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A Python 2 to 3 Migration Guide

July 2018 update: I’ll be giving a talk based on this guide at PyOhio next week. If you’re there, please come say hello!

It’s not always obvious, but migrating from Python 2 to 3 doesn’t have to be an overwhelming effort spike. I’ve done Python 2-to-3 migration assessments with several organizations, and in each case we were able to turn the unknowns into a set of straightforward to-do lists.

I’ve written a Python 2-to-3 migration guide [PDF] to help others who want to make the leap but aren’t sure where to start, or have maybe already begun but would like another perspective. It outlines some high level steps for the migration and also contains some nitty-gritty technical details, so it’s useful for both those who will plan the migration and the technical staff that will actually perform it.

The (very brief) summary is that most of the work can be done in advance without sacrificing Python 2 compatibility. What’s more, you can divide the work into manageable chunks that you can tick off one by one as you have time to work on them. Last but not least, many of the changes are routine and mechanical (for example, changing the print statement to a function), and there are tools that do a lot of the work for you.

You can download the migration guide here [PDF]. Please feel free to share; it’s licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Feedback is welcome, either via email or in the comments below.