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-   -   The real problem with Python 3 - no business case for conversion(was "I strongly dislike Python 3") (http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/t727234-the-real-problem-with-python-3-no-business-case-for-conversion-was-i-strongly-dislike-python-3-a.html)

John Nagle 07-02-2010 07:07 PM

The real problem with Python 3 - no business case for conversion(was "I strongly dislike Python 3")
 
David Cournapeau <cournape@gmail.com> wrote:
> I think one point which needs to be emphasized more is what does
> python 3 bring to people. The" what's new in python 3 page" gives
> the impression that python 3 is about removing cruft. That's a very
> poor argument to push people to switch.


That's the real issue, not parentheses on the "print" statement.
Where's the business case for moving to Python 3? It's not faster.
It doesn't do anything you can't do in Python 2.6. There's no
"killer app" for it. End of life for Python 2.x is many years away;
most server Linux distros aren't even shipping with 2.6 yet. How can a
business justify spending money on conversion to Python 3?

If Python 3 came with Unladen Swallow, and ran several times
faster than Python 2.x, there'd be a strong business case for
conversion. Especially for large sites with racks of servers
grinding through slow CPython code. But it looks like Unladen
Swallow will be available for 2.6 before it's available for 3.x.
So that's not a selling point for 3.x.

Python 3 is a nice cleanup of some legacy syntax issues. But
that's just not enough. Perl 6 is a nice cleanup of Perl 5, and
look how that went. Ten years on, it's not even mainstream, let
alone dominant.

This has all been said before. See "Python 3.0: What’s The Point?"
from December 2008:

http://jens.mooseyard.com/2008/12/py...ats-the-point/

Not much has changed since then.

What I'm not seeing is a deployment plan along these lines:

1. Identify key modules which must be converted before Python 3
can be used in production environments.

2. Get those modules converted to Python 3.

3. Put together a distribution for the major platforms (at least
Linux and Windows) with builds of those modules. This
could be done on PyPi, which is at present is mostly a link
farm, not a repository.

4. Get some major distros, like Debian and ActiveState, to
include Python 3, as "python3", not as the primary Python,
so there are no conflicts. (Debian already has a formal
policy to keep Python versions separate.)

5. Get at least two major hosting services to put up Python 3.

6. Get at least two popular end-user programs (not modules) to
support Python 3.

7. Publicize some success stories.

Unless the Python 3 enthusiasts get their act together and work much
harder on providing an easy transition experience, it's not going to
happen.

John Nagle


Thomas Jollans 07-02-2010 07:59 PM

Re: The real problem with Python 3 - no business case for conversion(was "I strongly dislike Python 3")
 
On 07/02/2010 09:07 PM, John Nagle wrote:
>
> What I'm not seeing is a deployment plan along these lines:
>
> 1. Identify key modules which must be converted before Python 3
> can be used in production environments.


That depends VERY strongly on the environment in question.

>
> 2. Get those modules converted to Python 3.



The stdlib is there. The rocky bits are being fixed all the time. The
other important modules all have strong development communities.
Upstream numpy works with Python 3 already. (no release yet) That
enables SciPy to update, which they will do.
PyGObject is also working on Py3 support.

>
> 3. Put together a distribution for the major platforms (at least
> Linux and Windows) with builds of those modules. This
> could be done on PyPi, which is at present is mostly a link
> farm, not a repository.


The use cases for Python being as diverse as they are, this is utter
nonsense. Also, I myself see no benefit in making PyPI a mirror of
everything, as opposed to a useful index of packages that you may or may
not want to use.

>
> 4. Get some major distros, like Debian and ActiveState, to
> include Python 3, as "python3", not as the primary Python,
> so there are no conflicts. (Debian already has a formal
> policy to keep Python versions separate.)


Current Ubuntu releases include Python 3.1 as /usr/bin/python3. So does
Debian (not sure about stable at this point). I'm sure the other major
Linux distributions are doing the same thing. It's happening!

>
> 5. Get at least two major hosting services to put up Python 3.


Apparently, some hosters already support Python 3. Web development is a
bit of a weak spot at the moment though, and this is problematic, due to
WSGI not being quite unicode ready.

>
> 6. Get at least two popular end-user programs (not modules) to
> support Python 3.
>
> 7. Publicize some success stories.
>
> Unless the Python 3 enthusiasts get their act together and work much
> harder on providing an easy transition experience, it's not going to
> happen.


It's not happening fast, it probably can't, but it *is* happening.
Software distributions are including Python 3, and popular
modules/packages are starting to support it. Other software is going to
move on in its own time.


Carl Banks 07-02-2010 08:51 PM

Re: The real problem with Python 3 - no business case for conversion(was "I strongly dislike Python 3")
 
On Jul 2, 12:07*pm, John Nagle <na...@animats.com> wrote:
> * * This has all been said before.


Yes, we know. And when no one did anything about it the first dozen
times it's been said, it wasn't because we didn't hear it, it was
because we didn't care. We still don't care now, and won't care no
matter how many times you repeat it, because it's simply wrong. So,
please do everyone a favor, and stop wasting your own time, and stop
repeating this.


Carl Banks

Aahz 07-02-2010 10:00 PM

Re: The real problem with Python 3 - no business case for conversion(was "I strongly dislike Python 3")
 
In article <4C2E38F5.10708@animats.com>, John Nagle <nagle@animats.com> wrote:
>
> 5. Get at least two major hosting services to put up Python 3.


webfaction.com has python3.1
--
Aahz (aahz@pythoncraft.com) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

"If you don't know what your program is supposed to do, you'd better not
start writing it." --Dijkstra

John Nagle 07-02-2010 11:44 PM

Re: The real problem with Python 3 - no business case for conversion(was "I strongly dislike Python 3")
 
On 7/2/2010 3:00 PM, Aahz wrote:
> In article<4C2E38F5.10708@animats.com>, John Nagle<nagle@animats.com> wrote:
>>
>> 5. Get at least two major hosting services to put up Python 3.

>
> webfaction.com has python3.1


WebFaction's big thing is that they have a really good system for
installing anything the user wants. They're doing semi-virtual machine
hosting, where each user sees a somewhat different environment, but
doesn't have their own copy of the Linux kernel. That's a nice
advance in server management.

Any user can install Python 3.x, but it's not there by default. See:

"http://blog.webfaction.com/python-3-0-is-here"

If that approach catches on, Python 3 deployment will be much easier.
But for now, only a few smaller players like WebFaction are using it.

John Nagle

Steven D'Aprano 07-02-2010 11:57 PM

Re: The real problem with Python 3 - no business case forconversion (was "I strongly dislike Python 3")
 
On Fri, 02 Jul 2010 12:07:33 -0700, John Nagle wrote:

> Where's the business case for moving to Python 3? It's not faster. It
> doesn't do anything you can't do in Python 2.6. There's no "killer app"
> for it. End of life for Python 2.x is many years away; most server Linux
> distros aren't even shipping with 2.6 yet. How can a business justify
> spending money on conversion to Python 3?


If you (generic you, not John specifically) can't, then don't. It's as
simple as that. Stick with 2.6, or 2.7, or even 1.5 if that's the version
you're using. A client of mine is still using 2.3. That's okay. It's
allowed. If your business case is best satisfied by staying with 2.x
until the sun burns out, more power to you.

Just don't expect security upgrades (let alone functional upgrades) for
more than a few years. If they are important to you, then *that's* your
business case for upgrading.

But if you're starting a new project, there is no cost of conversion.



--
Steven

Aahz 07-03-2010 01:36 AM

Re: The real problem with Python 3 - no business case for conversion(was "I strongly dislike Python 3")
 
In article <4c2e79d3$0$1663$742ec2ed@news.sonic.net>,
John Nagle <nagle@animats.com> wrote:
>On 7/2/2010 3:00 PM, Aahz wrote:
>> In article<4C2E38F5.10708@animats.com>, John Nagle<nagle@animats.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> 5. Get at least two major hosting services to put up Python 3.

>>
>> webfaction.com has python3.1

>
> Any user can install Python 3.x, but it's not there by default.


Yes, it is. I logged into my webfaction shell, typed python3.1, and got
a standard Python prompt, without doing anything whatsoever to make
Python 3.1 available.

> "http://blog.webfaction.com/python-3-0-is-here"


Is there some reason you're using a broken URL format?

> If that approach catches on, Python 3 deployment will be much easier.
>But for now, only a few smaller players like WebFaction are using it.


In the hosting space that makes Python available, WebFaction is hardly a
smaller player.
--
Aahz (aahz@pythoncraft.com) <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

"If you don't know what your program is supposed to do, you'd better not
start writing it." --Dijkstra

Terry Reedy 07-03-2010 03:50 AM

Re: The real problem with Python 3 - no business case for conversion(was "I strongly dislike Python 3")
 
On 7/2/2010 3:07 PM, John Nagle wrote:

> That's the real issue, not parentheses on the "print" statement.
> Where's the business case for moving to Python 3? It's not faster.
> It doesn't do anything you can't do in Python 2.6.


False. One cannot run code in 2.6 that depends on bugfixes in 3.1. Nor
can one run code with unicode identifiers.

The exclusive new features in 3.1 and 3.2 are less than they might have
been because the developers expended extra effort, now ended, to
backport new things developed for 3.x. (One result was some neglect of
the stdlib, which is now the focus of efforts.) One reason was to make
porting to 3.x easier should one wish to do so. The other reason was to
make some thing available should one wish not to do so. Using that extra
effort as a reason to put down 3.x is not very gracious.

> There's no "killer app" for it.


For some, unicode identifiers are 'killer reason' to use 3.1.

Anyway, can you name me a "killer app" for each and every version of 2.x?

> End of life for Python 2.x is many years away;


Given that 1.x is still used, so what?

> most server Linux distros aren't even shipping with 2.6 yet. How can a
> business justify spending money on conversion to Python 3?


How can a business justify spending money on conversion to 2.0, 2,1,
2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, or soon, 2.7? Some cannot for some projects and
have not.

Enough with strawman arguments against claims no sensible person has
made. Python3 was developed for new Python programmers and current
programmers who wished to add or switch. It was developed for new code
and old code that would benefit from the changes.

--
Terry Jan Reedy


D'Arcy J.M. Cain 07-03-2010 04:10 AM

Re: The real problem with Python 3 - no business case forconversion (was "I strongly dislike Python 3")
 
On 2 Jul 2010 15:00:17 -0700
aahz@pythoncraft.com (Aahz) wrote:
> > 5. Get at least two major hosting services to put up Python 3.

>
> webfaction.com has python3.1


So does http://www.Vex.Net/ so there's your two.

--
D'Arcy J.M. Cain <darcy@druid.net> | Democracy is three wolves
http://www.druid.net/darcy/ | and a sheep voting on
+1 416 425 1212 (DoD#0082) (eNTP) | what's for dinner.

John Nagle 07-03-2010 05:40 AM

Re: The real problem with Python 3 - no business case for conversion(was "I strongly dislike Python 3")
 
On 7/2/2010 9:10 PM, D'Arcy J.M. Cain wrote:
> On 2 Jul 2010 15:00:17 -0700
> aahz@pythoncraft.com (Aahz) wrote:
>>> 5. Get at least two major hosting services to put up Python 3.

>>
>> webfaction.com has python3.1

>
> So does http://www.Vex.Net/ so there's your two.


Not according to Vex's published package list:

http://www.vex.net/info/tech/pkglist/

They list packages only for Python 2.6.

"vex.net" isn't exactly a major hosting service.

John Nagle



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