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

Ludovic Gasc gmludo at gmail.com
Sat May 30 19:32:41 CEST 2015

For now, I'm following the mailing-lists from a spy-glass: I don't read
most of the e-mails.
However, this thread seems to be "infected": I can smell from here your
emotions behind your words.

Why to push a lot of emotions inside a technical discussion ?
What's the nerves have been hit with this discussion ?

If you know me a little bit, you know I'm always interested in by
efficiency improvements, especially around Python.

However, I see two parts of this discussion:

1. Python 3 must continue to be the first class citizen for the features,
bugs-killing and performance improvements, as Barry explained.
Programming in Python isn't only a language, it's also a spirit and a
community with forces and weaknesses.

The main "issue" for the Python 3 adoption by the community is that Python
community is mainly composed by Late Majority and Laggards [1], contrary to
some fancy programming language like Ruby, Go, Rust, <insert your fancy
language here> where you have a majority of Early Adopters. For example,
the migration from Ruby 1.8 to 1.9 has taken time because they changed some
critical parts, but finally, now, almost nobody uses Ruby 1.8 on production.
FYI, Ruby 1.9 has been released only one year after Python 3.0, and Ruby
community has finished their migration a long time ago, where you continue
to support Python 2.7. Maybe the change was less important between Ruby 1.8
and 1.9 that between Python 2 and Python 3, however I personally think the
majority of Early Adopters in Ruby community has helped a lot for that.

Nevertheless, at least to my eyes, it's a proof that, despite the fact time
to time somebody announce that Python is dying and that nobody will use
that on production for the new projects, in fact, Python is a clearly a
mainstream programming language, Python 3 migration time is the best proof,
you don't have that with the fancy languages.
But, it also means that to accelerate Python 3 adoption, we need more
incentives: Have a clean way to migrate, almost important libraries ported
and the fact that Python 3 is more newcomers friendly [2] aren't enough,
new features and performances are a better incentive, at least to me.
Without AsyncIO, I'll continue to code for Python 2.

2. From a strategical point of view, even if it should be reduce the
adoption speed of Python 3, it should be a good "move" to support that for
Python 2, to reduce the risk of fork of Python: It's better for the Python
community to use Python 2 than not Python at all.
See the NodeJS community: even if the reasons seem to be more political
than technical, fork a language isn't a potential myth.
If we force too much Python 2 users to migrate to Python 3, they should
reject completely the language, everybody will lose in this story.
Moreover, if we start to have a critical mass of Laggards with Python 2 who
have enough money/time to maintain a patch like that, and we reject that,
we should lose the discussion link and mutual enrichment: everybody is
concerned by performance improvements. Personally, only final results
matter, I don't care about the personal motivations: economical,
ecological, or basely to publish a blog post about the fact that the Python
community has a bigger one that some others ;-)

And don't forget: Almost nobody cares about our internal discussions and
our drama, they only interested by the source code we produce, even the
Python developers who use CPython.
Even if we have different motivations, I'm sure that everybody on this
mailing-list, or at least in this thread, "believe" in Python: You don't
take personal time during a week-end if Python isn't something important to
you, because during the time you take to write e-mails/source code, you
don't watch series or take care of your family.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Early_adopter#History
[2] It's in French (Google translate is your friend), however an
interesting point of view of a Python trainer who has switched to Python 3:
http://sametmax.com/python-3-est-fait-pour-les-nouveaux-venus/ (The website
is down for now)
Ludovic Gasc (GMLudo)

2015-05-30 17:42 GMT+02:00 Barry Warsaw <barry at python.org>:

> On May 30, 2015, at 06:55 PM, Nick Coghlan wrote:
> >Intel are looking to get involved in CPython core development
> >*specifically* to work on performance improvements, so it's important
> >to offer folks in the community good reasons for why we're OK with
> >seeing at least some of that work applied to Python 2, rather than
> >restricting their contributions to Python 3.
> I think that's fine, for all the reasons you, Toshio, and others mention.
> For
> better or worse, Python 2.7 *is* our LTS release so I think we can make
> life
> easier for the folks stuck on it <wink>.
> However, I want us to be very careful not to accept performance
> improvements
> in Python 2.7 that haven't also been applied to Python 3, unless of course
> they aren't relevant.  Python 3 also has a need for performance
> improvements,
> perhaps more so for various reasons, so let's make sure we're pushing that
> forward too.
> In many cases where you have a long lived stable release and active
> development releases, it's generally the policy that fixes show up in the
> dev
> release first.  At least, this is the case with Ubuntu and SRUs, and it
> makes
> a lot of sense.
> Cheers,
> -Barry
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