[Python-Dev] PEP 453 (pip bootstrapping) ready for pronouncement?

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Sat Sep 28 05:48:05 CEST 2013

Nick Coghlan writes:

 > You have confirmed my belief that your model is incorrect.

*shrug*  I just think the risks are higher than acknowledged (just
because you have so far failed to imagine a problem doesn't mean it
won't appear), and that the meta effect that "Even Guido admits that
Python 3 isn't ready for prime time" is perverse.  We know, even those
who have written blanket statements to that effect in this thread,
that that is false unless conditioned on specific applications.

I understand that the real motivation is that it's churlish to not
relieve the pain of users who have decided for their own good reasons
to use Python 2.7, and perverse to ignore the needs of the teachers
who are going to educate the users about Python 3 at the time they
consider appropriate.  But the meta-message *received* by the public
is not going to accurately reflect that motivation, and is not going
to be helpful in encouraging those who already *can* move to Python 3
to do so.

Anyway, clearly this exception is heading for approval, and the PEP
with it.  I recommend that the "Feature addition in maintenance
releases" section be amended to read in its entirety:

    The additions of the new module to the standard library in the
    maintenance releases of 2.7 and 3.3 were granted explicit
    exceptions to the rule "no new features in maintenance releases."
    These exceptions were explicitly discussed, and approved in
    consultation with the affected release managers, separately from
    the rest of the PEP.  They do not represent a change in policy,
    and must not be considered a precedent for other such exceptions.

Just the facts, ma'am.  It's a bad idea to include bullshit about the
benefit-cost ratio, because it will be cited in future requests for
similar exceptions.  To the extent that people interpret this as a
forecast and support for a long life for Python 2.7, there is
substantial risk of such requests.

[1]  I do it that way myself, always with the most recent Python 3,
but haven't yet gotten to the point of needing "pip" (use cases that
happen to be met by the stdlib).

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