[Python-Dev] Re: Stability and change

Guido van Rossum guido@python.org
Mon, 08 Apr 2002 22:29:37 -0400

> As long as I've been in the FreeBSD world, I've never seen an alpha/beta
> release.  What you get are the occasional Developer Preview (I think there
> is usually one before each X release (in X.Y).  Then there are release
> candidates, usually 2-3.  Otherwise, people are assumed to work off the
> trees directly, and there are tools to keep your system in check very
> easily.

It's just in the naming then, nothing special.

> I have a machine here (dual Ppro, a bit antiquated, but it serves
> it's purpose) which CVSups (an automated CVS system) an updated
> environment every day, then builds the entire thing (which can take
> hours).  It's painless for me, and I get to test some things I'm
> working on against the bleeding edge with little or no effort.
> In the FreeBSD world, you don't shove experimental code that hasn't
> gone through "some testing" into the CURRENT tree.  It may not build
> everywhere, but it's gone through some testing, and usually will not
> cause anyone serious pain.

Same for Python.  We flame developers who break the build, and as a
result this almost never happens (unless the tests pass on *their*
machine but not elsewhere).  We review code in the SF patch manager

> I guess in the end, I see several competing interests here:
>     - People who want minimal to no backward incompatibilities, ever

Just say no to upgrades.

>     - People who want to know that a release will be "supported" for
>       some defined period

I'd be happy to promise that release 2.X will be supported until
2.(X+2) (final) is released.

>     - People who want the bleeding edge to be more available

I believe there are nightly checkout tarballs available from
somewhere.  But most people go directly to CVS.  Anyway, I don't think
this group has any problems with the current system. :-)

> I would think that 90% of this can be solved with simple communications of
> what should be expected.  It's not unreasonable to say that 2.1 will be
> supported with BUG FIXED (not features, bug fixes) until 2.4 or 2.5 is
> released.  If we're on a 6-month "minor release" schedule, then that's
> roughly a year of stability.   That seems generous.

I think your math is off (2.4 would be 20 months) but something like
that, yeah.

--Guido van Rossum (home page: http://www.python.org/~guido/)