Back-pedalling on Python 2.6

I wrote a while back that I wouldn’t support Python 2.6 unless someone paid me to. I still think this is an eminently reasonable position which I encourage most people to take.

Unfortunately I am not going to be taking it.

The problem is that I am in the course of trying to put together a business around Hypothesis, offering consulting and training around using it. This is a much easier sell to large companies, and it’s a much easier sell to companies who are already using it at least somewhat.

Unfortunately, not supporting Python 2.6 out of the box means that many large companies who might otherwise become customers cannot start using Hypothesis until they’ve paid me money, which is a much harder sell. This way in order to get a company to start using Hypothesis I only need to convince developers that it’s great, which is easy because it is,

If it were hard to support Python 2.6 I probably still wouldn’t have done so until there were some serious demand for it, but fortunately Jeff Meadows was extremely kind and did most of the hard work. It turned out to be less hard work than I thought – I think the last time I tried there was still a bunch of strange behaviour that was hard to port that I have since removed – but it was nevertheless a highly appreciated contribution.

So, at some point in the next few days we should be seeing a new minor version of Hypothesis with support for 2.6, as well as a few other minor bug fixes and new features.

If you’re just maintaining a small open source library in your spare time, I would still encourage you to not support 2.6 without a really strong financial incentive to do so, but I think for now it sadly makes sense for me to add the support for free.

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