[Python-Dev] Continuing 2.x

Casey Duncan casey at pandora.com
Fri Oct 29 20:43:28 CEST 2010

On Oct 28, 2010, at 10:59 PM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:

> Mark's position is different.  His words suggest that he thinks that
> Python.org owes the users something, although if pressed I imagine
> he'd present some argument that more users will lead to development of
> a better language.  I think the developers universally consider that
> to be objectively false: Python 3 is a much better language, and is on
> track to be a much better environment for development -- of itself and
> of applications -- in 2013 than Python 2 could conceivably be.

There is tension here. python-dev wants Python to succeed, and now Python == Python 3.x. That means end-of-lifing Python 2.x, for many reasons, not the least of which is that more Python 2.x releases are a disincentive for folks to move their projects to Python 3.x. However there are many many more users of Python 2.x than Python 3.x. Many may never upgrade for the life of these projects, because if it ain't broke, why fix it? It doesn't matter how much better Python 3 is than Python 2. It isn't better enough.

I like Python 3, I am using it for my latest projects, but I am also keeping Python 2 compatibility. This incurs some overhead, and basically means I am still really only using Python 2 features. So in some respects, my Python 3.x support is only tacit, it works as well as for Python 2, but it's not taking advantage of Python 3 really. I haven't run into a situation yet where I really want to or have to use Python 3 exclusive features, but then again I'm not really learning to use Python 3 either, short of the new C api.

In this regard the existence of Python 3 is a disadvantage, not an advantage for my new code, regardless of how much better a language or dev environment it may be. Of course I made the choice to support both 2 and 3, but it was largely informed by the fact that other dependancies for my projects currently only support Python 2 and I don't have the spare time to port them right now.

So at least right now, for me, Python 3 is not helping make new projects easier, it is the contrary unfortunately. Yeah, I am getting older and the years are going by faster, but gosh 2013 still feels like a ways off. 


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