Backwards Compatibility of Python versions

James T. Dennis jadestar at
Wed Jan 30 00:54:56 EST 2002

Grant Edwards <grante at> wrote:

> In article <a1rn4a.3vsgbmv.1 at>, Sheila King wrote:

>> In the past, the system admin has mentioned that he is not wanting to
>> upgrade Python because the system utilities in RH Linux depend on the 1.5.2
>> and he doesn't want to break anything.

> IIRC, The RH-supplied Python2 RPM doesn't replace the 1.5.2
> installation -- the existing utilities that use 1.5.2 aren't
> affected.

 Debian (woody) can install Python 1.5, 2.1 and 2.2 
 concurrently to one another.  You script can simply use 
 #!/usr/bin/env pythonX.Y to use the necessary python version,
 or just ...env python to get the default (from your path).

 The changes to Python from 1.5.x through the current 2.2 
 have been significant.  Personally I'm glad to see it.  Sure its
 causing a bit of a pain for now, but the language is maturing
 rapidly with these last few releases, and that may mean that 
 future disruption can be minimized.  Of course it might be nice if
 one could do something like:  from __past__ import 1.5.2 to have
 the system "import" a previous version of the interpreter to 
 handle a script ;) 

 (That's only partially tongue in cheek).

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