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Recently, there was a discussion among the coding community with respect to Python versions. The coders were divided in their opinion about the fact that which version is better to learn. Today we shall try to understand this conundrum as we go on to analyse Python 2 and Python 3.
Presently, in 2019, the decision is even easier: Python 3 is the language for new learners or those needing to refresh their skills and aptitudes.
Difference between Python 2 & Python 3
Without further delay, let’s investigate the few major differences between Python 2 and Python 3
History of Python 2 and Python 3
- Python 2.0 was first officially released in 2000. Its most recent variant, 2.7, was then released in 2010.
- Python 3.0 was officially released in 2008. Its latest version, 3.6, was later released in 2016, and variant 3.7 is at present being developed.
- Although Python 2.7 is still generally used, Python 3 implementation is growing rapidly. In 2016, 71.9% of projects utilized Python 2.7, yet by 2017, it had tumbled to 63.7%. This flags the programming community is swinging to Python 3
- Strikingly, on January 1, 2018, Python 2.7 will be outdated completely.
Legacy& Future: Python 2 & 3
Since Python 2 was the most famous version for over 10.5 years, it is yet dug in the software at several organizations.
As many organizations are shifting from Python 2 to 3, somebody who wants to learn Python programming/coding language for beginners may wish to abstain from investing energy in a form that is getting to be obsolete.
Libraries: Python 2 & 3
Since Python 3 is going to be the future, a considerable lot of the present developers are making libraries entirely for use with Python 3. Additionally, numerous more established libraries worked for Python 2 are not compatible. You might probably port a Python 2 library to Python 3, yet this can be troublesome and entangled; it’s unquestionably not a “Python for amateurs” type of activity.
Unicode Support: Python 2 & 3
In Python 3, the default content strings are Unicode. In Python 2, the content strings are put away as ASCII by default– you need to include a “u” if you need to store the content strings in the Unicode form in Python 2. It is imperative on the grounds that Unicode is more flexible than ASCII. Unicode content strings can store Roman letters and numerals, images, emoticons, and so forth., offering you a variety of choices.
Integer Division: Python 2 & 3
Python 3 undoubtedly has better and improved integer division function. In Python 2, on the off chance that you compose a number with no digits after the decimal, it adjusts your computation down to the nearest possible whole number. For instance, in case you’re attempting to perform the calculation 7 divided by 2, and you type 7/2, the outcome will be 3 because of rounding. You would need to compose it as 7.0/2.0 to find the exact solution of 3.5. Be that as it may, in Python 3, the entire expression 7/2 will restore the normal consequence of 3.5 without worrying about including those additional zeroes. This is one case of how the syntax of Python 3 can be instinctive, making it less demanding for beginners to learn Python programming.
Print Function: Python 2 & 3
This is just a difference in syntax, and some may think of it as trivial, so it doesn’t influence the functionality of Python. So, it is yet a major and obvious distinction you should think about. Basically, in Python 3, the print statement has been substituted with a print () function. For instance, in the case of Python 2, the syntax will be print “hi” yet in Python 3, the syntax will be print (“hi”). In case you are learning Python programming language for the first time, it shouldn’t influence you much. But, if you began with Python 2, the switch may entangle you a couple of times.
List Comprehension Loop Variables: Python 2 & 3
In past versions of Python, giving the variable that is iterated over in a list comprehension, the same name from a global variable could prompt the value of the global variable being changed — something you, for the most part, don’t need. This bothering bug has been fixed in Python 3, so you can use a variable name you effectively utilized for the control variable in your list comprehension without stressing over it spilling out and disturbing the values of the variables in your entire code.
Python 2 has two helpful functions for making a range of integers that is utilized in for loop, these are called range and xrange. They both give an approach to produce a list of integers. So generally, xrange and range are precisely the same as far as functionality is concerned. The main distinction is that range returns a Python List object and xrange returns axrangeobject. Range function generates an array of integers, so it will take much memory in the event that we make a range of millions, which can result in Memory Error and crash your program. So xrange is the function to use on the off chance that you have an extremely memory sensitive framework. However, in Python 3 there is no xrange function, the range function will work as xrange in Python 2.
The change from Python 2 to Python 3 is occurring gradually, however it is in progress. You can effectively compose viable, helpful and proficient code utilizing either form of the language, so there is no compelling reason to struggle excessively over which rendition to learn as the first experience with Python. In any case, it is a smart thought to know that there are material contrasts between Python 2 and Python 3 in case you ever need to manage code that is written in the version of the language with which you are less acquainted.
If you are a Python software engineer who is considering changing from Python 2 to Python 3, there are a couple of enhancements in Python 3 that could prove beneficial. Before porting your Python 2 project to Python 3, watch that the libraries it relies upon are upheld in Python 3. As time passes by, and new updates to Python 3 are released, the extent of developers using Python 3 instead of Python 2 is probably going to increment. It is your choice whether you need to join the pattern towards Python 3 now or hold tight to Python 2 until the necessities of your project constrain you to do the switch.