[Python-Dev] Py3K timescale and stdlib philosophy (was: Re: Py3K thought: use...)

John J Lee jjl at pobox.com
Sun Mar 19 21:14:56 CET 2006

On Fri, 17 Mar 2006, Brett Cannon wrote:

> On 3/17/06, A.M. Kuchling <amk at amk.ca> wrote:
>> Thought: We should drop all of httplib, urllib, urllib2, and ftplib,
>> and instead adopt some third-party library for HTTP/FTP/whatever,
>> write a Python wrapper, and use it instead.  (The only such library I
> But maybe this also poses a larger question of where for Py3K we want
> to take the stdlib.  Ignoring its needed cleanup and nesting of the
> namespace, do we want to try to use more external tools by importing
> them and writing a Pythonic wrapper?  Or do we want to not do that and
> try to keep more things under our control and go with the status quo?
> Or do we want to really prune down the stdlib and use more dynamic
> downloading ala Cheeseshop and setuptools?

Do we have any idea yet what sort of timescale we're talking about for 
Python 3.0 (or should I call it Py3K still)?

I have a personal interest in these particular modules, but the questions 
that seem to need answering first are more general ones about the stdlib 
post-3.0.  Brett asks some good questions.

ISTM that another important question must be: What do each of the small 
set of people like yourself (Brett), Andrew, Martin, Georg, Raymond 
(etc.!) who bear most of the burden of maintaining the stdlib at present, 
intend to do after Python 3.0 is out?  I assume that it would only be 
useful to drop parts of the stdlib in this way if that group of people 
were then to stop working on them.  That makes sense, but I don't want to 
make assumptions about what each of the group of people referred to above 
intend to do post-3.0:

  a. Drop 2.x right away to concentrate on developing and maintaining the
     3.0 stdlib (and/or the 3.0 interpreter)?

  b. Spend at least some effort maintaining 2.x for a few years?

  c. Carry on maintaining 2.x for a few years?

  d. Ignore 3.x and continue with 2.x indefinitely?

  e. Watch and see how the Python community at large responds to 3.0?

  f. Wait and see what you feel like doing at the time?

  g. Some combination of the above?

  h. Quit Python to take up pig farming?

These sorts of questions are often quite hard to answer, I understand, 
because many people often want to see what everybody else will do before 
making up their minds.  But I guess people who post here frequently are 
less likely to do that than are the rest of us sheep ;-)

[BTW, I assume much of the stdlib will remain essentially the same (if not 
without backwards-incompatibilities), one hopes people will step in to 
backport 3.0 fixes (and perhaps forward-port: I make no judgement about 
which of 2.x and 3.x will have the larger user community in the short or 
long term).  People will presumably be more motivated to do that than 
currently, since I assume many people will not port all (or any) of their 
code to 3.0.]


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