[Python-Dev] 2.7 is here until 2020, please don't call it a waste.

Chris Angelico rosuav at gmail.com
Sat May 30 12:52:21 CEST 2015

On Sat, May 30, 2015 at 8:35 PM, Antoine Pitrou <solipsis at pitrou.net> wrote:
> On Sat, 30 May 2015 10:34:15 +1000
> Nick Coghlan <ncoghlan at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 30 May 2015 09:57, "Antoine Pitrou" <solipsis at pitrou.net> wrote:
>> >
>> > On Sat, 30 May 2015 01:49:10 +0200
>> > Christian Heimes <christian at python.org> wrote:
>> > > For performance patches we have to consider our responsibility for the
>> > > environment. Every improvement means more speed and less power
>> > > consumption. Python runs of hundreds of thousands of machines in the
>> > > cloud. Python 2.7 will be used for at least half a decade, probably
>> > > longer. Servers can be replaced with faster machines later and less
>> > > fossil fuel must be burned to produce power.
>> >
>> > Please keep your ideology out of this.
>> I'm a qualified engineer (in computer systems engineering), so caring about
>> environmental sustainability is part of my professional ethical standards,
>> not just a matter of personal preference: http://www.wfeo.org/ethics/
> There is no reason to assume that a smallish performance improvement in
> a single Python 2.7 release will make any difference in "environmental
> sustainability" of the world's computing infrastructure, while the
> problem is measured in orders of magnitude.  The onus is on to you to
> prove the contrary.  Otherwise, bringing it up is mere ideology.

The magnitude of the environmental benefit of Python performance
improvement is uncertain, but we know what direction it's going to be.
If there's going to be a massive maintenance nightmare, or if the
change comes at a cost of functionality or debuggability, then sure,
the onus is on the person begging for performance improvements; but if
there's no such cost (or if the cost is being carried by the same
person/people who proposed the change), then surely it's worth

Suppose someone came up with a magic patch that makes the CPython core
run 25% faster. No downsides, just 25% faster across the board. I
wouldn't pay money for it on the sole basis of expecting to make that
back in reduced electricity bills, but I certainly wouldn't be sorry
to watch the load averages drop. Why is this controversial?


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