Python 3 is killing Python

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Tue Jul 15 20:53:27 CEST 2014

On Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:01:53 -0700, Rick Johnson wrote:

> Are you so foolish as to believe that if code runs cleanly *immediately*
> after translating via "2to3", that the code is now completely free from
> translation bugs?

If your code has a thorough set of unittests that continue to pass, then 
changes are better than excellent that it is free of translation bugs.

> You act as if 2to3 is some "magical" code that can root out every bug no
> matter how subtle.

Of course not. 2to3 certainly won't remove bugs that already exist in 
your code. It will happily translate them to version 3 dialect for you, 
so you can have the fun of fixing them yourself.

[...snip foolish grandstanding...]

>> Ultimately, the solution is simply to keep Python 2.7 around for a good
>> long time, until the carrot of new Py3 features becomes attractive
>> enough for it to be worth switching. And if that's not before 2020, no
>> problem. Even if it's after 2020, there's a fair chance that you'll
>> still be able to run your 2.7 code -
> So in other words, "we're" know now we made a bad decision by creating
> this Python3000 thing, because nobody seems to be jumping on the
> bandwagon,

Don't be childish.

There are still people using Python 2.3. There are even a few people -- 
just a handful -- happily using Python 1.5, which is probably older than 
you. People have all sorts of reasons for sticking to what works, instead 
of jumping from version to version and having to deal with code churn 
every 18 months. And they have the right to do so. No adult expect them 
to upgrade just because there is a new version out.

Redhat still offers commercial support for Python 2.4. I believe that 
Python 2.3 has only *just* come out of commercial support a few months 
ago. Some people will upgrade, some are happy to keep using a product 
that works, and require no support. The choice is theirs.

The same will apply to Python 2.7. The Python developers have promised to 
give 2.7 extended support until 2020, and Red Hat has committed to 
extended commercial support until 2023. Capitalism at work: Red Hat 
expects to be able to make money from supporting this for nearly another 
decade, and good on them.

[...snip childish insults...]

>> it's just that there's no promise (at the moment) of patches, even
>> security patches, from
> Oh yes, i see... when brow-beating does not work, we adopt the
> malevolent tactics of $MS  and $OS by allowing security holes and virus
> infections to riddle the code base obsolete.

No software developer is obliged to support their software forever, 
especially if they are giving it away for free, and writing it out of 
love. Nobody but nobody is supporting Python 1.1 any more, no matter how 
many security holes it has. So what? Who cares?

Python 2.7 is open source software, if you think that there is a market 
for providing support for it for the next twenty years, go right ahead. 
You can even charge money for it.

But of course you won't. Because it's much easier to bitch and moan and 
pretend to be oh-so-superior than to actually write code, fix bugs, and 
provide support.


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