[Biopython-dev] What would we gain by dropping python 2.3?

Peter biopython at maubp.freeserve.co.uk
Fri Oct 17 07:54:13 EDT 2008

I was wondering what benefits we would see by dropping support for
Python 2.3 after the next release (or next couple of releases?).

Note that Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger uses Python 2.3.5, so there could still
be a fair number of people out there still interested in using
Biopython on Python 2.3 (in addition to my own current Windows
development machine).  Before making any plans to drop Python 2.3
support we should canvas the main mailing list.

See http://docs.python.org/dev/whatsnew/2.4.html
There are two additions in python 2.4 which are interesting in regards
to supporting 2.6,

PEP 324: New subprocess Module

PEP 218 : PEP 218: Built-In Set Objects

In python 2.6, popen2 and os.popen3 etc are deprecated (so we need
subprocess instead) and the sets module is deprecated (so we need the
builtin set and frozenset).  Most of Biopython now handles this
gracefully with a import try/except handler.  Once we drop python 2.3,
these become slightly cleaner, but this in itself isn't a compelling

There are a couple more things I thought would be useful - but nothing
pressing, e.g.

PEP 289: Generator Expressions

There are a couple of places in the code where I have wanted to use a
generator expressions, but have fallen back on a list comprehension or
a generator function for Python 2.3 compatibility.

PEP 318: Decorators for Functions and Methods

Again, decorators could be useful but I am not aware of any pressing
need for their functionality in Biopython.


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