[Python-Dev] Continuing 2.x

lutz at rmi.net lutz at rmi.net
Thu Oct 28 18:07:50 CEST 2010

Kristj?n Valur J?nsson <kristjan at ccpgames.com> writes:
> James Y Knight said:
> The python community has already decided many times over that Python2 is dead 
> and Python3 is the future
> But the patient is very much alive and kicking, no matter what the good doctor 
> declares.  Python 2.x is in widespread use, with gazillion lines of .py code.  
> In, there is another gazillion lines of .c and .cpp code both in extensions and 
> embedding applications in use.  I?m quite happy with the community at large 
> moving its development focus to 3.x but it is a bit harsh to deprive those left 
> behind of the keys to the old house.


Has anyone here analyzed download stats on py.org lately?
Please feel free to prove me wrong, but by my reckoning,
and at least for Windows MSI installer files, people are 
still downloading Python 2.X roughly 3 to 4 times more often
than Python 3.X today, some 2 years after 3.X's release.

This is from http://www.python.org/webstats for September
and October, based on file size and bytes fetched for all
significant versions.  As one metric, roughly 439K people
fetched 2.X MSI files in September, and 124K went for 3.X.

Granted, there are plenty of variables such as preinstalled
Pythons on Macs and Linux, though many would tend to skew 
2.X dominance even higher.  Moreover, downloads may be more
reflective of new users, than existing users who are likely 
in the 2.X camp.  But clearly, the 2.X patient is hardly dead;
it still reflects the vast majority of the Python world today.

I hope 3.X use expands; in fact, I've bet the future of at 
least one book on it.  And even 1/4 of new users seems a
large enough subset to care about too.  But one can't help 
but wonder if most of the development community is focused 
on some imaginary future user base, at the expense of the 
much larger current user base.  Then again, there's still
plenty of Fortran77 code out there, so...

--Mark Lutz  (http://learning-python.com, http://rmi.net/~lutz)

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