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

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Sat May 30 12:58:56 CEST 2015

On 30 May 2015 at 20:35, 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.

This isn't about this one change - it's about changing the Python 2.7
maintenance policy to allow ongoing performance improvements to Python
2.7, backed by additional commercial investment in Python 2.7
maintenance to mitigate the increased risks to stability and

As I say in my other email, though, not all of our volunteers are
going to care about the fact that there are a lot of institutional
downstream users of Python 2.7 that will appreciate this change in
policy (e.g. all of the open government data sites running on CKAN:
http://ckan.org/instances ), as well as the sponsored contributions
that make it feasible.

If the environmental benefits (however unquantifiable) help some folks
to see the value in the change in policy, then that's a good thing,
even if it's not the actual primary motivation for the change (the
latter honor belongs to the fact that folks at Intel are interested in
working on it, and they've backed that interest up both by joining the
PSF as a sponsor member, and by hiring David Murray's firm to help
coach them through the process).

As strings go, "we want to work on improving Python 2.7 performance,
not just Python 3 performance" isn't a bad one to have attached to a
credible offer of ongoing contributions to CPython development :)


Nick Coghlan   |   ncoghlan at gmail.com   |   Brisbane, Australia

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