The latest version of Python 2 will definitively appear in April, the Python Foundation reports in a blog post. After that, only Python 3 will get updates. So version 2.7.18 will be the latest version of Python 2.
The Register reports that the programming language will continue to be used in many places, but that the code base will be officially frozen. This means, for example, that pull requests will no longer be granted.
“The CPython core developer community is retiring the Python 2 series after nearly 20 years of development,” the Python Foundation stated. “The last major version 2.7 will be released in April 2020, and then all development will cease for Python 2.”
The news is especially important when it comes to security. This is because the CPython development group will no longer deal with security problems that have been identified after the final withdrawal. As a result, existing users will run more and more risks.
Python 3 was released at the end of 2008, and the new version was not compatible with Python 2. The plan was to withdraw version 2 as soon as enough developers had ventured into version 3. It was previously expected that the intended level of migration to version 3 could be achieved by 2015. However, at the beginning of 2014, many vendors were not yet ready for the switch. Also, there were still some unresolved issues with Unicode in Python’s library and in multiple third-party libraries. Therefore, the administrators of the programming language decided to wait until 2020 to leave Python 2.
In 2016, the number of users of version 3 was finally larger than the number of users of version 2, in 2018 about 83 percent of the Python users used version 3. Due to the “death” of version 2 this year, it will in most cases be better for all Python users to switch to version 3.