For real this time, get your butt off Python 2: No updates, no nothing after 1 January 2020

Python 2 will sunset on January 1st 2020, but many applications have not yet been upgraded, causing the team to mount a communications campaign to persuade devs to port their code.

Python is the third most popular programming language after JavaScript and Java, according to Redmonk. Its use has been boosted by the strong interest in AI and machine learning, for which Python is well suited.

Python 2.0 was released in 2000, and Python 3.0, which is not fully backwards compatible, in 2008. The last version of Python 2.x, 2.7, was released in July 2014.

When Python 3.0 came out, the team stated that 2.0 would not be maintained after 2015. Many did not upgrade so the date was moved back to 2020 in order to "relieve worries for those users who cannot yet migrate".

Now is the time for them to worry. In March 2018, Python inventor Guido van Rossum remarked:

The Python Software Foundation is sufficiently concerned about the amount of Python 2.x code still in use that it contracted last month with Changeset, a consulting company that offers "short term project management services for free and open source software projects", to "help communicate about the sunsetting of Python 2".

"Many institutions and codebases have not yet ported their code from Python 2 to Python 3. And many of them haven't even heard yet about the upcoming EOL," says Changeset's statement.

One of the goals was to create a page on python.org to give community guidance, and this perhaps is why a post called Sunsetting Python 2 has now appeared.

The post states that while "we did not want to hurt the people using Python 2", getting them to port their code is necessary in order to avoid holding back Python 3 because of the effort required to maintain Python 2.

The post also spells out what will happen on 1 January. There will be no volunteer help "if people find catastrophic security problems in Python 2 or in software written in Python 2". Support will only be available from commercial vendors. There are also links to helpful guidance on porting, including this post, which also features an explanation of why so much Python 2 code is still in use:

No more arguments now, just get on and port the code, OK?®

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