long-term release schedule?

Ray Smith ray at rays-web.com
Fri Jun 13 02:21:14 CEST 2003

Peter Hansen <peter at engcorp.com> wrote in message news:<3EE874F2.4042B9E4 at engcorp.com>...
> Ray Smith wrote:

> > I'm looking at introducing Python into a corporate environment and the
> > above statement seems at least a little worrying (the first time I thought
> > about it).
> Why would it be worrying in a corporate environment?  Are you
> worried that the donated time of the developers will stop
> being provided freely to your company?

The worrying aspect is that Python (or any development tool a company uses)
becomes unsupported and "no one" is around (paid or unpaid) to continue 

Open Source always beats closed source since "most likely" others will continue
(at minimum bug fixes) to improve the tool.  
The option is always available to continue development yourself but that would
take I pretty large resource investment.  Small teams usually won't have access
to resources like that (as always with Open Source it's your own choice). 

> "Discontinued" has little meaning in this world.  "Development
> stopped" might have a little more meaning, except that the source
> code is freely available to you to pick up and carry on with any
> enhancements you wish to make, if you no longer want to rely on 
> others to make those enhancements, unpaid, for your company.

You seem to have this idea I'm after a free lunch?
I didn't think my question involved how do I get free development tools and

> I think in most corporate environments the concern should be on
> the stability of the product, and with that in mind, consider the
> PBF's (Python Business Forum) focus on Python version 2.2 and 
> making sure it is a long-supported and stable release.  Again,
> free, without your company paying a dime for it (although it
> could become a member of the PBF to help support the effort).

If Python become a tool we used I'd encourage the Company I work for to 
contribute back to the community.  I'm a strong believer of "what goes around 
comes around".
> (Note: I use Python in a corporate environment, and I don't 
> really understand your concern.  Commercial software is much less
> dependable than Python has proven to be, both from the point of
> view of the product itself and from the point of view of the 
> community backing it.  Worst case: we grab the source for 2.2
> (or whatever version we want to maintain ourselves) and carry on
> with our own product line, with less concern than we'd have 
> with a commercial product we couldn't get source to.)

I agree with everything you say here.

The point I guess is that when you hear comments something like

"""Guido would need to find commercial backing to continue development on a 
'Python 3.0' version"""

you think about the long term future and improvements to Python.

and my question was ...

If bug fixes where the only changes to "core Python language" in the next 5-10
years would Python still be a good choice?

I pose that question because I suspect the answer is yes, since alot of the 
added value of Python is now coming from the external projects.

The bottom line is I'm sick to death of priopriety companies changing the 
playing field every 5 years and needing to rework large portions of code.
Mostly these products we use (from the company everyone loves to hate) is 
poorly designed, unstable and difficult to use.

Open Source is still considered a risky choose by most managers and I have to 
be very careful how I attempt to introduce it here.  I have successfully 
introudused a couple of small open source tools, but I'm basically going for
the big one now and planning to use Python for a large long term project 
(I've just got to convince management now ... which won't be easy).


Ray Smith

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