Python 2 End of life, and what this means for users of my programs

As you may be aware, Python 2.x is no longer supported by the Python Software Foundation. Some of my programs still run on Python 2.x, though, so what does this mean for any remaining users?

Linux Users

Fedora Users

Python 3 has been used to support all recent versions of my programs on Fedora, thus you should see no real change on this platform. GetDevInfo has been shipped for both Python 2.x and 3.x for Fedora up to this point, but it will now not see any new releases or any testing under Python 2.x on Fedora.

Ubuntu Users

Anyone running Ubuntu 18.04 or newer will continue to use Python 3, as has been standard since those releases came out and I began supporting Python 3.

NOTE for Ubuntu 16.04 users:

As you may have noticed, I recently released an update to both DDRescue-GUI and WxFixBoot to use Python 3, relying on a version of wxPython built in my PPA. I will continue to support Ubuntu 16.04 until its end of life in April 2021, but I will only support Python 3 on this platform from this point forwards. I recommend you use the PPA to keep updates simple.

GetDevInfo has been shipped for both Python 2.x and 3.x for Ubuntu up to this point, but it will now not see any new releases or any testing under Python 2.x on Ubuntu.

Parted Magic Users

UPDATE: The next release of Parted Magic will support wxPython for Python 3. As such, I’ll continue supporting Python 2 on Parted Magic until the next version is released.

Parted Magic is the only Linux distribution I support now that doesn’t include a version of wxPython that can run on Python 3. As such, until this can be arranged, I will continue to support Python 2.7 on this platform. GetDevInfo will also continue to be supported running under Python 2 on this platform. I hope to work with Patrick Verner to solve this issue shortly, after which only Python 3 will be supported on Parted Magic.

Regardless of what happens, I will do my best to ensure the change is as seamless as possible.

macOS Users

All recent versions of DDRescue-GUI for macOS have been built on Python 3. As such, there should be no noticeable change for macOS users. As with GetDevInfo on other platforms, there will be no further support or testing of GetDevInfo with Python 2 on macOS.

Windows Users

Currently there is an initial version of DDRescue-GUI for Windows that uses Python 2. I have recently been attempting to get wxPython for Python 3 to build on Cygwin, in order to make an official Python 3 release of DDRescue-GUI for Windows. However, I have been met with limited success. Fortunately, there are not many Windows users at the moment, owing to the manual installation process, so until I manage to resolve this issue, there will unfortunately be no more updates for DDRescue-GUI on Windows.

Note that I fully intend to solve this problem in the fullness of time. GetDevInfo does not currently run on Windows, so users will be unaffected by changes to GetDevInfo.

Summary

The Python 2.7 series, and with it, Python 2 itself has reached End Of Life. I will continue to support Python 2 on platforms where there is no alternative, but aim to transition away to Python 3 as soon as possible. I also intend to release a version of DDRescue-GUI for Windows in the fullness of time, but it remain to be seen how long it will take to resolve the issues involved. If anyone reading this has experience with Cygwin, I would be extremely grateful if you could have a look at this thread and see if you have any ideas/time to investigate this.

That’s it for now, but stay tuned as I have some exciting and very different posts coming up soon.

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About Hamish McIntyre-Bhatty

I'm currently studying for a Computing and IT degree with the Open University, and am a software developer as well. I enjoy coding in Python, C++ (still learning), and Java. Having written 4 open-source programs (hosted on launchpad.net), set up my own website, and started volunteering at Wimborne Model Town to work on their river control system, I still find the time to enjoy cycling, acting, photography, and playing bass guitar. I go climbing every now and then as well. More recently, I wrote my first commercial program, Disk Verifier, and created a PSID Unlocker GUI for Parted Magic. I also create tutorial and other informative videos for Parted Magic LLC.

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