[Python-Dev] HP-UX pr not feeling the love

Rob Boehne robb at datalogics.com
Wed Dec 6 13:27:57 EST 2017

Thanks!  I’m personally comfortable with dropping support for systems that people can’t buy support for, like IRIX, ULTRIX, SCO etc.  It’s hard to envision those being anything other than hobbyist platforms.  Here at Datalogics, we are selling and supporting software on HP-UX, for both pa-risc and Itanium, and now that SCons is beginning to support Python 3.x, I am attempting to use some of my spare time to get this platform (and others we support) to build, and then to run, on the development branch for Python 3.   So rather than taking a large block of my time to port and fix any problems, I’m going to submit pr’s in a trickle, as time permits.  I’m picking HP-UX because it’s probably the most obscure thing we use, and likely would take the most effort.

From: Lukasz Langa <lukasz at langa.pl>
Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 11:45 AM
To: Rob Boehne <robb at datalogics.com>
Cc: "python-dev at python.org" <python-dev at python.org>
Subject: Re: [Python-Dev] HP-UX pr not feeling the love

Hi Rob,
thanks for your patch. CPython core developers, as volunteers, have limited resources available to maintain Python. Those resources are not only time, they are also mental resources necessary to make a change in Python as well as actual physical resources. Supporting a platform requires all three:

1. You need time to make a platform work initially, and then continuous effort to keep it working, fixing regressions, including this platform in new features, etc.
2. You need mental resources to manage additional complexity that comes from #ifdef sprinkled through the code, cryptic configure/Makefile machinery, etc.
3. You need access to machines running the given operating system to be able to test if your changes are compatible.

This is why we are keeping the list of supported platforms relatively short. In fact, in time we're cutting support for less popular platforms that we couldn't keep running. Details in https://www.python.org/dev/peps/pep-0011/. Look, just in 3.7 we're dropping IRIX and systems without threads.

As you're saying, while your current PR is relatively innocent, more are needed to make it work. If those require more drastic changes in our codebase, we won't be able to accept them due to reasons stated above.

I understand where you're coming from. If you're serious about this, we would need to see the full extent of changes required to make Python 3.7 work on HP UX, preferably minimal. We would also need a buildbot added to our fleet (see http://buildbot.python.org/) that would ensure the build stays green. Finally, we would need you to think whether you could provide the patches that keep the build green for a significant period of time (counted in years).

- Ł

On Dec 6, 2017, at 7:22 AM, Rob Boehne <robb at datalogics.com<mailto:robb at datalogics.com>> wrote:


Back in June I was fired up to get my diverse set of platforms all running Python 3, but quickly ran into issues and submitted a PR.


It seems as though this HP-UX specific change isn’t getting much consideration, which probably isn’t a big deal.  What may be more important is that I’ve stopped trying to contribute, and if I really need Python 3 on HP-UX, AIX, Sparc Solaris or other operating systems, I’ll have to hack it together myself and maintain  my own fork, while presumably others do the same.  At the same time I’m working hard to convince management that we shouldn’t create technical debt by maintaining patches to all the tools we use, and that we should get these changes accepted into the upstream repos.

Could someone have a look at this PR and possibly merge?


Rob Boehne

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