[Python-Dev] Another update for PEP 394 -- The "python" Command on Unix-Like Systems

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Wed Feb 13 22:25:33 EST 2019

On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 03:33:21PM -0800, Barry Warsaw wrote:

> I just don’t think Python 4 is anything but distant vaporware.

If Python 4 follows 3.9, that could be as little as 3-4 years away :-)

> There’s a cost to freaking everyone out that Python 4 is coming and 
> will be as disruptive as Python 3.

Indeed. I do my bit to combat that in two ways:

- remind people that Guido has pronounced that Python 4 will not be
  a disruptive, backwards-incompatible change like Python 3 was;

- and use "Python 5000" to refer to any such hypothetical and 
  very unlikely incompatible version.

> Calling Python 3.9+1 Python 4 
> feeds into that FUD for no reason that I can tell except for an 
> aversion to two digit minor version numbers.

I haven't come across this FUD about Python 4, so I wonder whether it 
exists more in our fears than the reality. I daresay there are a few 
people out there who will instantly react to even a casual mention of 
"Python 4" as if it were a concrete upgrade that just broke their 
servers, but I would hope the average Python coder had more sense.

I know that we have to plan for the community we have rather the 
community we want, but I would be very sad if we had decisions forced on 
us by the most ignorant, Dunning-Kruger, unteachable and proud of it 
segment of the community.

Any such hypothetical Python 3.10/4.0 version is at least three or four 
years away. Let's not limit our options until we know whether or not 
this FUD is widespread.

Whatever we plan, we should allow for *both* a Python 3.10 and a Python 
4, and then we'll be good even if 4.0 follows 3.12 :-)


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