[Python-Dev] Draft: 2.3 download page

Tim Peters tim.one@comcast.net
Sun, 27 Jul 2003 12:13:19 -0400

> Here's a quick draft of the text for the 2.3 download page.  Could
> someone please provide a list of the bugs we want to show up in the
> Known bugs section?
> <h2>
> <font color="red">WARNING:</font>
> </h2>
> Consider waiting for Python 2.3^H^H^H 2.3.1 if you use IDLE

Why?  Kurt may add more ways to spell warnings, but there's no reason to
avoid 2.3's IDLE.  Explain whatever issues remain instead.  They're
technically minor.  They're just potentially surprising the first time you
see one (if you see one at all).

> or if you care about absolute stability.  See "Known bugs" below for
> more info.
> Known bugs
> First of all, Python 2.3 is overall more stable than Python 2.2.3.

We don't know that, and it's almost certainly not true for people using
new-in-2.3 code.

> There have been many bug fixes, and Python's extensive and growing
> suite of unit tests ensures that bugs rarely recur.  However, bugs
> can and do show up in new code that has not yet been exercised in the
> Real World. Python 2.3's final release was in a schedule crunch
> because of a commitment to a release date for Apple Computer and OS X
> 10.3 (Panther),

There wasn't a schedule crunch:  2.3 has been in the works since 22-Dec-2001
(the day after 2.2 final was released).  That's 19 months of development,
and the first 2.3 alpha was released 7 months ago.  Saying there *was* a
schedule crunch implies we're making excuses for pushing out a shoddy
release, but there's nothing shoddy about it.  If it appears to be suffering
compared to previous PLabs releases, it's because Guido and Jeremy are
missing, and the rest of PLabs has to carve all our efforts out of "spare
time".  This has acted to *drag out* the release process, though, not to
rush it.  There's certainly more of a harried tone in our email about
release issues this time, but that's only because we can't afford the time
to type about them <0.7 wink>.

> and several minor but critical bugs made it into the release.

They'll be backported to 2.2.4 too, if anyone cares to make the effort.

> These bugs are minor because (except for IDLE) they are far from core
> Python code; they are critical because you <strong>will</strong> have
> problems if you run into them.  We plan to release Python 2.3.1
> within a month.

I'm sorry to say I can't commit to that.  PythonLabs no longer exists, and
future releases will have to be on a more relaxed schedule to the extent
that the 5 former-PLabs geeks remain on release critical paths.

> We recommend downloading and using Python 2.3,


> but waiting for 2.3.1 if you're new to Python and plan to use IDLE

I don't recommend that.

> or if you're using Python in a mission-critical application.

This is inconsistent with the earlier claim that "Python 2.3 is overall more
stable than Python 2.2.3".  That claim implies 2.3 is the most stable
version in existence.  Why would we recommend to avoid the most stable
version for a mission-critical app?

2.3 final is in at least as good a shape as any major Python final release
has ever been (which is saying a lot), and certainly in better shape than
2.2 final was in.

In all, I'd like to see a lot less dubious negative editorializing in the
release blurb.  It's a major release long in the making, and it is (thanks
to the efforts of everyone on Python-Dev, and to Guido's reluctance to add
new features to the core language this time) probably the best major release
Python has ever had.  Even if it doesn't compile on a Cray SV1 running
UNICOS <wink>.