Dale posted on Fri, 19 Mar 2010 05:13:48 -0500 as excerpted:

> Ciaran McCreesh wrote:
>> On Fri, 19 Mar 2010 04:23:31 -0500
>> Dale<rdalek1...@gmail.com>  wrote:
>>>> It's being installed because it's a dependency of something you use.
>>>> Replace Python with any other library and we wouldn't be having this
>>>> discussion.
>>> OK.  Right now, as you type this, what package depends on python-3 and
>>> won't work with python-2?  Anything at all?  If it is nothing, then
>>> why install it?
>> And that's where you're making the mistake: you're treating Python as
>> being different from every other package.
>> In every other case, you want things to be using the newest version of
>> a slotted package where possible. Why aren't you complaining that you
>> were forced to install gcc 4.3 and 4.1 when 3.4 worked just fine?
> Because, when I installed gcc 4.3, I could then unmerge the old gcc.
> That's why I didn't complain about that.  With python, we still have to
> have the current version plus the new version which is not being used at
> all.

I had to pick somewhere to reply, and this seemed as good a place as any, 
as it does give me a jumping off point...

It seems to me Ciaran is correct in one point, at least: python-3.x /is/ 
different than most such major updates (but then again, each such major 
update tends to have its unique points).  That's why this huge discussion.

It also seems to me that, due to the resolver and dependency specifier 
technology on the one side, the practicalities of running one's system 
with least complication (thus, most people /not/ wanting the normal update 
as soon as available/stable, in this /special/ case) on another, political 
correctness (the problem with just masking it in base and being done with 
it) on a third, and the number of packages to update to specific 
dependencies much like portage's, should that be chosen, on the fourth, 
we're pretty much surrounded with unpleasant alternatives that /are/ going 
to be something of an issue for /some/, no matter which is chosen.

Again, thus the huge discussion.

So what can be done besides continuing to spin wheels as we are?  What's 
the least painful, yet still practical, alternative, all factors 

Here's one that I'll admit isn't perfect, but none are.  Yet this one 
seems the best way forward to me, given the alternatives.

First, let's step back a moment and remember a defining characteristic of 
Gentoo, that we give the users both freedom and responsibility for their 
own systems, and have never made excuses for that fact.

Second, let's remember that we /do/ have the news feature now, so at least 
there's a way to communicate a warning about such things.  After that, 
it's generally up to the user, as, ultimately, it seems likely to be 
here.  But we /can/ warn them using a news item, first, and given that, 
we /should/.

So let's just recognize that it's not a perfect situation, create a news 
item saying that python-3 will soon (give a date) be unmasked, and suggest 
that users not needing it may wish to package.mask it themselves, with a 
link to documentation with specific instructions and a bit more detail on 
why they might wish to mask it and under what circumstances they might not.

I'd suggest an unmasking date 30 days after the release of the news item.

Yes, that's not going to get everyone before it happens, but the news item 
will be there after that for those what want to read it, and if people 
aren't doing that --ask or --pretend before they go doing their updates, 
especially if they're going a month or more between updates, well...  
Worst-case they get a py3k sitting there basically unused, and a few extra 
builds for some period, until such time as py3k is considered stable and 
popular enough to be the system default.

This to me seems the best of painful choices.  Down side, it's forcing 
every user to fiddle with their masks or decide not to.  Three up sides:
(1) At least with the news item they get some warning and can put the mask 
in place ahead of time.  (2) We're simply relying on one of the best 
features of Gentoo, the one giving the user both the freedom and 
responsibility to manage his own system.  (3) It gives us a way to 
actually move forward, /now/, using our current tools, without continuing 
the debate /forever/.

Can anyone shoot holes in this any worse than the other proposals?  Let's 
give our users the warning they need, and treat them like the adults 
Gentoo has always claimed to respect them as.  What they do with it after 
that is up to them.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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