[Python-Dev] Another update for PEP 394 -- The "python" Command on Unix-Like Systems

Stephen J. Turnbull turnbull.stephen.fw at u.tsukuba.ac.jp
Wed Feb 13 19:17:47 EST 2019

Steven D'Aprano writes:

 > But even if representative, this survey only tells us what version 
 > people are using, now how they invoke it. We can't conclude that the 
 > command "python" means Python 3 for these users. We simply don't know 
 > one way or another (and I personally wouldn't want to hazard a
 > guess.)

Agreed on "can't tell invocation".  I've been using "pythonX.Y" since
the last time I used Red Hat a lot (which was when Red Hat required
Python 1.5.2 or it almost wouldn't boot, and before several core
developers were born, I suspect).

We should also remember that Python is often invoked implicitly in
scripts that may be even older than that.

I don't think that Perl and PHP experience are sufficiently analogous.
As far as I can tell, they're pretty much backward compatible, except
that errors became valid code.  The unicode -> str, str -> bytes
upgrade in Python 3 means that an awful lot of scripts break if you
use the wrong one.

I think in the spirit of saving keystrokes ;-), we should encourage
the use of the "py" wrapper.

Yet another Steve

Associate Professor              Division of Policy and Planning Science
http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp/     Faculty of Systems and Information
Email: turnbull at sk.tsukuba.ac.jp                   University of Tsukuba
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