By the time Python 3 hits, many of the most popular desktop and mobile platforms will have been replaced by platforms that support the Python language and its features.
Python 3 will be a dead platform in five years, a company executive said.
While we’re not quite at that point yet, this is a real issue, said Tim Anderson, chief executive of OpenStack.
It’s been over a decade since we had a major release on the platform that supported Python 3, he said.
“It’s hard to see how you’re going to maintain the infrastructure for that for five years.”
Anderson’s company, OpenStack, is one of the biggest players in the Python community, having more than 10,000 members on Slack and more than 400,000 on GitHub.
But it was the first to support Python 3 in 2015 and had already begun working on Python 3 2.7, the next release of the Python platform.
That’s when the Python development community first started to see a surge in new users, which meant the platform was on a path to becoming dead, said OpenStack founder and CEO John Lutz.
Python 2.6.x, released in 2015, is considered to be the last stable release for Python 3 and has since been deprecated.
The first stable release of Python 3 for Windows was in 2019.
Python has since continued to mature, but it’s only the beginning of a long decline.
In 2019, it took a lot of people with a lot more experience to maintain and improve Python 3 with support for more features and performance improvements.
In 2020, Openstack released its version 2.8.3, a major upgrade to the 2.9.x version of Python.
And in 2021, OpenShift released a version 2 with a number of new features, including support for containers, virtual machines, distributed processing, and more.
Lutz said the platform has already seen a “massive” decline in its popularity and adoption, which is likely because the platform’s developer community has been largely replaced by more “experienced” Python users.
“In the past, we’ve seen Python as a core component of the ecosystem, and it has, in fact, been quite a big part of the overall ecosystem,” he said, “but we’ve now seen that it’s very fragmented.
There’s a lot less people with the same interests, so the community is smaller.”
He pointed to a similar trend in other languages like Ruby and C++, which have also seen a decline in adoption.
“What’s really striking is that the Python ecosystem is actually growing, and you can see it in all sorts of ways,” he continued.
“The core team that’s building Python right now is really a core team of very experienced people who have been building it for decades.
The Python ecosystem has become more fragmented in the last decade, but there’s still a lot people who are interested in Python, said Anderson. “
If you look at a list of Python projects, there’s really not a lot that’s being built anymore.”
The Python ecosystem has become more fragmented in the last decade, but there’s still a lot people who are interested in Python, said Anderson.
“Python 3 was the last platform we were really focused on building on,” he added.
But as developers become more skilled, the Python industry will be “very, very different,” he predicted.
Anderson said he sees Python 3 as a natural successor to Python 2, and he expects it will become the “platform of choice” for many people, including developers.
“There’s a real opportunity for us to continue to deliver on Python as the platform of choice,” he explained.
“I think we have the best chance of that.”