KODI News Addon Developers: Migration to Python 3!
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Currently, Kodi includes the Python 2.7 interpreter to run addons written in Python programming language. However, Python 3 was released almost 10 years ago and the matter of implementing the Python 3 interpreter in Kodi has been brought up on the Kodi forum several times. Now, thanks to a successful GSOC 2017 project, KODI have a working Python 3.6 interpreter for Kodi, and on the latest DevCon 2017 in Prague Team Kodi decided that it’s time to move on and migrate Python addon subsystem to Python 3.
There are several reasons for that:
- Python 3 is mature enough and more and more Python libraries either convert their codebase to Python 3-compatible or drop Python 2 support completely (Django is the most notable example).
- Most current Python books, tutorials and courses are focused on Python 3.
- Python 2 is not actively developed. It receives only security patches while Python 3 gets all the cool new features with every minor version.
However, Python 3 is not backward-compatible with the 2nd version so some transition process is required. Currently the plan is the following:
- Kodi 19 (M*) will be released with Python 3 interpreter for running Python-based addons.
- After the release of Kodi 18 (Leia) only addons that are compatible with both Python 2 and 3 will be accepted to the official addon repository. Also, Python 3-only addons will be accepted to the repositories for Kodi 19 (M*) and above.
- Addon developers are encouraged to convert their addons to Python 2/3-compatible so that after the release of Kodi 19 (M*) will have enough addons that work with the new version.
- Test builds based on Kodi 18 with the Python 3 interpreter will be provided so addon developers can test their addons for compatibility with Python 3. Test builds for Windows are already available for downloading from here and test builds for Ubuntu can be obtained from this PPA.
This is the preliminary plan that may be changed depending on various circumstances.
Writing Python code that is compatible with both 2 and 3 versions is totally possible and the “big” Python world has been doing it for years since the release of Python 3.0. There are a number of tools and best practices developed to simplify this process. Please read this Kodi Wiki article for more information and technical details about the migration process. Also a special Wiki section has been created that will be updated with new information. You can post questions about converting your addon code to Python 3-compatible or share your experience in “Python 3 migration” subforum on the official Kodi forum.