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Re: Python or Perl for a Debian maintainance project?

On Mon, Feb 16, 2004 at 04:14:43PM +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:

> On the whole, C has fewer versioning problems than the popular scripting
> languages (Python, Perl, Tcl). I don't know Perl and Tcl, but as far as
> Python is concerned, to the best of my knowledge the major reason we
> have several Python release versions in a Debian release is that
> extensions to the Python interpreter (e.g., bindings to various C
> libraries such as GTK+) need to be compiled for each release series
> (2.1, 2.2, 2.3) separately.

$ du -sh /usr/lib/perl/5.8.2/
11M     /usr/lib/perl/5.8.2
$ du -sh /usr/lib/perl5/
2.7M    /usr/lib/perl5

Same deal with perl -- perl transitions just happen to be managed better
in Debian than python transitions, which stands to reason since we have
more practice at perl transitions (and it causes more problems when
things go wrong).

Probably the python licensing snafu of a couple years back also
contributed to the mindset of trying to support multiple
binary-incompatible python versions concurrently, whether or not the
language itself justified such parallelism.

Regardless of the reasons, it would definitely be nice to see python
transitions handled more smoothly in the future.  This probably requires
amending the Debian python policy.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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