[Python-Dev] The end of 2.7

Lennart Regebro regebro at gmail.com
Sun Apr 7 10:10:17 CEST 2013

On Sun, Apr 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM,  <martin at v.loewis.de> wrote:
> Quoting Lennart Regebro <regebro at gmail.com>:
>> Well... People are in general *stuck* on Python 2. They are not
>> staying because they want to. So I'm not so sure migration rate will
>> increase because an end is announced or reached.
> I assume you say that because people rely on libraries that haven't
> been ported (correct me if there are other reasons to be stuck).

Company policies that mean you are using old distros with no support
for Python 3 and not being allowed to install it from source is also a
reason, but yes, the main one being libraries/frameworks, yes.

> With an announced end-of-life, I'm certain that migration rate will
> increase, because people will now urge their suppliers, pointing
> to the announcement.

The suppliers are often people who are maintaining an open source
library of some sort. When I see questions on stackoverflow about
support for X on Python 3 I sometimes take a quick look of the state
of libraries, check out their mailing list etc. It's *always* a
problem of that the maintainers themselves are stuck on Python 2.7 or
earlier together with porting being problematic. I think Python 3.3
with the u'' literal is much more important for increased adoption
there than the end of life of 2.7 as it often makes porting much
easier. But even so sometimes API's needs to be changed, etc, so it
takes a big concerted effort of both the maintainers, and the few
people that are interested in porting it to Python 3. And when you get
one new person asking for Python 3 support every 6 months, that's just
not enough people.

That's the hangup IMO. Ending Python 2.7 will make no difference there
either good or bad, I think. We need to find other ways of improving

As for the company policies, in theory it sounds like a good argument
that ending Python 2.7 would be incentive for these to change. But
these are often slow moving companies that are happy using outdated
software, and are clearly using it already, or they would be on
distros that *did* support Python 3 already. :-)

> Nobody can *really* be stuck on a not-ported dependency, as they
> could always port it themselves, and even fork if the developer
> refuses to integrate the port (and you know that this actually
> happens).

Yes, but time/money/knowledge is at a premium. Also self-confidence. A
lot of people probably think porting is much harder than it is. :-)


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