Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (914 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] Switching default python to Python 3

On 06/28/2017 12:05 PM, Michael Schroeder wrote:
On Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 11:55:30AM -0400, Robert Schweikert wrote:
Python 2 is not going to be around forever and for better or worse in
some way or another the interests of openSUSE TW and openSUSE Leap are
tied to SLE. SLE has a 10 year life cycle and having Python 2 as the
default python interpreter in 2028 is not realistic.

I don't see what the SLE life cycle has to do with this.

Well, in 2 years 9 months and 14 days [1] Python 2 will no longer be
maintained upstream. This would imply that if SLE sticks with Python 2
as the default interpreter SUSE would be maintaining, on their own,
Python 2 for roughly 9 years. I'd say that is unrealistic and thus it is
a pretty good bet that SLE 15 will have Python 3 as the default
interpreter. I already eluded to what that implies w.r.t the relation
between TW and Leap.

You need
to backport fixes to outdated python code anyway after a couple of

Thus at some point
the switch needs to be made, which means things will be broken. I hate
when things break as much as the next person. But in the end that is the
decision the Python community made.

AFAIK the Python community currently wants /usr/bin/python to be python2.

Ah yes of course, the PEP. Well what if that pep changes in 2 years 9
months and 13 days, can we then switch everything overnight? And
probably most importantly will all those scripts that would be broken if
we switch now be fixed?

I'd say the answer to both questions is NO. So, IMHO it is prudent to be
pragmatic and give people a reasonably long runway. Switch the default
while we still provide the safety blanket of /usr/bin/python2. If we
switch when there is no safety blanket it is worse.

Therefore we have to deal with it sooner or later.

Now lets argue a bit about why it may be a good idea to do in TW what
SLE is planning to do.
- Lets say TW stays with Python 2 as the default interpreter, i.e. for
now we don't break anything. But SLE switches to Python 3 as the default

What SLE? SLE-15? SLE-16? Is that already decided?

See above, SLE-15 yes. Given the upstream timeline [1] how would one
realistically expect SUSE as a business to support Python 2 on its own
with no help from upstream for roughly 9 years?


Distinguished Architect LINUX
Team Lead Public Cloud
IRC: robjo
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