[Python-Dev] Deprecate `from __future__ import unicode_literals`?

Cory Benfield cory at lukasa.co.uk
Fri Dec 16 16:38:16 EST 2016

> On 16 Dec 2016, at 16:07, Ethan Furman <ethan at stoneleaf.us> wrote:
> On 12/16/2016 11:24 AM, Guido van Rossum wrote:
>> I am beginning to think that `from __future__ import unicode_literals` does
>> more harm than good. I don't recall exactly why we introduced it, but with
>> the restoration of u"" literals in Python 3.3 we have a much better story
>> for writing straddling code that is unicode-correct.
> So cross-version code would be primarily 2.7 and 3.3+ ?  I can live with that.

Speaking for third-party library authors, almost all cross-version code that does anything remotely close to a network is 2.7 and 3.3+. Requests dropped 3.2 support basically as soon as we could once 3.3’s unicode literals were restored, and since then I haven’t written anything that targets 3.2. It’s just too frustrating.

And while I’m shoving my oar in, I’ve never seen anyone be happy with using “from __future__ import unicode_literals”. As others in this thread have said, it just points a loaded gun at your foot and lets you wait for it to go off.


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