Python update breaks backwards compatibility, starts over

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Developers of the Python programming language have released the final version of Python 3.0, also called Python 3000 or Py3K, which also sees a major reworking of the language, including making it intentionally incompatible with the Python 2 series of code, according to the founder Guido van Rossum.

The new changes was to simplify the development of the code and to remove the complexity that has been built up over time. Saying in a Linux.conf.au keynote in Melbourne, Anthony Baxter said that the release was “where we break all your code, but we’re doing it for a good reason…Pretty much every program will need changes."

Some of the changes in the new version include:

  • The print statement has been replaced with a print() function, and with keyword arguments replacing the special syntax of the statement.
  • Unicode will be the default encoding in the code, so no more mixing non-Unicode and Unicode strings.
  • Altering the models used for division and switching symbols for “not equal”.
  • Some modules have been renamed or no longer have capital letters.

However, Python 2 will not be given the axe just yet, and will be maintain the version as long as there is some interest and need for the version of the language.