One of the programming languages that has taken the world of technology to a whole new level is Python. The general-purpose programming language has found its applications in a plethora of fields like Data Science, Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence, Software Engineering, etc.
The two major versions of Python that were introduced to the world were Python 2 and Python 3. Although they are both just different versions of the same programming language, surprisingly, there are striking differences between the two and it would be extremely exciting to take a look at the differences between Python 2 and Python 3.
What is Python 2?
Python 2.0 was introduced to the tech world in the year 2000. Created by the BeOpen Python Labs team, the purpose of the introduction of Python 2 was to make programming simple and easy to learn for the common mass.
Python 2 was successful in implementing the technical details of the Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP). However, after the introduction of Python 3, Python 2 could not find a lot of its usage in the tech world and the year 2020 marked the end of Python 2’s legacy with Python 2.7 being its latest version.
What is Python 3?
Python 3 is a newer version of the Python programming language which was released in December 2008. This version was mainly released to fix problems that exist in Python 2. The nature of these changes is such that Python 3 was incompatible with Python 2. It is backward incompatible.
Some features of Python 3 have been backported to Python 2.x versions to make the migration process easy in Python 3. As a result, for any organization who was using Python 2.x version, migrating their project to 3.x needed lots of changes. These changes not only relate to projects and applications but also all the libraries that form part of the Python ecosystem.
•Python 3 syntax is simpler and easily understandable whereas Python 2 syntax is comparatively difficult to understand.
•Python 3 default storing of strings is Unicode whereas Python 2 stores need to define Unicode string value with “u.”
•Python 3 value of variables never changes whereas in Python 2 value of the global variable will be changed while using it inside for-loop.
•Python 3 exceptions should be enclosed in parenthesis while Python 2 exceptions should be enclosed in notations.
•Python 3 rules of ordering comparisons are simplified whereas Python 2 rules of ordering comparison are complex.
•Python 3 offers Range() function to perform iterations whereas, In Python 2, the xrange() is used for iterations.
Python has a rule that all 2.x versions will be backward compatible . The same rule applies to Python 3.x versions. However, Python does not guarantee backward compatibility between versions. Python 3 introduced several changes to the actual structure and syntax of the Python language. The whole Python community was pretty much sceptical when they received Python 3.x. Python 3.0 is fundamentally different to previous Python releases because it is the first Python release that is not compatible with older versions . Most of the things written in Python 2.x were not compatible with Python 3.x, as it did not support backward compatibility. Many applications and frameworks needed to rewritten completely due to this, hence, it was very difficult to port to Python 3.x from Python 2.x . Programmers who first learned to program in Python 2.x sometimes find the new changes difficult to adjust to, but newcomers often find that the new version of the language makes more sense.
Which Version Is Better?
The following points may narrate why Python 3 is a most demanding and highly preferable language at present than Python 2:
•The first thing is that Python 2 has been outdated since 2020 and Python 3 has earned immense popularity amongst the developers, and not only this, it has shown way to the novice programmers who were in dilemma about what programming skills they should have to pursue programming.
•As compared to its counterparts, especially Python 2, Python 3 is a quite readable, easy to understand, and extremely popular language.
•Python 2 has run out of the current stream. It is being used only if some legacy code has been written in Python 2 or when a company wants to migrate Python 2 code into Python 3.
•Current believable statistics revealed that the programmers now lost their interest in Python 2 and their lean is only towards Python 3. This shows that Python 3 has won the race against Python 2.
Insights of Difference between the two:
After coming Python 3, almost all developers are creating libraries. We can use those by default with Python 3. Likewise, Python 2 has several libraries which are not conflicting. But, some peoples are able to port 2.x library to 3.x library, this is very complicated. For Python beginners, Python 3 is very simple and easy to learn.
In Python 2, we can write a number without any decimal point in that integer. That number will round to the nearest value. For example, If we type the expression 6/5 in Python 2 code. The output will be 1, not 1.2 what we expect. We want the exact value with a decimal point, we should have to write 6.0/5.0 in Python 2.
But, in the case of Python 3, we need not worry about this issue. It gives the exact result without adding extra zeros to the input values. For examples, If we type the expression 6/5 in Python 3 code. It will show the exact result of 1.2. This is the one reason why Python is easier for newcomers
In the Python 2 we can treat print as a statement and parenthesis are not compulsory in Python 2. In Python 3 print is treated as a function and we must place a parenthesis. Otherwise, it shows syntax error. For example, In Python 2 it is print “Hello world” but in the case of Python 3 (“Hello world”). For newcomers, it shouldn’t affect. But, Python 2 learners face little difficulty.
In Python 2, we have to mark a string with a “u”, If we want to store it as Unicode. Otherwise, it does not store the value as Unicode. Unicode code strings versatile than ASCII string. In Python 3, text strings are Unicode by default. More uses are there with Unicode. It stores the Roman Letters, foreign language letters, and numerals, emojis, symbols etc.
The main difference between Python 2 and Python 3 is that the grammar of the python 2 coding language is quite complex and difficult to understand, whereas comparatively, on the other hand, the grammar of the python 3 coding language is easy and more understandable. The python 2 languages usually don’t require a parenthesis for its print command, while comparatively, on the opposite hand, python 3 requires an extra pair of parenthesis for its print command.