Yes, backticks will be gone in 3.0. But I expect there's no hope of getting rid of them earlier -- they've been used too much. I
Then let's kill all use of backticks in the standard library. There's a lot of them.
Advisory from a micro-performance hawk: Backticks are faster than repr()
from timeit import Timer min(Timer('`x`', 'x=1').repeat(3))