[Python-Dev] Re: Stability and change

Geoff Gerrietts geoff-pdev@gerrietts.net
Mon, 8 Apr 2002 14:49:46 -0700

Quoting Skip Montanaro (skip@pobox.com):
>     Guido> I think version dependency management is subject to the Logajan
>     Guido> Guido> paradox. :-(
>     Skip> Can you state that succintly for us? :-)
>     Alex> "Python keeps being maintained yet it *never* happens that release
>     Alex> X (for any X and Y) can run some code that release Y cannot run".
>     Alex> It's unachievable (as well as unreasonable) and thus I don't think
>     Alex> it should be considered.
> The only consideration I was giving it was to maybe submit it to the global
> fortune cookie file... ;-)

I think that while I agree that there's a paradox there, what we're
seeing is Logajan failing to express himself, not Logajan asking for a
dead language.

I think Logajan's idea was that backwards-compatibility breaks were
bad, where you (for instance) write code for Tkinter under 1.5.2 and
in 2.whatever it breaks because of Unicode changes. But it's worse
when you can't write that code such that it works in 2.whatever and
also works in 1.5.2 without resorting to testing version numbers and

Maybe that translates to the same thing for you, but for me, it's a
very different thing. Further, I think that the issue would be quashed
if it were simple to work around, rather than complex. If you could
set a global variable in sys or tkinter or __main__ and be assured
that you could write cross-version compatible code, that would be much
preferable to having two write two different sets of modules, one that
works under 1.5 and one that works under 2.0, and one that works under

I could be mistken, but I think that's what I've heard.


Geoff Gerrietts            "Democracy is a form of government that substitutes 
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