running python 2 vs 3

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Fri Mar 21 01:32:48 CET 2014

On Thu, 20 Mar 2014 16:26:39 -0400, Ned Batchelder wrote:

> On 3/20/14 3:07 PM, Eric Jacoboni wrote:
>> Le 20/03/2014 16:21, Marko Rauhamaa a écrit :
>>> All tutorials will tell you to start it with
>>>     #!/usr/bin/env python
>>> which will start python2 on all (?) existing linux distros, but is
>>> expected to start python3 within the next decade.
>> With Arch-Linux, python is python3...
> Yes, and they have been told many times that this was foolish and wrong,
> but it persists, much to our pain.

How bizarre. I've been looking forward with great pleasure to Fedora 
moving to Python 3 as the standard system Python, expecting that this 
move from one of the big distros will start a chain reaction of others 
doing the same thing. Perhaps Arch-Linux is guilty of being prematurely 
Python 3, a little like those people hauled up to explain themselves to 
the House Unamerican Activities Committee to explain why they were a 
"premature anti-fascist".

I have no idea what "our pain" you are referring to, or who "our" refers 
to. In the three or five years or so since Arch-Linux moved to Python 3 
by default, I don't recall ever seeing even a single email from somebody 
confused by Arch-Linux's move, not here, or on the tutor mailing list, or 
on Python-Dev or Python-Ideas. Nor have I seen any signs of difficulty or 
confusion on Python-related blogs, or StackOverflow.

That's not to say that there has been absolutely none at all. The 
Internet is a big place, and I daresay I've missed something. But given 
how small the Arch-Linux share of the Linux space is, I would be 
astonished if their move caused more than a tiny little ripple. Perhaps a 
paper-cut worth of pain. I expect that there have been far more angry 
words written over this issue than the actual consequences of the move 
itself. Unless you're in the unfortunate situation of having to migrate 
and maintain scripts across a network of mixed Linux distros including 
some that are Arch-Linux, it's difficult to see exactly what pain they 
could be causing even in principle.

Steven D'Aprano

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