[lsb-discuss] Python 3

Jeff Licquia licquia at linuxfoundation.org
Tue Apr 17 21:46:41 UTC 2012

I've been looking at the work needed to include Python 3 as a part of
LSB 5.0.  Since the work is essentially the same in all cases, I'm not
going to discuss the process of deprecating Python 2, or deciding
whether Python 3 is trial-use or not.

Adding a runtime language is a little different from adding a C/C++
library, because the work is entirely manual.  We can "steal" a lot of
the work from the existing Python 2 spec, which makes this a little easier.

Here's a proposed task list, with notes on time estimates.  If I'm
completely crazy on some of the estimates, let's discuss them.

 - We need to decide what version of Python 3 should be standardized.
This could be done with a distribution survey; figure out which version
of Python 3 ships with the most common distros, and mandate the oldest
in that set.  Since we're targeting more "cutting-edge" distros, we
might want to exclude some of the slower-moving enterprise distros from
this survey.  Time: 3 days.

 - The biggest difficulty, as I see it, involves figuring out what name
the Python interpreter should be called by.  Upstream provides some
guidance here:


It should probably be part of the distro survey to list all the
executables that load the Python 3 interpreter.  Time: 1 day (but
possibly with discussion; should be done in parallel with other tasks;
assuming the distro survey above includes what we need here).

 - The spec includes a list of required modules which will have to be
different for Python 3.  We can use the Python 2 module list as a base,
and refer to upstream's document on module changes here:


Time: 1 day.

 - Optional: we do not currently track or test for the actual symbols
present in Python modules, as far as I can tell.  This would be a
valuable addition.  OTOH, it could take quite a bit of time.  I would
recommend it only if we can somehow extract the proper symbol list from
the Python sources or docs in an automated fashion.  Time: ?

 - Database work, regens of misc-test, etc. to implement all of the
above, plus the inevitable shake-outs of problems encountered.  Time: 1

 - Porting our adaptation of the Python upstream tests to the Python 3
implementation.  Tweaking the Python 2 test build to build against
Python 3 instead should be easy; the difficult part will be to find and
fix all the build errors and other runtime assumptions.  Time: 2 weeks.

 - Getting lsbappchk-python working with Python 3.  We could have a
completely separate lsbappchk-python3, or adapt the current code to
switch modes depending on what the actual script seems to call.  Time: 1
week (or is that too optimistic?  we'll have the lists of modules from a
previous task)

 - Tweak App Checker's direct Python checks to detect and work with
Python 3.  This appears to be the "utils/interpreted
languages/analyze_python.py" script.  Time: 2 days.

So, total time as estimated here: 4 weeks, 6 days, not counting the
optional task of adding module symbols.

Jeff Licquia
The Linux Foundation
+1 (317) 915-7441
licquia at linuxfoundation.org

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