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Clean single-source support for Python 3 and 2

Project description

The future module helps run Python 3.x-compatible code under Python 2 with minimal code cruft.

The goal is to allow you to write clean, modern, forward-compatible Python 3 code today and to run it with minimal effort under Python 2 alongside a Python 2 stack that may contain dependencies that have not yet been ported to Python 3.

It is designed to be used as follows:

from __future__ import (division, absolute_import, print_function,
from future import *

followed by clean Python 3 code (with a few restrictions) that can run unchanged on Python 2.7.

On Python 3, the from future import * line has no effect (i.e. zero namespace pollution.) On Python 2 it shadows builtins to provide the Python 3 semantics. (See below for the explicit import form.)

After the imports, this code runs identically on Python 3 and 2:

# New iterable range object with slicing support
for i in range(10**11)[:10]:

# Other common iterators: map, reduce, zip
my_iter = zip(range(3), ['a', 'b', 'c'])
assert my_iter != list(my_iter)

# New simpler super() function:
class VerboseList(list):
    def append(self, item):
        print('Adding an item')

# These raise NameErrors:
# apply(), cmp(), coerce(), reduce(), xrange(), etc.

# This identity is restored. This is normally valid on Py3 and Py2, but
# 'from __future__ import unicode_literals' breaks it on Py2:
assert isinstance('happy', str)

# The round() function behaves as it does in Python 3, using "Banker's
# Rounding" to the nearest even last digit:
assert round(0.1250, 2) == 0.12

# input() is now safe (no eval()):
name = input('What is your name? ')
print('Hello ' + name)

future also supports the standard library reorganization (PEP 3108) via import hooks, allowing standard library modules to be accessed under their Python 3 names and locations:

from future import standard_library

import socketserver
import queue
import configparser
from collections import UserList
from itertools import filterfalse
# and other moved modules and definitions

It also includes backports for three stdlib packages from Py3 that were heavily refactored versus Py2:

import html, html.entities, html.parser
import http, http.client

These currently are not supported, but we may support them in the future:

import http.server, http.cookies, http.cookiejar
import urllib, urllib.parse, urllib.request, urllib.error

Explicit imports

If you prefer explicit imports, the explicit equivalent of the from future import * line above is:

from future.common_iterators import zip, map, filter
from future.builtins import ascii, oct, hex, chr
from future.modified_builtins import (range, super, round, input)
from future.disable_obsolete_builtins import (apply, cmp, coerce,
        execfile, file, long, raw_input, reduce, reload, unicode,
        xrange, StandardError)
from future.str_is_unicode import str

But please note that the API is still evolving rapidly.

See the docstrings for each of these modules for more info:

- future.standard_library
- future.common_iterators
- future.builtins
- future.modified_builtins
- future.disable_obsolete_builtins
- future.str_as_unicode

Automatic conversion

An experimental script called is included to aid in making either Python 2 code or Python 3 code compatible with both platforms using the future module. See


Author:Ed Schofield
Sponsor:Python Charmers Pty Ltd, Australia, and Python Charmers Pte Ltd, Singapore.
Others:The super() and range() functions are derived from Ryan Kelly’s magicsuper module and Dan Crosta’s xrange module. The python_2_unicode_compatible decorator is from django.utils.encoding. The fix_metaclass 2to3 fixer (from Armin Ronacher’s python-modernize) was authored by Jack Diederich and Daniel Neuhaeuser.


Copyright 2013 Python Charmers Pty Ltd, Australia. The software is distributed under an MIT licence. See LICENSE.txt.

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