Python has been one of the programming languages that has elevated the world of technology to new heights with its latest version of Python 3.10. Data Science, Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering, and other fields have all benefited from the general-purpose programming language.
Python 2 and Python 3 were the two major editions of Python that have been publicly released. Despite the fact that they are both distinct versions of the same programming language, there are significant variations between them, and it would be fascinating to examine differences among Python 2 and 3. There has been a lot of discussion in the past about which of the two versions is preferable to employ.
Why are there several versions of Python?
There were a number of reasons why several versions of Python were available. To begin with, a lot of industry code had previously been developed in Python 2, making a complete migration from Python 2 to Python 3 an extremely time-consuming and challenging task.
Furthermore, understanding of both Python 2 and 3 is essential in order to interact with configuration management programmes such as puppet or ansible. However, Python 3 has evolved over time to be useful for a wide range of industries, including web design, computer science, and analytics scripting, among others. Python 3 comes with a large number of libraries and is easy to combine with other languages. As a result, it’s easy to see why both Python versions are required. Finally, attempts were undertaken to ensure Python 3 supports many of the important functionalities that Python 2 provided, and Python 2 was retired in 2020.
Python 3 is the most recent edition of the Python programming language, released in December 2008. This version was primarily released to address issues with Python 2. It was irreconcilable with Python 2 given the nature of these changes. It is incompatible with previous versions.
Some of it’s features have been back ported to Python 2.x releases to make the conversion process easier. As a result, any business that was utilising Python 2.x had to make a lot of modifications in order to migrate to Python 3.x. These changes apply not only to applications and protocols, but also to all of the Python ecosystem’s modules.
The following are some of the most compelling reasons to choose Python 3.x:
- Python 3 offers cutting-edge techniques such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science.
- It has a sizeable Python development community behind it. Obtaining assistance is simple.
- In comparison to previous versions, the Python language is easier to learn.
- Offers Libraries and a powerful toolset
- Interchangeable with other languages
Python 2 makes the process of writing code easier than previous versions. It implemented Technical Details in the Python Enhancement Proposals (PEP). Python 2.7 (the last version in the 2.x series) is no longer being developed and will be phased out in 2020.
Despite the fact that Python 2.x is an older open source version, there are a few things you should know about it:
- You’ll need to work with software solutions like puppet or ansible becoming a DevOps engineer. You’ll need to operate with these editions in this case.
- If your company’s software is written in Python 2, you’ll need to learn how to use it.
- Python 2 is the only option if your software developer is working on a project that relies on certain third-party libraries or applications that you are unable to transfer to Python 3.
Differences between Python 3 vs Python 2
Here are some significant distinctions between Python 2 and Python 3 that can help new programmers understand the new version of the language:
- Integer Division: Python 2 interprets values with no characters after the decimal place as integers, which might result in some unexpected division results. If you type 3 / 2 in Python 2 code, the outcome of the assessment will be 1, not 1.5, as you may expect. It’s because Python 2 assumes you want your division result to be an integer, so it rounds it down to the nearest whole number. To get the result 1.5, type 3.0 / 2.0 to inform Python that you want this to return a float, which means that the result should include digits after the decimal point. Python 3 performs a 3 / 2 evaluation.
- Print: Print is interpreted as a phrase instead of a function in Python 2. It’s not necessary to wrap the text you want to publish in parenthesis, although it’s an option. This can be perplexing because most other Python activities rely on methods that require inputs to be enclosed in parentheses. If you put parentheses around a comma-separated list of things you want to print, you can get unexpected results. In Python 3, on the other hand, “print” is expressly treated as a function, which means you must give the things you want to print to the component in parenthesis in the conventional way, or else you’ll get a syntax error. This modification may anger some Python 2 programmers, but it is necessary.
- Unicode Strings: Python 3 automatically stores strings as Unicode, however Python 2 needs you to designate a string with a “u” if you want it to be stored as Unicode. Unicode strings are more adaptable than ASCII strings, which are the default in Python 2, because they can store letters from other languages, as well as emoji and ordinary Roman letters and digits. If you want to make absolutely sure your Python 3 code is interoperable with Python 2, you can still name your Unicode strings with a “u.”
- List Comprehension Loop Variable: Giving the variable incremented over in a list comprehension the very same name as a global variable in prior versions of Python could result in the global variable’s value being modified, which is something you normally don’t want. This annoying bug has been resolved in Python 3, so you can use a variable name that you previously used for the parameter in your list comprehension without fear of it leaking out and messing up the values of the variables in the remainder of your code.
Which to choose: Python 3 or Python 2?
After reading this essay up to this point, one of the most natural concerns that must arise in everyone’s mind is: Which Python Version is Better? If you’ve been paying attention thus far, the solution to this question appears to be rather obvious. Python 3 is unquestionably the victorious version.
First and foremost, Python 2 has been deprecated since 2020, since Python 3 seemed to be the most secure option, especially for new programmers who weren’t sure what programming specialisation they wanted to follow. Python 3 is a lot easier to read, comprehend, and use than Python 2. Python 2 has clearly run out of steam, and one should only study Python 2 if there is legacy Python 2 code or if a company requires the developer to move Python 2 code to Python 3.
About Python 3.10
Before summing up let’s also look into the new Python 3.10. Python 3.10 has undergone around five months of beta testing, and there should be no major concerns when you start using it for your own development. You could notice that a few of your dependencies don’t have wheels for Python 3.10 right away, making installation more difficult. However, using the most recent Python for development work is often safe.
Before upgrading your development environment, you should always be cautious. Make sure you test your code for compatibility with the latest version. You should be on the lookout for features that have been deprecated or withdrawn.
Whether or not you can use the new functionality in your code relies on your user community and the ecosystem in which it runs. There’s no risk in introducing the appropriate union type syntax or any other new feature if Python 3.10 is guaranteed to be available. If you’re sharing an app or library that will be used by others, you might want to be a little more cautious. Python 3.6 is the most recent version of Python that is still officially supported. Python 3.7 is the minimum supported version after it approached end-of-life in December 2021.
Whether or not you can use the new functionality in your code relies on your user community and the ecosystem in which it runs. There’s no risk in introducing the appropriate union type syntax or any other new feature if Python 3.10 is guaranteed to be available.
If you’re sharing an app or library that will be used by others, you might want to be a little more cautious. Python 3.6 is the most recent version of Python that is still officially supported. Python 3.7 is a minimal supported version after December 2021.
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