Should non-security 2.7 bugs be fixed?

Laura Creighton lac at
Sun Jul 19 11:27:31 CEST 2015

In a message of Sat, 18 Jul 2015 19:36:33 -0400, Terry Reedy writes:
>If the vast majority of Python programmers are focused on 2.7, why are 
>volunteers to help fix 2.7 bugs so scarce?

Because volunteers to fix any bugs are scarce?  Because most people really
only think of bug fixing when they have one, and when they get that
one fixed they drop back into thinking that everything is perfect?

>Does they all consider it perfect (or sufficient) as is?
>Should the core developers who do not personally use 2.7 stop 
>backporting, because no one cares if they do?
>Terry Jan Reedy

In the tiny corner of industrial automation where I do a lot of work,
nobody is using 3.0.  It is not clear that this is ever going to change.
It would have to be driven by 'lack of people who know 2.x syntax'
or something like that. Not 'third party library compatibility' because
we really don't use them all that much.

In this corner of the world, the favourite language for developing in
is C (because we work close to hardware) and one of the things we like
about it, a whole lot, is that the language never changes out from
under you.  So there is great hope among industrial users of Python
that we can get a hold of a 'never going to change any more' version
of Python, and then code in that 'forever' knowing that a code change
isn't going to come along and break all our stuff.

Bug fixes aren't supposed to do this, of course, in the same way that
backporting of features do, but every so often something that was
introduced to fix bug X ends up breaking something else Y.  If the
consequences of a bug can be 10s of thousands of Euros lost, you
can see the appeal of 'this isn't going to happen any more'.

While nobody likes to get bit by bugs, there is some sort of fuzzy
belief out there that the bugs fixes that have gone into 2.7 are
more about things that we would never run into, and thus we get the
risk of change without the benefit of the bugfix.  This belief isn't
one that people substantiate -- it is 'just a feeling'.

So from this corner of the world, which admittedly is a very small corner,
yes, the news is 'Life is good.  Please leave us alone.'  This is in
large part, I think, due to the belief that 'if things aren't breaking,
things are perfect' which is completely untrue, but that's the way
people are thinking.


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