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I'm of two minds. In principle, no, I don't love the idea of a change like this happening on a minor version.

But, from a pragmatic angle, it strikes me as a genius move. As the article said, this was a natural by-product of a performance enhancement that was made in 3.6. In principle, that was fine, because there was officially no predictable ordering, so a change to how it was being ordered in practice shouldn't materially affect anyone. And nobody really paid much notice to it then.

And that's where the danger lies - there's risk there, because, as you said, someone who's used to Python 3.6 might have problems switching to 3.5. And that's probably a greater risk if they left it out of the spec, because people would have continued to not pay it much notice. By making it official in 3.7, though, they've sent out a message that the Internet hate machine has ensured that everyone will hear. That probably, in practice, actually reduces the risk.

And, while many understandably see this as violating the spirit of semver, it unambiguously does not break the letter: Minor changes are only supposed to avoid breaking the software's compatibility with code written against an old version. There was never any rule saying that old versions have to be compatible with code written against the new version.

Python (the language) doesn't follow semver anyway.

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