[Python-Dev] Continuing 2.x

Stephen J. Turnbull stephen at xemacs.org
Sat Oct 30 13:21:38 CEST 2010

Casey Duncan writes:

 > 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.

And the "don't fix what ain't broke" people are well supported, by
explicit policy and by the personal dedication of developers like
Victor Stinner.

 > 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.

You mean, at this very instant.  Pay now, profit later is the
definition of "investment."  In the past, while I'm sure you worked
real hard, you didn't have to pay the price of the *community's*
investment because you were free to start new projects in the way best
fitted to current features.  Now, with a large codebase to maintain
and extend, you have to share the community's costs by either living
with Python 2, which won't improve from now on, or shifting to Python
3, which entails big porting costs for many projects.[1]  Or you can
participate in a new project to fork from python.org and continue
development of Python 2.

You have a wealth of choice there.  The problem[2] is that you're not
getting a free ride on the fast track this time.  Well, that party was
nice while it lasted, but now it's over.  The next party is going to
be at the Python 3 Lounge, and you're invited.  Sure, you gotta get up
and go to work tomorrow, but Friday's comin'!

[1]  But I can't say it's obvious that they're huge on average.
There's clearly a lot of variance in porting costs.

[2]  This is a community problem; it's not something you did to
yourself.  But it's also been judged unavoidable if Python is to
continue to grow.

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