[Python-Dev] public visibility of python-dev decisions "before it's too late" (was: PyCObject_AsVoidPtr removed from python 3.2 - is this documented?)

Stefan Behnel stefan_ml at behnel.de
Wed Mar 9 07:15:07 CET 2011

"Martin v. Löwis", 08.03.2011 23:47:
>>> I think everything here is as it should be. People who really cared
>>> about forwards compatibility could have known, but factually, most
>>> people don't care enough. Those then learn for the first time that
>>> some feature was deprecated after it is actually removed. They then
>>> ask why it is removed, and somebody will tell them.
>> I was not aware I could turn on deprecation warning for use of the C
>> API. How can I do that?
> Not sure that you can. When I said "could have known", I meant "by
> reading the documentation".

I can confirm that the Cython project was as surprised of the PyCapsule 
change in Python 3.2 as (I guess) most other users, and I would claim that 
we are a project with one of the highest probabilities of being impacted by 
C-API changes.

Maybe the "what's new" document could at least include a link to the 
relevant python-dev discussion/decision, so that fewer people have to ask back?

Actually, why not put up a web page of "upcoming changes" somewhere, that 
lists major decisions with user impact that were taken on python-dev? 
Including a link to the relevant discussion and decision. Often enough, 
decisions are taken inside of huge mailing list threads that get off-topic 
before someone has "the right idea" and everyone who's still there to 
listen agrees. Even for people lurking around on python-dev, it's easy 
enough to miss these moments.

A publicly visible list of those decisions would

a) make it easier for non-core developers to follow important changes on 

b) allow potentially impacted people to bring up their POV more quickly, 
e.g. during the alpha cycle of a deprecation release rather than the 
following release, as in this case

c) document the decision taking process by listing the relevant mailing 
list threads

d) help in writing the "what's new" documents


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