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Python Enhancement Proposals

PEP 4 – Deprecation of Standard Modules

Brett Cannon <brett at>, Martin von Löwis <martin at>

Table of Contents


When new modules were added to the standard Python library in the past, it was not possible to foresee whether they would still be useful in the future. Even though Python “Comes With Batteries Included”, batteries may discharge over time. Carrying old modules around is a burden on the maintainer, especially when there is no interest in the module anymore.

At the same time, removing a module from the distribution is difficult, as it is not known in general whether anybody is still using it. This PEP defines a procedure for removing modules from the standard Python library. Usage of a module may be ‘deprecated’, which means that it may be removed from a future Python release.

Procedure for declaring a module deprecated

To remove a top-level module/package from the standard library, a PEP is required. The deprecation process is outlined in PEP 387.

For removing a submodule of a package in the standard library, PEP 387 must be followed, but a PEP is not required.


Last modified: 2023-09-09 17:39:29 GMT