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That's a really poor reason to kill an old version. To be clear, I FEEL YOUR PAIN. However, new isn't legit just because it's new.

As a non-Python pro, I cannot say why one version over another. However, arguing that the old one is bad just because it is inconvenient isn't valid.

As someone who struggles with versions of Python on my Mac and on production servers (and with code that runs on 2.7 and 3.6+), as far as I'm concerned (as a pragmatic solutions-first person goes), I cannot discern the difference between ancient Python and new Python.

There are really few languages with such impact as Python. So we cannot blame the Python community for this situation as they probably really labored over their decisions regarding compatibility and versions. But in retrospect, I would have preferred they killed off the old version long ago. It would definitely have made life better for the users in the long run.




I think the argument here is that Py3 is better for many people (Unicode-by-default was generally the reason, but these days it's also the numerous language improvements, e.g. async/await). For those who find themselves on the fence with no particular personal reason to go either way, though, going where the others are is a legitimate way to choose.


What we often forget are the large numbers of people who just use Python (or any other tech tool) as a means to an end.

In this case I'm included. Python is not my first, second, or third love. But it is the most available and the simplest tool available to glue things together. CSVs, json, web apis (private and commercial), etc., are all so easy to do with Python.

So my guess is that there are a lot of users who may not even realize the benefits that Python3.x gives vs 2. "We" don't know or care about features we don't need. But we do feel the pain of modules that only work for one version.

In hindsight, I would have voted for a hard break from 2->3 perhaps 2 years ago. I suspect the ultimate human time effort would have been less than we waste now straddling or stumbling with two versions.


2 years ago is still very far into the 2->3 split. The 9 year anniversary of Python 3 is just over a fortnight from today.


*I can feel the pain of devs that have to deal with Python 2 and 3. To me the beginning of the ugly Python 3.0 announcement was too off putting, it stopped my interest in Python and I went back to PHP, Java and later also NodeJS, Go.

In comparison PHP and Java always successfully transitioned to new versions, keeping it backward-compatible and do baby steps instead of a big incompatible cut. PHP canceled the ill fated PHP6 fork, and went from PHP 5.2 then up to 5.6 and then jumped to PHP7 (as several PHP6 books got published about an alpha version).

Language with a rocky transition (mostly due to incompatible syntax) were C#/dotNet 1->2, Perl 5 -> 6, Lua 5.1 -> 5.3, Ruby 1 -> 2, Swift 1 -> 2 -> 3, Rust 0.x -> 1, and more



And? So did PHP 5.x. So do all languages. That's what I mentioned with "baby steps".

You can run PHP3, PHP4 and PHP5 projects with little or no change at all, code dating back to 1990s with PHP7. If you cared a bit and adjusted your code over the years, most changes are announced many versions ago and got deprecated. E.g the original MySQL API had been deprecated for a decade or so years, and only got removed with v7, yet it's easy to update the code to the newer APIs, as it was possible since early 2000s, when the newer API got introduced and stayed unchanged since then. And you could use a shim too.

PHP and Java (and several other languages) have really kept an eye on backwards compatibility, you cannot deny that or paint it in another light.


I was responding to "keeping it backward-compatible", which it did not do. In any case, Python 3 is not exactly a brand new language, many codebases can be adjusted to run on both engines without much effort. I don't think the difference is as stark as you've painted it.


On the other hand, there’s still a lot of code that needs porting. See http://portingdb.xyz


> without much effort

It's an enormous amount of effort. It's been a decade and the end is nowhere in site. Python 3 is a tragedy.




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