PyconUK 2014

Last weekend was PyConUK 2014, a great chance to take the opportunity and catch some interesting python related talks, pick up the odd obscure library recommendation, meet some new people from far lands and generally drink the free speciality beer.

There were many fascinating talks on the whole this year, not least and probably not surprisingly from a keynote. Jessica McKellar’s keynote remained longest in my mind than most however due to the realisation that Python’s growing pains are still not going away as quickly as we need them to, and that anyone in doubt of this could merely look down at their snazzy gift bags.

This issue resonates clearly with me in particular, as v3.0 was released in 2008, 2 years before i even started using Python, yet still the migrations from v2 to v3 appear to be sluggish, and its clear as a language community we run the risk of becoming our own worst enemy unless we can find tangible ways sooner rather than later to move the Python landscape forwards.

The suggestion in the keynote was to remove v2.x versions completely out of the frame for new Python users, by removing links from the downloads page, being that v2.x users are experienced developers who understand the Python landscape, and who are able to migrate to v3.x at their own pace, this action should not affect much whilst at the same time displaying a clear pathway for new users during the on-boarding process.

Im in huge favour of this, as a community its time to back the languages future and move forward constructively to focus on the next generation of Python users, this is the only real way of reaching a tipping point and ending 6 years (and counting) of pain.

To that end, i would challenge package maintainers within the Python community to be much bolder, either by creating clear roadmaps to deprecate support for v2, or even more radical to perhaps consider not using six to support both code bases anymore during migrations, but to use only 2to3, for the sake of the language?