running python 2 vs 3

Chris Angelico rosuav at
Fri Mar 21 02:10:21 CET 2014

On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 11:32 AM, Steven D'Aprano
<steve+comp.lang.python at> wrote:
> Perhaps Arch-Linux is guilty of being prematurely Python 3...
> 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.

There definitely has been a little. Scripts that began with a "python"
shebang and assumed 2.x would suddenly fail on Arch. But not a huge
amount of confusion. I expect that there'll be a progressive shift -
more distros will start shipping 3.x under the name "python", so
script authors will be more and more aware of the difference, and
before long we'll settle on explicit use of "python2" or "python3" for
anything that matters. Think of the bug reports: "Your program doesn't
work on Ubuntu 14.04, but change the shebang and it'll work, without
breaking it for anything else". Easy fix. And then once Debian and Red
Hat move to 3.x as the default system Python, everyone'll use
"python2" for 2.7 (by that time, I doubt 2.6 or earlier will be
supported much anywhere) and "python" for 3.x, and the transition will
be complete.


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