anatoly techtonik added the comment:

> The reason is that people might rely on exact output and it's not nice to 
> break their code in a bugfix release.

This code has a very bad smell. Between supporting people who did that and 
teaching them a lesson I choose the latter, but I bet the situation like you 
describe either didn't exist or easily fixable on their side. If it's not 
fixable, then there is always a virtualenv and previous versions. That's about 

Now about technical side of conservative development. There is no promise of 
binary compatibility for pretty-printed data. Python never made pretty-prints a 
serialization format. If you insist that people rely on this behavior, let's 
document it, because at least on this tracker there are already two people who 
have questions about that.


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