[arch-general] Python 3 Rationale?

Allan McRae allan at archlinux.org
Tue Oct 19 20:48:05 EDT 2010

On 20/10/10 10:25, Max Countryman wrote:
> First, thank you for the link, it's good to read a more fleshed out perspective.
>> Of course, your own python scripts will need to point at /usr/bin/python2. However, by doing this you may run into portability issues across distros. There does not appear to be an easy solution for that at the moment. It seems that while most (all?) distributions include a /usr/bin/python3 link to their python3.xbinary, none do the same thing for python2.x. Either create your own symlink in your path for those distros or even better file a bug with them asking for such a symlink. They are going to need one in the future…
> This definitely complicates development. While I appreciate being on the bleeding edge, in some cases it may not always be desirable.

I turns out that only Debian does not provide a /usr/bin/python2 symlink 
(out of major distro), so portability issues are a lot less than I 
thought anyway.  Besides, if you are using /usr/bin/python you have no 
idea whether you are getting python 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, and now 3.1... 
So if you really need portability you are going to have to deal with 
that anyway.

> Is Python 3 truly ready for primetime? I have read that some libraries are not yet ported and that Python 3 is not yet recommended for development purposes.

Python-3.x is what upstream is developing.  python-2.7 is only bug 
fixes.  So the switch makes sense given that is the future of python. 
Note we still have a python-2.7 package and will for a very long time...

> I'm still not really clear on the rationale for the timing; to put it in testing makes complete sense. The migration from testing is my only concern

In Arch the [testing] repo is only for testing what intends to 
immediately go to the main repo.  Leavin stuff in there is a right pain 
in the arse as you have to build everything twice to update a package 
(once for [extra], once for [testing]).

Arch is bleeding edge.  We do things first.  We experience the pain 
before others.  That what makes us full of awesome.


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