[Python-Dev] Re: Stability and change

Paul Hughett hughett@mercur.uphs.upenn.edu
Tue, 9 Apr 2002 09:39:13 -0400

Jeremy wrote:

> Paul,  Do you ever do build Python from a cvs checkout?

No.  I'm doing production work with Python, so it makes better sense
for me to stick to the stable versions.  I'm glad the experimental
versions are there so the language develops, but I don't follow them

> It seems to me that what you call an experimental track, we call a
> "cvs checkout."  What you call a stable releases, we call a release.

Could be, though lurking on python-dev gives me the impression of a lot
more language change than fits my interpretation of "stable version".

As a user of the stable track, I'm not particularly concerned whether
the experimental versions come out as CVS updates or numbered
versions.  The language developers and bleeding-edge experimenters can
work that one out among themselves.  What I want (as I said in a
message you probably haven't read yet) is a series of stable versions
that I can use with few modifications for a year or so, interspersed
with periods of intense change updating to the new stable version.
Updating to a new stable version every six months is too fast for me.

> I think all of this [being a stable version] was true of Python 2.1
> & 2.2 and will be true of 2.3.

I think the problem here is that discovering this is difficult.  I just
looked at the Python home page.  Between that and the downloads page, there
are 7 distinct versions listed, but no clues to the newbie as to which
one he ought to use.  Perhaps we should add a short paragraph that says

"If you want the leading edge, use the highest-numbered version there
is.  (And please report all the bugs you discover.)  If you want a
stable version for production use, use the latest in the 2.2 series."

> Sure, there are bugs in 2.1 & 2.2, but we fixed the ones we knew how
> to fix.  I expect that "stable" Linux kernel releases also have bugs,
> else I wouldn't have a 2.2.12 release on my home machine :-).

Yes, they do, but generally I don't need to upgrade to the latest
kernel unless it fixes a bug that hurts me or need the latest security
fix.  That's part of what "stable version" means to me.

Paul Hughett