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I've been reading the "Whats New in ArcGIS" for the ArcGIS 10.3 update and came across the Python and ArcPy portion. It states that:

ArcGIS 10.3 has been upgraded to include Python 2.7.8.

Now this is fine, I have zero issues with any 2.x version of python. My concern is that Esri will eventually push ArcGIS to Python 3x. I hope they don't in the immediate future, but at the same time Python 3x will need to be implemented at some time.

I do a ton of coding in python for all sorts of GIS and non-GIS applications. I always use the version current with my ArcGIS release. If they move to 3x, I'll be spending a solid month doing 2x to 3x upgrading for my applications.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any insider information out there concerning this topic.

Does Esri have any plans in the near future to move to Python 3 or will they continue on with Python 2x?

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    Isn't this a question you should ask Esri (directly, via Tech Support or your local marketing office)? At least some of the people with authority speak for Esri might be on GeoNet, but I'm not aware of any on GSE. – Vince Dec 16 '14 at 18:38
  • @Vince We had our ESRI rep in a few months ago and I did pose this question to him. He's "getting back to me". – Cody Brown Dec 16 '14 at 18:40
  • See this discussion: geonet.esri.com/thread/94422 regarding versions of ArcGIS and versions of Python. It appears that ArcGIS Pro will have Python 3. I also heard that at the latest Esri UC. – Ann Dec 16 '14 at 19:11
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    @Vince there's a couple of people from Esri here on GSE ;) – KHibma Dec 16 '14 at 20:01
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    @underdark I don't know how this is opinion based. I am asking whether ESRI has plans to move to Python 3x in the near future or not. As answered below by James and Ann, they obviously do with Pro and thus probably will with Desktop, tat is if they continue with Desktop. – Cody Brown Dec 16 '14 at 20:06
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This summer Esri was saying that ArcGIS Pro will go Python 3. The legacy ArcGIS Desktop will stick with Python 2.x as long as it can.

I believe there are a bunch of Python 3 migration ArcGIS Pro tutorials on Esri's support page.


Python 3 migration

ArcGIS Pro uses Python 3.4. This is a significant change from other ArcGIS products including ArcGIS for Desktop, ArcGIS for Server, and ArcGIS Engine that have used (and will continue to use) releases in the Python 2 line.

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To address @CodyBrown comments here:

I don't know how this is opinion based. I am asking whether ESRI has plans to move to Python 3x in the near future or not. As answered below by James and Ann, they obviously do with Pro and thus probably will with Desktop, tat is if they continue with Desktop.

As of today, there are no plans to move Desktop/Server (ArcMap/ArcCatalog) to Python 3. [I'll stop short of saying never, but looking into the crystal ball it is highly unlikely it'll ever go that way]. There are a lot of backwards compatibility things (as you've pointed out) that'll break if we upgraded. (Not to mention all the back-end stuff we/esri would have to do to make it work).

Since Pro has a lot of major differences compared to Desktop (projects and how maps and layers exist), some things can't be backwards compatible. arcpy.mapping and arcpy.mp is an example of an area that has changed between the two products. Scripts that used arcpy.mapping will have to be upgraded if you want to use them in Pro. That said, Pro is designed to work along beside Desktop (Map/Catalog). It's your choice if you'll use it. As it is not a replacement, there is no need to start porting scripts to Py3 and arcpy.mp. In time you may want to gravitate that way (or may not), but all your scripts and workflows that you have today will continue to work tomorrow in Desktop.

Inside both 10.3 Desktop and Pro will be a tool, Analyze Tools for Pro that you can point at your scripts and it'll tell you what needs to be upgraded/ported. Further to my previous point, if you see value in upgrading scripts to work in Py3 and ArcGIS Pro, this utility will help you get there. But nobody is forcing you to update.

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