Language change and code breaks (fwd)

Peter Hansen peter at
Wed Jul 18 05:42:24 CEST 2001

Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters wrote:
> |Nevertheless, I want to make the clear point (if I haven't already)
> |that I'm not suggesting screwing every such programmer... just
> |those who are actively using code which would be broken, who will
> |not take the time (however small we might make it) to modify the
> |source, and yet who "must" have their code work under the new Python.
> Here's a scenario:
> I--one of those professional programmers--write a Python script for
> someone who runs a business, or a non-profit, or an agency, to run on
> their CGI webserver.  This client knows not the first thing about Python
> or about programming, nor do they maintain the webserver, just rent
> space on it.  But still, this script does something useful for users of
> the website--order products, or request documents, or send data to a
> database.
> I go away, no longer available.  The client's web hosting company
> upgrades the Python installation to Python 3.7 (this is in the future
> :-)).  Client's scripts break.

Thanks for the well-considered example.

In this case, I would argue that the client's hosting company should
not upgrade Python (especially across a major revision) without either
notifying everyone who is using it (may be hard to do), or keeping
the old version around for legacy use.  After all, if they support
Python for customers, they presumably are interested in and somewhat
responsible for keeping the customers' applications functional when
they do such an upgrade.

Yes, the might do this without being careful ... 

No, I don't think this should stop us from making the div change.

Peter Hansen, P.Eng.
peter at

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