In Memoriam of Python 2

Created on November 12, 2023 at 10:15 am

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Today DATE , on the Day of the Dead 2023 DATE , we at the Internet Archive honor the death of Python 2 CARDINAL . Having mostly emerged from one CARDINAL of the greatest software upgrade SNAFU ORG ’s in history—the migration from Python 2 CARDINAL to Python 3 CARDINAL —we now shed a tear for that old version that served us so well.

When Python 3 CARDINAL was launched in 2008 DATE , it contained a number of significant improvements which nevertheless broke compatibility with the previous version of Python PRODUCT at the syntax, string-handling, and library level. As terrible as this sounds, breaking changes are fairly normal for a major software upgrade.

Rather, the chaos that followed was rooted in the fact that unlike most software transitions of this sort, it could not be done incrementally. Instead of being offered a way to gradually upgrade, remaining compatible with both versions and spreading the incremental costs over time, developers were given a risky all-or-nothing choice. The result has been a reluctant, glacial, expensive migration that continues to plague the world.

At the Internet Archive, we did not begin our migration in earnest until 2021 DATE , starting with Open Library ORG and then this year DATE focusing on ORG and its underlying services. However, we are now happy to declare migration of our core storage service, S3 ORG , which underlies all of the millions CARDINAL of items stored in the Archive ORG , complete. We are grateful for the intensive efforts over many months DATE by Chris Clauss PERSON , Scott Barnes PERSON , Tracey Jaquith PERSON , and Sam Stoller PERSON , and everyone who supported them!

There are just a few more projects to go, but we are nearly there. And come our next OS upgrade, Python 2 CARDINAL will be but the whisper of a memory, preserved in the Archive ORG and honored on a day DATE like today DATE . Rest in peace, Python 2 CARDINAL . And please stay dead.

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