[Python-Dev] Rewriting PEP4

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Tue Dec 7 09:16:05 CET 2004

Raymond Hettinger wrote:
> Instead, there should be a clear decision to deprecate or not.  If that
> entails a comp.lang.python.announce notice and comment period, so be it.
> Once a decision is made, document it, add a warning, and wait.

Ok, that might be reasonable.

> Once a couple versions pass, some useful action needs to take place.  If
> the code is left in-place and the doc index is just re-arranged, then we
> would have been better off not doing anything at all.  

I disagree. The primary purpose (move developers to the alternative
approach) is achieved as soon as the warning is added, and the
documentation is deleted. Whether the module is actually deleted is
of minor importance: it costs nothing to continue including it; disk
space is cheap.

> The questions of dates was somewhat minor.  I was unclear on the
> implication of, for example, "remove on 15Jan2005".  Since Py2.5 won't
> go out for at least a year, does that mean that the work can't be done
> now while I have time instead of later when I don't.  The only time the
> removal becomes visible is when a new version goes out the door.

You could remove it now, but if we release Py2.5 in two months, you
would have to put it back in. So if you don't have time then, maybe
somebody else will. If nobody has time to remove the module, the next
release will ship with it, again - no big issue.

> Further, if a version is going to have something removed, we should do
> it at the outset rather than just before a release goes out the door (to
> allow for early surfacing of any issues).

That is true.

> If we really don't care whether it gets done, then we shouldn't bother
> in the first place.

What do you mean by "bother"? Not put the deprecation warning in? We
do want users to move to the new approach of doing something. However,
two version are just not enough - it may take 10 or 20 years to remove
a widely used feature (e.g. the string module). That it will take so
long does not mean we should not start the process *now* - if we start
the process in five years, it will *still* take 10 or 20 years. Just
be patient.


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