Python 3 & the "End of Life" for Python 2

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12 January 2020

The end of last year marked the "End of Life" for Python 2.7, closing the book on the fork in the Python language forever.


At least where I work January first came and went without any trouble or fanfare. This wasn't Y2K, this was no K. Because why switch when a number of libraries still only support 2.7 and switching means finding replacements, recoding in their APIs, testing and hoping that everything works the way it used to. Why bother?

In the age of evergreen browsers and planned obsolescence in the electronics we buy - phones, computers, tablets and everything else - we've gotten used to the idea of software as this evergrowing, everchanging monstrosity. But cooler heads remember if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

So is this the last 2.7 release? Even it claims to be "expected to be the penultimate release for Python 2.7". So even after life has ended, another gasp is expected. At least one. Maybe more. There's still a lot of software out there written in 2.7 that isn't going away soon because it runs critical business processes and there's no reason to update it. Having witnessed the long trail of FORTRAN at the edges, I'd say Python 2.7 has decades ahead of it. Which begs the question of who can declare a language dead and when.

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This file last modified 15 January 2020 by Bradley James Wogsland.

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