Python pre-release announcements

Ben Finney bignose+hates-spam at
Tue Oct 7 23:19:33 CEST 2008

Terry Reedy <tjreedy at> writes:

> Ben Finney wrote:
> > Can I request, in the interest of reducing confusion, that any
> > announcements of pre-release versions of 2.5.3 (or any other
> > Python release) be announced *without* saying “RELEASED: A
> > not-really-release version of Python”.
> >
> > It's very confusing to see a progression of announcements with subject
> > fields like:
> >
> >     RELEASED: Python 2.8.not-ready-yet
> >     RELEASED: Python 2.8.alpha-1
> >     RELEASED: Python 2.8.beta-1
> >     RELEASED: Python 2.8.beta-2
> >     RELEASED: Python 2.8 release candidate 1
> >     RELEASED: Python 2.8 release candidate 2
> >     RELEASED: Python 2.8 final
> I disagree.  These say exactly what has happened and tell me what I
> want to know, which is that something new has been released, which is
> to say, made available for download.

Which is entirely different from the “release” implicit in e.g.
“release candidate”, hence they don't say what they appear to say.
Since the latter term is unlikely to change, I'm asking that the
announcements don't unnecessarily overload the meaning of “release”.

> I disagree.  [ANN] could mean anything: planned? canceled? needs help?
> ("Oh, 'released', why didn't you say so?")

As above, “released” is a poor term for this, since it *already* has
connotations of “all done, out the door, ready to go” as evidenced
in “release candidate” (not released, but we think it could be) and
the distinction of the triumphant announcements that accompany
*actual* releases.

> I presume you would not be happy either with "[ANN] Python
> x.y.whatever released".

I hope it's clear why that's so, yes.

> (I am currently using 3.rc1; the remaining problems do not currently
> affect me and I accept the risk, which I view as small, that further
> changes will affect code I write now.)

Note that you are using a “release candidate”, i.e. a version of
software *that has not yet been released*. It would surely be clearer
if the availability of that version were not announced with an
implication that the software is both released and not-released.

> If you want RELEASED replaced, suggest something short and not too
> ugly that communicates "posted at and available to be
> downloaded, installed, tested, and used" at least as well.

I suggest “AVAILABLE”, then, to clearly limit the scope of what
state is being announced.

Whatever is chosen, please reserve “RELEASED” for the
commonly-expected meaning of something akin to “no longer in
intensive development or bug-hunting mode, now ready to go out on its
own and be used with abandon by the masses”.

 \       “The generation of random numbers is too important to be left |
  `\                                    to chance.” —Robert R. Coveyou |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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