Updated April 18, 2023
Difference Between Python 2 vs Python 3
The following article provides an outline for Python 2 vs Python 3. Python is a programming language that is easy to learn and do many functions than other languages. The data structures are highly efficient, and complex operations can be written in simple statements. Beginners in programming language find it easy to execute the language. Python 1 was released in 1994, followed by Python 2 in 2000 and Python 3 in 2008. Updates and modifications are in every version with a newer script in the language. Differences in some versions are very minor, and in some, they are huge with the function change.
Head to Head Comparison Between Python 2 vs Python 3 (Infographics)
Below are the top 7 differences between Python 2 vs Python 3:
Key Difference Between Python 2 vs Python 3
Let us discuss some of the major key differences between Python 2 vs Python 3:
- The latest version in Python 2 is Python 2.7.13, while in Python 3, it is Python 3.8.2. python 2 was first released in 2000, and Python 3 in 2008. Python 2 is maintained as a legacy software in some companies, while many are sure that Python 3 is the future of programming language. Beginners can start with Python 3 as most of them will have a feeling to move to the future rather than learn a language that is becoming obsolete.
- Libraries are created for both versions. The libraries in Python 2 are old and is not compatible with Python 3 version. While Python 3 libraries are compatible with Python 2 and are more creative with the usage of the functions in the libraries. A library can be ported from Python 2 to Python 3, but it is a complex and time-consuming process.
- The common difference said between the two versions is the print statement. In Python 2, the print statement can be written without a bracket, and if it is written with a bracket, it will throw an error. Whereas in Python 3, the print statement should be enclosed in brackets and though we can write it without the brackets, it will show a warning in the statement, and it will create issues while carrying out the compilation. It is not a functional difference, but beginners may find it difficult while switching from one version to another.
- Another difference is that while doing a division program in the language. Python 2 will not generate a decimal point, while Python 3 will generate decimal points. For example, in Python 2, 3/2 generates 1 as an answer, while in Python 3, 1.5 is the answer. The calculation brings near to the whole number in Python 2 and the exact result in Python 3. Integer division is better in Python 3 than Python 2.
- The community support for Python 3 is really good due to the fact that it is newer and is getting improved with the new version release. Development conflicts are removed with new updates, and the typing language is improved with the versions. Python 2 has community support but is not as great as Python 3. With the new versions, Python 2 is not improving, and the compilation speed is not getting increased.
- Python 2 makes it easy to work with configuration management tools and also as a DevOps engineer. As the old tools are developed in Python 2, it is necessary to know the language to make necessary patches in the language. Also, many libraries cannot be ported to Python 3, and this makes it difficult if one does not know Python 2. It is good to start with Python 3 if the beginner is a developer and does not work with any patches or old tools at all in the development scenario. Python 3 develops new versions by keeping beginners in mind to help them in development.
Python 2 vs Python 3 Comparison Table
Let’s discuss the top comparison between Python 2 vs Python 3:
|Python 2||Python 3|
|Python is not a typed language, and Python 2 version does not support typing in the statements.||Though the older versions do not support typing, from Python 3.5 onwards, it started supporting typing, and hence some organizations prefer using Python 3.|
|The strings in Python 2 are ASCII code by default and cannot be changed. To be saved as Unicode, ‘u’ has to be added in the programming statement.||The strings in Python 3 are Unicode by default and cannot be changed. Unicode has more options than ASCII code.|
|The newer updates release the versions with faster run time, but Python 2 is not made faster anymore. Hence organizations prefer working with other versions for faster compilation and runtime.||The newest release of Python 3 is made faster with faster runtime and faster compilation. This makes the language more preferable for beginners as well as organizations with larger coding.|
|This uses a function called xrange() which returns an iterator object like Java and generates the number it asks for. This is easy to use than range operation to get the needed output. When the task is iterated, memory is saved. xrange() cannot be ported to other versions.||There is no xrange() function in Python 3, and if the number has to be generated, the range has to be used with two other statements. The range provides a static list to the output generated, and it works like xrange() of Python 2.|
|While handling error, it is not necessary to define error in ‘as’ terms and works with a ‘,’.||It is important to give ‘as’ in error handling, or else it will throw an error if it is written like Python 2.|
|Python 2 is not forward compatible and does not work with any new versions. This creates problems while working with new updates and the version release.||Python 3 is backwards compatible and does not create any errors while working in other versions. It is helpful while working on legacy projects in the system.|
|Modern techniques like machine learning, data science and artificial intelligence are not supported in this language.||All the modern techniques are supported in this language, and it is easy to learn and grow with Python 3 version.|
Porting from Python 2 to Python 3 is not difficult, but it is not reliable up to a point. It is important to know the needs of the company and the project before diving into a version for the language.
This is a guide to Python 2 vs Python 3. Here we discuss the Python 2 vs Python 3 key differences with infographics and comparison table, respectively. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –