[Python-Dev] Official version support statement

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Sat May 12 09:27:39 CEST 2007

Terry Reedy writes:

 > This strikes me as an improvement, but 'maintain' is close to
 > 'support' and seems to make a promise that might also have
 > unintended legal consequences. But that is what your legal consel
 > is for.

Unilateral statements on a web page do not constitute a contract.
Implied warrantees *are* a problem, but those are taken care of by the
license.  (IANAL, etc.)

What's left is purely an issue of marketing, ie, to real people a
promise is a promise whether legally enforced or not.  No matter how
weaselly the wording on the website, users expect support and
deprecate projects that don't provide it.

And in Python practice they get it, and will continue calling it
"support".  Unless there are real legal consequences, I think it's a
good idea for the PSF to define explicitly how the resources it either
controls or can elicit from volunteers will be used, to the extent
that PSF can do so.  And it's best if the words "support" and
"maintain" are used, because that's how the users think about it.

 > 'Official' statements need both motivation (what is there that is
 > actually broken?)

The impression that many people (including python-dev regulars) have
that there is a "policy" of "support" for both the current release
(2.5) and the (still very widely used) previous release (2.4) is a
real problem, and needs to be addressed.

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