[Python-Dev] Support the /usr/bin/python2 symlink upstream

Michael Foord fuzzyman at voidspace.org.uk
Wed Mar 2 15:16:46 CET 2011

On 02/03/2011 14:04, James Y Knight wrote:
> On Mar 2, 2011, at 8:23 AM, Sandro Tosi wrote:
>> On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 13:56, Piotr Ożarowski<piotr at debian.org>  wrote:
>>> [Sandro Tosi, 2011-03-02]
>>>> On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 10:01, Piotr Ożarowski<piotr at debian.org>  wrote:
>>>>> I co-maintain with Matthias a package that provides /usr/bin/python
>>>>> symlink in Debian and I can confirm that it will always point to Python
>>>>> 2.X. We also do not plan to add /usr/bin/python2 symlink (and I guess
>>>>> only accepted PEP can change that)
>>>> Can you please explain why you NACK this proposed change?
>>> it encourages people to change /usr/bin/python symlink to point to
>>> python3.X which I'm strongly against (how can I tell that upstream
>>> author meant python3.X and not python2.X without checking the code?)
>> with 'people' do you mean 'users'? if so, isn't this risk already present?
>> If you, user, change the python symlink (provided by python-minimal in
>> Debian) to something else than what's shipped, it's still a local
>> change, and will never be supported; but with python2 *Debian is free*
>> to decide if python can be pointed to python3, if the time will come.
> I suspect he's saying it'd be better if the time didn't come (if so, I'd agree). Python3 *is* unfortunately a new and incompatible programming language,

Only partly true. It's a new version of an existing language that 
introduces backwards incompatible changes. It *isn't* a new language and 
I write code that happily runs under Python 2 (2.4+) and 3.


>   it makes sense for it to have it have its own interpreter name. Eventually /usr/bin/python might no longer be installed, but that doesn't mean python3 shouldn't simply be called python3 forever.
> James
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