stressing problem with Python < 3.3.3 / 2.7.6 and Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks

Wolfgang Maier wolfgang.maier at biologie.uni-freiburg.de
Tue Oct 14 22:53:36 CEST 2014


On 14.10.2014 22:30, Ned Deily wrote:
> In article <m1juu7$tmn$1 at ger.gmane.org>,
>   Wolfgang Maier <wolfgang.maier at biologie.uni-freiburg.de> wrote:
>> I'm not a regular MacPython user, but today I had to build Mac wheels
>> for different versions of Python. To test the wheel files I set up a
>> fresh Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks and and installed Python 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 from
>> the python.org download page on it. Then I struggled for the rest of the
>> afternoon to try to figure out why Python 3.2 crashed when I used my
>> package in interactive mode until I finally realized that it's not the
>> package but Python that's responsible.
>>
>> Turns out that I had run into http://bugs.python.org/issue18458 which
>> probably every MacPython user here is so familiar with that the download
>> page doesn't even mention it ? ;)
>>
>> Seriously, I think the official download page for a OS shouldn't offer
>> me a version that will not work well with the latest version of that OS
>> without a warning. Why not add such a warning (like: versions below will
>> crash in interactive mode on Mac OS 10.9) in the list of downloads at
>> https://www.python.org/downloads/mac-osx/ between Python 2.7.6 (the
>> first version with the issue fixed) and Python 3.2.5 (the last affected
>> version).
>
> Sorry you ran into that problem.  Unfortunately, that's a general
> problem when using older versions of Python that are in
> security-fix-only mode, e.g. those no longer in active maintenance mode.
> Currently only 3.2.x and 3.3.x are in that category.
>
> "The only changes made to a security branch are those fixing issues
> exploitable by attackers such as crashes, privilege escalation and,
> optionally, other issues such as denial of service attacks. Any other
> changes are not considered a security risk and thus not backported to a
> security branch."
>
> https://docs.python.org/devguide/devcycle.html#security-branches
>
> Fixes for new operating system releases do not fall in this category.
> There are certainly other problems that one will run into on platform
> releases newer than those supported and tested at the time of the final
> maintenance release.  However, we did add a warning about this
> particular issue to the release page of the final security release of
> 2.6.x.  That warning is now copied into the 3.2.6 release page.
>

Thanks for the fast response, Ned.

I fully understand how the issue arose and why it hasn't been fixed. No 
complaints about that.
I just thought that, if you cannot use the interactive interpreter on a 
standard version of the OS you're downloading for, that deserves a 
prominent mention.

The added warning in the 3.2.6 release page may have saved me a bit of 
searching *after* I figured out what's going on, but I wouldn't have 
discovered it *before* downloading.

> In the future, if you encounter problems with the python.org website,
> follow the Help link at the bottom of each page to the website issue
> tracker.
>

Thanks for pointing that out. I thought such a link must exist, but 
posting to this list seemed simpler than looking for it. I'll remember 
it for next time.

Best,
Wolfgang



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