[SciPy-User] SciPy ecosystem and Python 3

Hans-Martin v. Gaudecker hmgaudecker@gmail....
Mon Jul 1 15:41:47 CDT 2013


I have been largely working on Python 3 for two years now. I figured 
that starting long-term-projects with Python 2 was not worth it anymore. 
After I got some of those going, I gradually ported most of my other 
projects. Overall it has worked well for me -- with some packages I had 
to dig deeper into compiling things than I would have liked to, but that 
seems to be over now as I am not using many exotic things (mostly NumPy, 
SciPy, Matplotlib, Pandas, Statsmodels, some database stuff).

I am currently teaching a software-carpentry-inspired course 
<http://www.uni-bonn.de/%7Ehmg308/teaching/prog_econ_2013.html#prog-econ-2013> 
to about 30 economics MSc students and everybody uses an Anaconda Python 
3.3 environment. Again, this has worked very well. The list of included 
packages is probably a bit too short (especially when compared to 
Anaconda Python 2.7) as to recommend it by default to newcomers. Maybe 
this discussion will help to have the gap closed (even) faster.

On 01.07.13 19:00, scipy-user-request@scipy.org wrote:
>     1. Re: SciPy ecosystem and Python 3 (Ralf Gommers)
>
> I will be able to install Anaconda or another distribution.
> All the basic examples in Python and numpy/scipy docs will work. But I
> don't work in a vacuum, so I'll find out at some later stage that some code
> that my co-workers wrote depends on version (current minus 2) of some
> package that only supports 3.x in version (current). This should be the
> exception and not the norm before recommending 3.x imho.
I tend to disagree. If I arrive as a newcomer in a work environment 
where everybody else uses Python 2, I listen to my co-workers, use that, 
and don't care much about what the website recommends. The website is 
probably more relevant for people where a vacuum describes the 
environment fairly well.
> Also, if many of the active developers haven't yet moved to 3.x (and yes
> that includes me) then it's most definitely too early to recommend said
> move to people who aren't very familiar with Python yet.
I would argue the other way round: Using Python 3 straight away will 
avoid a move for newcomers altogether. For long-time Python 2 users, the 
switching costs are particularly large -- which may explain the 
reluctance of many developers. But for newcomers, these costs could be 
avoided entirely (yes, they can be pretty small using 2to3 -- but that's 
not something one would want to explain to a newcomer in the first few 
hours, see Thomas' original post).

My 2c,
Hans-Martin

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