[ANNOUNCEMENT] Plan for dropping Python 2 support

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[ANNOUNCEMENT] Plan for dropping Python 2 support

Xiangrui Meng
Hi all,

Today we announced the plan for dropping Python 2 support [1] in Apache Spark:

As many of you already knew, Python core development team and many utilized Python packages like Pandas and NumPy will drop Python 2 support in or before 2020/01/01 [2]. Apache Spark has supported both Python 2 and 3 since Spark 1.4 release in 2015. However, maintaining Python 2/3 compatibility is an increasing burden and it essentially limits the use of Python 3 features in Spark. Given the end of life (EOL) of Python 2 is coming, we plan to eventually drop Python 2 support as well. The current plan is as follows:

* In the next major release in 2019, we will deprecate Python 2 support. PySpark users will see a deprecation warning if Python 2 is used. We will publish a migration guide for PySpark users to migrate to Python 3.
* We will drop Python 2 support in a future release (excluding patch release) in 2020, after Python 2 EOL on 2020/01/01. PySpark users will see an error if Python 2 is used.
* For releases that support Python 2, e.g., Spark 2.4, their patch releases will continue supporting Python 2. However, after Python 2 EOL, we might not take patches that are specific to Python 2.

Best,
Xiangrui