Make it a major version number change (was Re: PEP0238 lament)

Guido van Rossum guido at
Wed Jul 25 11:28:27 EDT 2001

Peter Hansen <peter at> writes:

> I hate the thought of the work required to scan/fix/debug 
> already working code, but if this has to happen, and can't
> be made to work without breaking existing code (e.g. by 
> introducing *two* new operators), then at least follow
> the convention we apparently all believe exists and 
> make this a *major version number change*.

Your wish is my command (see previous post).

> (But two years until the change really becomes the default
> would at least be an improvement over the truly scary 
> apparent speed implied by the sudden posting of a patch.)

Sorry, you misunderstand the patch.  All it does is provide a trial
implementation of the "from __future__ impor division" statement and
the new // operator.  The default semantics of / don't change under
the patch.

A patch in SF is by definition under discussion.  There are many
things wrong with the patch, but it gives people an easy way to
experiment with an approximation what 2.2 might look like.

Unfortunately, all it seems to have done is spur this enormous
flamewar.  It's really hard to remain calm when people start shouting
"the leadership is wrong because I say so."

--Guido van Rossum (home page:

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