Guido van Rossum Keynote at Vancouver Python Workshop

Guido Van Rossum PhotoIt's the Vancouver Python Workshop 2006! Friday night opening keynotes with Python creator Guido van Rossum and IronPython/Jython creator Jim Hugunin were held at the SFU Downtown campus.

Van Rossum's keynote was an overview of Python 3000, a.k.a. Python 3.0. Python 3000 is a major departure from previous major versions because it breaks backward compatibility. Van Rossum explained there are many things he's wanted to clean up but couldn't because Python 2 worked hard, bugs aside, not to introduce incompatibilities. While not wanting to alienate the community because of core changes he wanted to fix design bugs introduced early on in the project. Python 3000 is all about fixing problems and will not incorporate a lot of new features. Design decisions are based on the best choice going forward, not compatibility.

The rest of Van Rossum presentation was spent explaining the high points of the planned changes. More information about the changes can be found in the Python PEP 3100. PEP 3000 contains the general "meta-path".

Python 2.x won't be abandoned. Recognizing the challenges of upgrading between "compatible" 2.x versions there's recognition that 3.0 adoption with it incompatible features won't be immediate. The 2.x and 3.x lines will be maintained in parallel. Lots of work will continue on the 2.0 base. In fact, Python 2.6 will be out before 3.0, and Python 2.7 could contain compatible 3.0 backports.

Van Rossum used the old show business technique of leaving them wanting more and deferred questions to his Q/A session the next morning.