[Python-Dev] PEP 407: New release cycle and introducing long-term support versions

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Thu Jan 19 01:12:06 CET 2012

Antoine Pitrou wrote:
> Le jeudi 19 janvier 2012 à 00:25 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull a écrit :
>>  > You claim people won't use stable releases because of not enough
>>  > alphas?  That sounds completely unrelated.
>> Surely testing is related to user perceptions of stability.  More
>> testing helps reduce bugs in released software, which improves user
>> perception of stability, encouraging them to use the software in
>> production.
> I have asked a practical question, a theoretical answer isn't exactly
> what I was waiting for.
> I don't care to convince *you*, since you are not involved in Python
> development and release management (you haven't ever been a contributor
> AFAIK). Unless you produce practical arguments, saying "I don't think
> you can do it" is plain FUD and certainly not worth answering to.

Pardon me, but people like Stephen Turnbull are *users* of Python, exactly the 
sort of people you DO have to convince that moving to an accelerated or more 
complex release process will result in a better product. The risk is that you 
will lose users, or fragment the user base even more than it is now with 2.x 
vs 3.x.

Quite frankly, I like the simplicity and speed of the current release cycle. 
All this talk about separate LTS releases and parallel language releases and 
library releases makes my head spin. I fear the day that people asking 
questions on the tutor or python-list mailing lists will have to say (e.g.) 
"I'm using Python 3.4.1 and standard library 1.2.7" in order to specify the 
version they're using.

I fear change, because the current system works well and for every way to make 
it better there are a thousand ways to make it worse. Dismissing fears like 
this as FUD doesn't do anyone any favours.

One on-going complaint is that Python-Dev doesn't have the manpower or time to 
do everything that needs to be done. Bugs languish for months or years because 
nobody has the time to look at it. Will going to a more rapid release cycle 
give people more time, or just increase their workload? You're hoping that a 
more rapid release cycle will attract more developers, and there is a chance 
that you could be right; but a more rapid release cycle WILL increase the 
total work load. So you're betting that this change will attract enough new 
developers that the work load per person will decrease even as the total work 
load increases. I don't think that's a safe bet.


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