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

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Sun Mar 19 23:02:19 CET 2006

On 3/19/06, John J Lee <jjl at pobox.com> wrote:
> 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)?

Py3K.  It's shorter and since Python 3.0 is still just a PEP and
Guido's neurons it really has not materalized yet to be an upcoming
version of Python yet.  =)

> 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?

Py3K will most likely be just another release of Python with a lot of
changes.  The final 2.x release will be maintained for a while just
because we always maintain the last stable release while the next
version is being developed.  But since the 2.x series will be depended
upon by people for quite a while I suspect we will continue to patch
it and release it as long as Anthony is willing to do micro releases
and developers plan to continue to backport fixes.

Personally, I plan to help to maintain the 2.x series, but once Python
3.0 becomes a reality, it won't be my focus.  One would hope that bugs
in the 2.x series will get closed up over time and will require less
and less maintenance.  But backporting might be a problem from 3.x to
2.x because of fundamental differences of how things are structured on
top of people just losing interest in 2.x since it isn't bleeding

> 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.]

Well, I don't know if the stdlib will stay the same.  It will
definitely get pruned down and cleaned up (wouldn't be shocked if we
have a Great Renaming like the C codebase did way back in the day). 
So I have no clue where the stdlib will go compared to 2.x .


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