python 3's adoption

Paul Rubin at nospam.invalid
Fri Jan 29 01:28:43 CET 2010

Steven D'Aprano <steve at> writes:
> If you were designing your own language from scratch, so that backwards 
> compatibility wasn't an issue, why would you make print a statement?

As another real estate analogy, my apartment has some problems with its
plumbing, plus an ugly spot on the kitchen wall that could use a coat of
paint to fix.  The plumbing problem is fairly serious (they keep
shutting off the water in the building when it acts up) but the kitchen
spot is a minor annoyance that is mostly hidden by the refrigerator
anyway.  Fixing either of those things would be a hassle: I'd have to
cover all my stuff with plastic and stay out of the apartment for a day
or so while the maintenance guys hacked on things, and I'd expect some
of my stuff to get damaged inadvertently no matter how careful everyone

It's worth dealing with the repair hassles to get the plumbing fixed,
and if I'm going to have to deal with that disruption anyway, then sure,
I'd like them to paint the kitchen spot at the same time.  But if they
say they want me to cover up all my stuff and leave so they can JUST fix
the kitchen spot, and then do the same thing a second time so they can
fix the plumbing at some unspecified date in the future, then I'd rather
just live with the kitchen spot the way it is.  Yes it's a cosmetic
blemish, but it's not causing any real problems, and I'd rather not
deal with the hassle and risk of fixing it if there's no other benefit.

In Python terms, the print statement is the spot on the wall, while the
plumbing is something like the GIL and the legacy codebase that would
break in a hundred ways if Python had real parallelism and a tracing
garbage collector and a native-code compiler and the various language
changes it would take to make all that stuff really fly rather than just
limp along.  If they are going to make everyone deal with the disruption
of migrating to an incompatible version, they should do it once rather
than twice.

In short, there's a mythical Python 4 that only exists in my
imagination, but it already interests me a lot more than Python 3.

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