myths about python 3

Steve Holden steve at
Thu Jan 28 03:37:21 CET 2010

John Nagle wrote:
> Daniel Fetchinson wrote:
>> Hi folks,
>> I was going to write this post for a while because all sorts of myths
>> periodically come up on this list about python 3. I don't think the
>> posters mean to spread false information on purpose, they simply are
>> not aware of the facts.
>> My list is surely incomplete, please feel free to post your favorite
>> misconception about python 3 that people periodically state, claim or
>> ask about.
> Myths about Python 3:
> 1.  Python 3 is supported by major Linux distributions.
>     FALSE - most distros are shipping with Python 2.4, or 2.5 at best.
Why would a "major Linux distribution" want to saddle themselves with
such a new technology so erly in its lifetime?

> 2.  Python 3 is supported by multiple Python implementations.
>     FALSE - Only CPython supports 3.x.  Iron Python, Unladen Swallow,
>     PyPy, and Jython have all stayed with 2.x versions of Python.
Your selective information here is particularly partial to your case. I
have spoken with developers from IronPython and Jython, and both teams
are committed to eventual support of 3.x.

> 3.  Python 3 is supported by most 3rd party Python packages.
>     FALSE - it's not supported by MySQLdb, OpenSSL, feedparser, etc.
I would argue it's up to Python to support those facilities rather than
the other way round.

> Arguably, Python 3 has been rejected by the market.  Instead, there's
> now Python 2.6, Python 2.7, and Python 2.8.  Python 3 has turned into
> a debacle like Perl 6, now 10 years old.
> That's the reality, Python 3 fanboys.
Kindly confine your debate to the facts and keep the snide remarks to
yourself. Like it or not Python 3 is the future, and unladen swallow's
recent announcement that they would target only Python 3 represented a
ground-breaking advance for the language.

Happily my Python 2.x interpreters all continue to work just as they
have since they were installed. If you have to stretch as far as Perl 6
for an analogy then you have clearly stretched a little too far. The
situations are not even closely comparable, and I defy you to argue

Steve Holden           +1 571 484 6266   +1 800 494 3119
PyCon is coming! Atlanta, Feb 2010
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