[Python-ideas] Proposal: Moratorium on Python language changes

Guido van Rossum guido at python.org
Mon Oct 26 01:51:20 CET 2009

On Sun, Oct 25, 2009 at 4:22 PM, Steven D'Aprano <steve at pearwood.info> wrote:
> On Sat, 24 Oct 2009 04:30:36 pm Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
>> It seems to me that what Guido is heading for here is very similar to
>> the "punctuated equilibrium" concept (associated with the
>> evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, the wikipedia article is
>> pretty good, and fairly short).
> I argue that you've got it backwards.

Much though I like the writing of Gould and others, and much though we
talk about Python "evolving", I don't think that punctuated
equilibrium makes sense as an analogy, no matter which way to turn it.
The proposed moratorium is a *conscious decision*, an intentional
policy meant to have a certain effect. This is just the opposite of
evolution in nature (unless you believe in "intelligent design" :-).

> I suggest that the causes of the slow uptake of 3.x isn't too many
> changes to the core, but three factors:

While I mentioned 3.x in my original message about the moratorium, I
didn't mean to imply that the moratorium would solve the slow uptake
directly. The intent was to give people who would otherwise work on
language change proposals more time and motivation to work on porting
3rd party packages to Py3k. Also to give other implementations (in
particular PyPy, IronPython, Jython) more breathing room to catch up.

Also to stop the pointless discussions about anonymous blocks (though
that may have been naive :-).

--Guido van Rossum

PS. My elbow needs a couple more weeks of rest. Limiting myself to
ultra-short emails.

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