[arch-dev-public] Add active Python versions to the repos

Filipe Laíns lains at archlinux.org
Sat Nov 21 18:41:18 UTC 2020

On Sat, 2020-11-21 at 19:11 +0100, Bartłomiej Piotrowski via arch-dev-public wrote:
On 21/11/2020 18.48, Filipe Laíns via arch-dev-public wrote:
> I understand that. I am not asking to put all releases of Python on
> the
> repos, only the active ones, which people are using.

I presume you can back it up with numbers how widely 3.7 and 3.6 are
used by Arch users. All I can see is that both have less than 30 votes in AUR. Even if I take into account how irrelevant AUR votes are, I
assume the problem is exaggerated.

I have some metrics that might be relevant.

The people that are missing these interpreters generally use pyenv to
make up for it, which is not an optimal solution, but the most common
when the interpreters are missing.

Looking at some package stats for pyenv[1], we see a usage of 3,4%. I
think that is a big enough number.

pyenv does have another usage, which is managing custom Python
interpreters, which is mainly used in CPython development, but I'd say
that only a small percentage of the users use it uniquely for that.

We can also look directly at the python36 and python37 packages
reported, which users might be getting from the AUR or user repos.

python37 has 1.18% [2]
python36 has 1.63% [3]

The main reason why the packages might be required, as I explained in
the original email, is for package testing. It puts every maintainer
and most contributors to projects that target Python 3.6 or 3.7 in need
of an interpreter. Most open source Python project target at least a
few different Python versions.

These metrics are not perfect by any means, but I do think they present
relevant enough data to show an existent need.

Why are we packaging software that is used by far less people but we
can't package these Python interpreters which are being actively missed
by people?

Our approach of "YOLO push random new packages to repos" is something I never agreed with, for the record. Unfortunately it's a kingdom with
almost no rules.


[1] https://pkgstats.archlinux.de/api/packages/pyenv
[2] https://pkgstats.archlinux.de/api/packages/python36
[3] https://pkgstats.archlinux.de/api/packages/python37

Filipe Laíns
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