[Python-Dev] PEP 11: Dropping support for ten year old systems

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Mon Dec 6 05:36:13 CET 2010

On Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 7:48 AM, "Martin v. Löwis" <martin at v.loewis.de> wrote:
> I'd like to tighten PEP 11, and declare a policy that systems
> older than ten years at the point of a feature release are not
> supported anymore by default. Older systems where support is still
> maintained need to be explicitly listed in the PEP, along with
> the name of the responsible maintainer (I think this would currently
> only cover OS2/EMX which is maintained by Andrew MacIntyre).
> Support for such old platforms can then be removed from the codebase
> immediately, no need to go through a PEP 11 deprecation cycle.
> As a consequence, I would then like to remove support for Solaris
> versions older than Solaris 8 (released in January 2000, last updated
> by Sun in 2004) from the configure script for 3.2b2. A number of other
> tests in configure.in could probably also be removed, although I
> personally won't touch them before 3.2.
> The other major system affected by this would be Windows 2000, for which
> we already decided to not support it anymore.
> Opinions?

I would prefer to be guided by vendor EOL dates rather than our own
arbitrary 10 year limit. The EOL guide I would suggest is "Is the
vendor still fixing bugs in that release?".

For Solaris 8, the answer to that question is no (Phase 1 EOL support
ended in October: http://www.sun.com/service/eosl/eosl_solaris.html)

For Windows 2000, the answer is no (Extended Support ended in July:

For Windows XP, the answer is yes (Extended Support doesn't end until
April 2014: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle#section_2)

Since the "Is the vendor still patching it?" guideline gives the
"right" answer for the 3 systems mentioned in this thread, it will
likely do a better job of covering anomalies like XP than a flat year
limit would.


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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