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Pythonic Y2K


On Thu, Jan 17, 2019 at 6:04 AM Avi Gross <avigross at verizon.net> wrote:
>
> I see messages like the following where someone is still asking how to do
> something in some version of python 2.X.
>
> I recall the days before the year 2000 with the Y2K scare when people
> worried that legacy software might stop working or do horrible things once
> the clock turned. It may even have been scary enough for some companies to
> rewrite key applications and even switch from languages like COBOL.
>
> What is happening in the python community, and especially in places where
> broken software may be a serious problem?
>
> I assume versions of python 2.X will continue to be available for some time
> but without any further support and without features being back-ported.

Commercial support for Python 2 will probably continue for a while, in
the same way that support for versions older than 2.7 is still
available to Red Hat customers today (if I'm not mistaken). Otherwise,
well, the software will continue without updates or security patches
until it breaks. Companies will have to weigh up five costs against
each other:

1) The cost of the status quo: the risk of critical failures or
external attacks against unsupported and unpatched software

2) The cost of migrating to Python 3

3) The cost of migrating to a completely different language

4) The cost of maintaining their own local fork of Python 2

5) The cost of using a supported commercial platform such as RHEL.

For most small to medium projects, it's probably going to come down to
#1 or #2, where #1 has the laziness bonus. For many larger companies,
#1 is an unpayable cost. Everyone has to make that choice, and
remember that "cost" doesn't just mean money (for instance, the cost
of moving to Linux might be quite considerable for a Windows shop, and
even within a Linux ecosystem, switching to Red Hat may have
consequences to other programs you might need).

ChrisA