Is it expected behavior that sphinx-build 1.7.1 prints the version 
information to stderr and not stdout. 

I have trouble because this breaks consistency with older versions that 
print version info to stdout (eg v1.5). IMO it makes more sense for the 
version information to be printed to  stdout (as this is something the user 
requested out of the software and is  technically not an error to be 
reported out through the stderr stream).

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