Python History

Python was first created by the dutchman Guido van Rossum in the late 1980s while he worked at the dutch CWI, which is a national research institute for mathematics and computer science. Since then, he has been actively involved in Python's development until this day.

The following figure shows a global timeline of Python releases:

As you can see from the timeline, Python 2 and 3 have been developed and maintained side by side for a long period. The major reason being that Python 3 code is not backwards compatible with Python 2 code. This incompatibility caused a very slow adoption rate. Many people were happy with version 2 and didn't see much reason to upgrade. On top of that, Python 3 was, intially, slower than Python 2. As Python 3 kept improving and receiving new features, eventually it started to take off.

This guide focusses entirely on Python 3 since it is now the default and only supported version. In the real world, you may encounter Python 2 code. I shared some tips on how to migate from such code in the chapter Migrating from Python 2 to 3.

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