[SciPy-dev] Time to require python 2.4?

Robert Kern robert.kern at gmail.com
Tue Dec 26 20:17:08 CST 2006

Tim Leslie wrote:
> Hi All,
> I'd like to start a discussion to see whether it's time for scipy to
> require Python 2.4. 2.4 has been out for over two years now (released
> in Nov 2004) and there is at least one outstanding patch for scipy
> which requires 2.4[1]. AFAIK there are no major distributions for
> which 2.3 is the default version.

Debian stable and OS X are still major distributions, in my mind.

> What do other people think? Are there any plans to make 2.4 a
> requirement in the near future? Are there many people who still use
> 2.3? Is this something that might be considered for the next release?

Yes, I think, many people still use Python 2.3. As for the patch, there's
nothing intrinsic to Python 2.4 that it requires. It simply takes advantage of
Python 2.4 syntax sugar; it does not have to do so.

IMO, widely-used libraries should continue to support Python distributions until
there is a really compelling new feature that cannot be implemented in the old
versions and that we should not drop support for old versions just because they
are old. Most of the "missing features" that I encountered while targeting
Python 2.3 were set(), generator expressions, and decorators. All of them are
very easily worked around in 2.3.

So my question to you is, specifically what features are only in 2.4 that you
think we need to use to support new features in scipy?

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
 that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
 an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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