Python | Difference between Python 2.x and Python 3.x

Python | Difference between Python 2.x and Python 3.x

Python, the versatile and powerful programming language, has undergone a significant evolution with the transition from Python 2.x to Python 3.x. This shift, though essential for the language’s growth and future, has left many developers pondering the distinctions between the two versions. In this article, we’ll start on a journey to explore the key differences that define Python 2.x and Python 3.x.

Print Statement vs. Print Function:

One of the most noticeable differences lies in the print statement. In Python 2.x, the print statement is used without parentheses:

print "Hello, World!"

In Python 3.x, print is a function and requires parentheses:

print("Hello, World!")

This change enhances consistency and aligns with Python’s commitment to readability.

Unicode Support:

Python 3.x accept Unicode as the default string type, promoting consistency in string handling. In contrast, Python 2.x treats strings as sequences of bytes by default. This distinction can lead to compatibility issues when working with text in different encodings.

Integer Division:

In Python 2.x, dividing two integers results in integer division, discarding any remainder:

result = 5 / 2 # Outputs 2

Python 3.x introduces true division, producing a float result by default:

result = 5 / 2 # Outputs 2.5

To achieve integer division in Python 3.x, use the // operator.

xrange() vs. range():

In Python 2.x, the range() function creates a list, while xrange() generates an iterator. Python 3.x eliminates xrange() and makes range() behave like xrange(), enhancing memory efficiency for large ranges.

Exception Handling:

Exception handling in Python 3.x uses the ‘as’ keyword for binding the exception instance.

Python 2.x:

     # Some code
except IOError, e:
     # Handle exception

Python 3.x:

    # Some code
except IOError as e:
    # Handle exception


The transition from Python 2.x to Python 3.x marks a significant milestone in the language’s development. While the changes might pose challenges for those habitual to Python 2.x, they enhance code clarity, consistency, and performance. As Python 2.x has reached the end of its official support, embracing Python 3.x ensures access to the latest features, security updates, and a thriving ecosystem. Embrace the future, adapt your code, and navigate the Python seas with confidence!

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