On January 1, the support for version 2.7 of the Python programming language officially ended. The Python Software Foundation, led by language creator Guido van Rossum, announced that in the future it would stop receiving security updates and bug fixes.
A priori it might not seem too serious, since the launch of its successor, Python 3, took place no less than 14 years ago, in 2006. In fact, support for Python 2.7 should have ended in 2015. However, the enormous popularity of this version (it is still the default Python version in many Linux distributions, for example) convinced the foundation of the need to support both branches of development, and to postpone the date of the ‘death’ Python 2.7.
The Python Software Foundation does not want to look back
According to the Python Software Foundation statement, the change to version 3.0 took place because “we realized that we needed to make big changes to improve Python. Many users did not update and we did not want to hurt them. Therefore, for many years, we have continued to improve and publish Python 2 and Python 3. But that makes the task of improving Python difficult“.
Therefore, now they warn that, even if a catastrophic security problem is detected in the Python 2 software, the volunteers of the foundation will not help solve it, because they will be focused on the development of Python 3. And it recommends those who fall behind to the portability tools (such as the 2to3 software ) that the foundation launched to facilitate the migration of projects from one language branch to another.
Since the foundation, a complete guide has also been published with tips for porting the code to Python 3. Nick Coghlan, one of its executives, stated that “thanks to the combined efforts of a large number of contributors throughout the Python ecosystem, Python 3 is now ready for any task that may have been previously carried out with Python 2. This is a historic moment for the Python community”.
As a last gesture towards its most popular version, the foundation has announced that the improvements that have been incorporated during 2019 to the unstable branch of 2.7 will be launched in April, incorporated into what will be its latest stable version. And after that, they won’t look back: Python 2 is dead, long live Python 3.