FAQ
I am learning Python, and using PyQt to develop a GUI that will be used to run a
Fortran program on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X (I think Python is great, btw).
Without thinking about it I downloaded and started working with a fairly recent
Python version, 2.5.4. I've now become aware of the existence of Python 3.1,
which apparently is a major revision of the language. Does it make sense to
stick with Python 2.x at this point, or should I be starting off with 3.1? If
it is recommended to stick with version 2, should I use the latest (2.6.4 or
2.7), and if so why? Thanks.

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  • Chris Rebert at Jan 13, 2010 at 6:56 am

    On Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 10:09 PM, Gib Bogle wrote:
    I am learning Python, and using PyQt to develop a GUI that will be used to
    run a Fortran program on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X (I think Python is
    great, btw). Without thinking about it I downloaded and started working with
    a fairly recent Python version, 2.5.4. ?I've now become aware of the
    existence of Python 3.1, which apparently is a major revision of the
    language. ?Does it make sense to stick with Python 2.x at this point, or
    should I be starting off with 3.1?
    This is an FAQ, so you can search the archives for many other
    responses. If your program needs to use any third-party libraries
    besides PyQt, you should probably use 2.x as most libraries have yet
    to be ported to 3.x yet (luckily, PyQt apparently has been ported
    already). If your program will be pretty self-sufficient, Python 3 is
    definitely an option and will be nicer to use thanks to the
    improvements to the language, but most of the changes (aside from
    strings becoming Unicode) aren't dramatic; it is clearly still the
    same language (unlike Perl 5 -> Perl 6).
    If it is recommended to stick with
    version 2, should I use the latest (2.6.4 or 2.7), and if so why? ?Thanks.
    The latest stable one, 2.6.4 (2.7 is a preview release); there's no
    reason not to, and newer versions have more features, bugfixes, etc.
    Though you should double-check the compatibility of any libraries
    you'll be using of course.

    Cheers,
    Chris
  • Sridhar Ratnakumar at Jan 13, 2010 at 7:00 am

    On 1/12/2010 10:09 PM, Gib Bogle wrote:
    I am learning Python, and using PyQt to develop a GUI that will be used
    to run a Fortran program on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X (I think Python
    is great, btw). Without thinking about it I downloaded and started
    working with a fairly recent Python version, 2.5.4. I've now become
    aware of the existence of Python 3.1, which apparently is a major
    revision of the language. Does it make sense to stick with Python 2.x
    at this point, or should I be starting off with 3.1?
    Stick with 2.x.
    If it is
    recommended to stick with version 2, should I use the latest (2.6.4 or
    2.7), and if so why? Thanks.
    2.6.4 definitely (as 2.7 final is not released yet).

    Also see: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/170921

    -srid
  • Terry Reedy at Jan 13, 2010 at 7:47 am

    On 1/13/2010 1:09 AM, Gib Bogle wrote:
    I am learning Python, and using PyQt to develop a GUI that will be used
    to run a Fortran program on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X (I think Python
    is great, btw). Without thinking about it I downloaded and started
    working with a fairly recent Python version, 2.5.4. I've now become
    aware of the existence of Python 3.1, which apparently is a major
    revision of the language. Does it make sense to stick with Python 2.x at
    this point, or should I be starting off with 3.1? If it is recommended
    to stick with version 2, should I use the latest (2.6.4 or 2.7), and if
    so why? Thanks.
    My view is that if PyQt works with 3.1 (I have the impression it does
    but may be wrong) and that is the only 3rd parth library you need, or
    anything else you need works with 3.1, then strongly consider 3.1 for
    new code. The main difference between 2.6 and 3.1 is the number of old,
    obsolete things removed that you will not even be tempted to learn about.

    Terry Jan Reedy
  • Gib Bogle at Jan 13, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Sridhar Ratnakumar wrote:
    On 1/12/2010 10:09 PM, Gib Bogle wrote:
    I am learning Python, and using PyQt to develop a GUI that will be used
    to run a Fortran program on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X (I think Python
    is great, btw). Without thinking about it I downloaded and started
    working with a fairly recent Python version, 2.5.4. I've now become
    aware of the existence of Python 3.1, which apparently is a major
    revision of the language. Does it make sense to stick with Python 2.x
    at this point, or should I be starting off with 3.1?
    Stick with 2.x.
    If it is
    recommended to stick with version 2, should I use the latest (2.6.4 or
    2.7), and if so why? Thanks.
    2.6.4 definitely (as 2.7 final is not released yet).

    Also see: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/170921

    -srid
    Thanks, very useful.
  • Gib Bogle at Jan 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Terry Reedy wrote:
    On 1/13/2010 1:09 AM, Gib Bogle wrote:
    I am learning Python, and using PyQt to develop a GUI that will be used
    to run a Fortran program on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X (I think Python
    is great, btw). Without thinking about it I downloaded and started
    working with a fairly recent Python version, 2.5.4. I've now become
    aware of the existence of Python 3.1, which apparently is a major
    revision of the language. Does it make sense to stick with Python 2.x at
    this point, or should I be starting off with 3.1? If it is recommended
    to stick with version 2, should I use the latest (2.6.4 or 2.7), and if
    so why? Thanks.
    My view is that if PyQt works with 3.1 (I have the impression it does
    but may be wrong) and that is the only 3rd parth library you need, or
    anything else you need works with 3.1, then strongly consider 3.1 for
    new code. The main difference between 2.6 and 3.1 is the number of old,
    obsolete things removed that you will not even be tempted to learn about.

    Terry Jan Reedy
    On balance I think I'll stick with 2.x - another factor I didn't mention is that
    most end-users will probably not have 3.x installed on their machines.

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