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[Python-Dev] What is the rationale behind source only releases?

On 16 May 2018 at 05:35, Alex Walters <tritium-list at sdamon.com> wrote:
> In the spirit of learning why there is a fence across the road before I tear
> it down out of ignorance [1], I'd like to know the rationale behind source
> only releases of cpython.  I have an opinion on their utility and perhaps an
> idea about changing them, but I'd like to know why they are done (as opposed
> to source+binary releases or no release at all) before I head over to
> python-ideas.  Is this documented somewhere where my google-fu can't find
> it?
> [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Chesterton%27s_fence

Assuming you're referring to the practice of no longer distributing
binaries for patch releases of older versions of Python, the reason is
basically as follows:

1. Producing binaries (to the quality we normally deliver - I'm not
talking about auto-built binaries produced from a CI system) is a
chunk of extra work for the release managers.
2. The releases in question are essentially end of life, and we're
only accepting security fixes.
3. Not even releasing sources means that people still using those
releases will no longer have access to security fixes, so we'd be
reducing the length of time we offer that level of support.

So extra binaries = more work for the release managers, no source
release = less support for our users.

There's no reason we couldn't have a discussion on changing the
policy, but any such discussion would probably need active support
from the release managers if it were to stand any chance of going
anywhere (as they are the people directly impacted by any such