Re: [PATCH] nmbug: explicitly prefer python3

Subject: Re: [PATCH] nmbug: explicitly prefer python3

Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2018 22:56:36 -0500

To: W. Trevor King

Cc: Notmuch Mail

From: Daniel Kahn Gillmor

On Fri 2018-02-09 12:46:24 -0800, W. Trevor King wrote:
> From later on in PEP 394 [1]:
>   It is anticipated that there will eventually come a time where the
>   third party ecosystem surrounding Python 3 is sufficiently mature
>   for this recommendation to be updated to suggest that the python
>   symlink refer to python3 rather than python2.
> And from right up at the beginning [2]:
>   however, end users should be aware that python refers to python3 on
>   at least Arch Linux (that change is what prompted the creation of
>   this PEP), so python should be used in the shebang line only for
>   scripts that are source compatible with both Python 2 and 3.
> On my Gentoo system, I've also selected Python 3 to back ‘python’.  So
> I think your solution should be “add a /usr/bin/python symlink to your
> python3”, not “claim that nmbug is only compatible with Python 3”.

Presumably you still have /usr/bin/python3 in addition to
/usr/bin/python as well.  So the one thing i think we're both agreeing
on is that we use nmbug with python 3.

It looks to me like you're asking me to change my operating system to
accomodate your naming preference.  I'm asking that we put the onus on
developers who really insist on using nmbug with python 2.7 maintain
their own local patch against nmbug, rather than other developers either
modifying their local operating system in potentially disastrous ways
(/usr/bin/python as python3 would cause severe breakage for at least one
python2-only tool i rely on daily, sadly) or carrying their own local
patch against nmbug.  Given that you and i both expect most notmuch
developers to run nmbug against python3 anyway, i can't understand the
allergic reaction to the suggestion that the smaller pool of developers
(those devoted to python2-only systems) be the one to carry the local

Anyway, I had no idea that this request for something that i think we
fundamentally agree on would cause any controversy, especially given the
expected size and technical sophistication of the nmbug userbase.

i'll drop this request now because i don't understand the origin of the
strength of your reaction, and already wish i'd spent the time i've lost
on it on something more productive :( I hope if you change your mind
you'll come back and recommend it here.

demotivatedly yours,

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