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

Brett Cannon brett at python.org
Sat Dec 17 15:41:34 EST 2016

I have updated the porting HOWTO to drop recommending unicode_literals and
also to mention running optional type checkers like mypy and pytype twice
(once under Python 2 and again under Python 3).

On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 at 11:25 Guido van Rossum <guido at python.org> 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.
> The problem is that the future import does both too much and not enough --
> it does too much because it changes literals to unicode even in contexts
> where there is no benefit (e.g. the argument to getattr() -- I still hear
> of code that breaks due to this occasionally) and at the same time it
> doesn't do anything for strings that you read from files, receive from the
> network, or even from other files that don't use the future import.
> I wonder if we can add an official note to the 2.7 docs recommending
> against it? (And maybe even to the 3.x docs if it's mentioned there at all.)
> --
> --Guido van Rossum (python.org/~guido <http://python.org/%7Eguido>)
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