[Python-3000] [Python-Dev] What should the focus for 2.6 be?

Josiah Carlson jcarlson at uci.edu
Wed Aug 23 22:22:42 CEST 2006

"Guido van Rossum" <guido at python.org> wrote:

> And yet offense is taken. Have you watched the video of my Py3k talk?
> Search for it on Google Video.

I spent some time yesterday and watched it.  All I was proposing is that
similar to Perl 5 and 6, users of Python 2.x may not feel an
overwhelming desire to move to Python 3.x, because there will be so many
incompatabilities.  I understand that the point of Python 3.x is to
allow for a one-time (at least for now) breakage of the backwards
compatability of the language to get rid of the crap; "Backwards
incompatible changes are allowed in Python 3000, but not to excess."
While each individual change to the language is relatively minor by
itself, putting them all together is effectively one big backwards
incompatible change.

Take the standard library reorganization for example.  I am 100% in
favor of reorganizing it, but if it is all moved at once, then people
can't write code for the future, until it arrives.  But if we were to
create a mapping of new names -> old names, then an import hook could be
written, and people could start using the new package names in 2.6 .

The intent of my post was to say that all of us want Py3k to succeed,
but I believe that in order for it to succeed that breakage from the 2.x
series should be gradual, in a similar way to how 2.x -> 2.x+1 breakage
has been gradual.  I believe we agree on this basic point except for one
thing; according to your talk and your posts here, you want Py3k alpha
in the next year or two, while I'm thinking that Py3k alpha should come
somewhere after 2.6 and probably 2.7, maybe even after 2.8 or 2.9,
depending on how quickly the 2.x series is transitioned.  Having a Py3k
in development really just makes maintenance (bug fixing, etc.) more of
a burdon.

> Perhaps you want to help write the transition PEP?

I'll see what I can hack up next week (I have an advancement talk
tomorrow that I really should be preparing for).

 - Josiah

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