This isn’t mean to spark a large discussion, but I’d just like to bring a few facts forward. It seems established that Python is still increasing in popularity (which is almost surprising given how popular it already is in many fields). However, another question is whether Python core development is becoming more or less active.
On a quantitative basis, it’s easy enough to get an idea. Commit graphs both at Github and OpenHub indicate that repository activity has been decreasing since ~2010. The Github transition has not stopped, much less reversed, that trend (yet?). Neither has core-mentorship.
If we want to talk qualitatively, obviously it’s a bit harder. What I chose to do is peruse a single month (September 2018) of repository checkins. Since I could not examine every checkin in detail, I went by their titles. The answer seems to be that Python is mostly in maintenance mode (small bugfixes and extremely minor improvements). One important improvement stands out, though: the conversion of zipimport to a pure Python implementation.
Interestingly, the author of the aforementioned
zipimport rewrite, Serhiy, expressed concerns about Discourse lacking a NNTP gateway. With Victor been he’s the single most active core developer for the last few years (not to mention that he often tackles difficult topics and that his work is generally high quality). Given our lack of attractiveness for new core developers, it would be good, at least, not to risk losing high-profile developers simply because we forgot to ensure they were ok with game-changing decisions.