute a bit, but, as I was trying to explain above,
> I'm not opposing to drop support for old python releases, but merely to
> the labeling and wording.
>> I have already linked to this article is this thread, but once more for
>> good measure:
>> http://www.curiousefficiency.org/posts/2015/04/stop-supporting-python26.html
> As the work to make 1.5 and 2.0 releases work with python 2.6 and 3.3
> has already been done, I don't think this article is much relevant to
> the discussion. I'm all in favor of not keeping python 2.6 support, and
> I don't think that anyone that uses python 3 is stuck with an old python
> 3.3. But given that we already have the support for those release,
> please keep it and drop it in a future release.
> Cheer,
> Daniele
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