Python in Debian
Software written in the Python programming language is usually compiled into platform independent bytecode files. This is similar to Java. The so-called C-Python interpreter is a software package containing both the compiler and the bytecode interpreter used to execute Python bytecode files. Unfortunately precompiled bytecode files are incompatible from Python version to Python version. Precompiled Python bytecode files distributed in Debian packages must therefore match one of the available Python interpreter versions available on a certain Debian system. Within the Debian project the Python compiler/interpreter package is maintained by a developers team known as pkg-python. There are many Python modules and extensions maintained by individual developers and by a coordinated group called Debian Python Modules Team. The Debian project contains many other applications written in Python.
Debian's latest release Etch contains multiple Python versions: 2.4 (the default) and 2.5. Unfortunately not all the modules, extensions and applications support every version; support for different Python versions simultaneously while maintaining quality isn't so easy.
We worked in a better infrastructure for transitions between versions and we included Python 2.4 and Python 2.5 in the stable release Etch. Debian Lenny (the next release in development) contains both Python 2.5 (as default) and Python 2.4.