[Python-Dev] Python 1.6 timing

Guido van Rossum guido@CNRI.Reston.VA.US
Thu, 20 Jan 2000 11:01:38 -0500

Andrew let me repost this mail of his to this list.  It's worth a
discussion here (if not in a larger forum).  My responses are at the

------- Forwarded Message

Date:    Wed, 19 Jan 2000 20:17:55 -0500
From:    "A.M. Kuchling" <amk1@erols.com>
To:      guido@python.org
Subject: Python 1.6 timing

I thought a bit more about the release schedule for 1.6, and like the
idea of delaying it less and less.  Another bad effect of delaying it
is that not having Unicode in the core handicaps developing XML tools;
we can continue working with wstrop, or integrate MAL's code into the
XML-SIG's CVS tree, but it might mean abandoning the XML processing
field to Perl & Tcl because the tools can't be made fully standard
compliant in time.

Options I can think of:

	1) Delegating some control to a pumpkin holder [...].

	2) Releasing the Unicode+sre modules as separate add-ons to
 	   1.5.  (But would that impose annoying
	   backward-compatibility constraints when they get integrated
	   into 1.6?)

	3) Add Unicode, sre, Distutils, plus other minor things and
           call it 1.5.5, meaning it's not as big a revision as a 1.6
           release, but it's bigger than just another patchlevel of
	   bugfixes.  I don't remember what other features were
	   planned for 1.6; was there anything major, if static typing
	   is left for 2.0?

- -- 
A.M. Kuchling			http://starship.python.net/crew/amk/
Life's too short for chess.
    -- H.J. Byron

------- End of Forwarded Message

There are several other things I can think of now that were planned
for 1.6: revamped import, rich comparisons, revised coercions,
parallel for loop (for i in L; j in M: ...), extended slicing for all
sequences.  I've also been thinking about making classes be types (not
as huge a change as you think, if you don't allow subclassing built-in
types), and adding a built-in array type suitable for use by NumPy.
I've also received a conservative GC patch that seems to be fairly
easy to apply and has some of Tim Peters' blessing.

For 1.5.5 (what happened to 1.5.3 and 1.5.4?), we can have a more
conservative agenda, as suggested by Andrew: Unicode and distutils are
probably the most important things to integrate.  (The import
utilities are not ready for prime time in my opinion; there are too
many issues.)

Anybody care to be the pumpkin?  That would cut the discussion short;
otherwise the problem remains that I can't spend too much time on the
next release unless I get funded for it; what little money I've
received for CP4E I had better spend on getting some CP4E-related
results ASAP, because the next installment of this funding is very
much at stake...

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)
Life's better without braces.
    -- Bruce Eckel