The Ups and Downs of Migrating to Python 3: A Pragmatic Approach

On February 14th, 2013 OLC attended New York Linux Users Group's monthly meetup "The Ups and Downs of Migrating to Python 3: A Pragmatic Approach" featuring Julian Berman and hosted by Google.

No easy answers in talk about migrating from Python 2 to 3   

The meetup billed “Ups and downs of migrating to Python 3: A pragmatic approach” had the audience at the Google Chelsea Market last February 14 in rapt attention. Not surprisingly, more pople use Python 2.

See-sawing between Python 2.0 and Python 3.0, Julian Berman gave the attendees, all 129 of them, some serious thinking in terms of the two versions. Berman has been a Python programmer for the past six years.

Berman presented his experiences with both versions thoroughly, as programmers can always better assess how they are going to proceed with either version the more they learned of the changes.

In that regard, Berman made comparisons to Python 3.0, compared to 2.6 and 2.7. Python 3.0, also known as “Python 3000” or “Py3K”, is the first ever intentionally backwards incompatible Python release. “Current version is 2.7 which everybody is using. And Python 3 is the new shiny thing,” says Berman.

Is it worth it to migrate to Python 3, the five-year version to the 25-year-old program? It all depends on the libraries and apps you are using.

For more info on Python 3, the meetup offered this link: The changes appear to be mostly fixes on some annoyances. Berman is more circumspect. “Like anything, (the changes) can take away some headaches but introduce new ones.”

Berman has written and contributed to a number of popular open source Python projects, and teaches or mentors a number of newcomers to Python and software development. 

He's also a Freenode #python regular and occasional speaker at NYC Python and, most recently, an organizer of a beginner's project tutorial at a monthly hack night.

In concluding his talk, Berman says, “We may not even recall talking about this today,” says Berman. The statement is not surprising in the programming world where iterations and changes happen all the time, and the best programmers simply know how to make adjustments easily anyway.