Thursday, September 27, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

How Dropbox Migrated to Python 3

Max Bélanger and Damien DeVille (Hacker News, Reddit):

Though we’ve relied on Python 2 for many years (most recently, we used Python 2.7), we began moving to Python 3 back in 2015. This transition is now complete: If you’re using Dropbox today, the application is powered by a Dropbox-customized variant of Python 3.5. This post is the first in a series that explores how we planned, executed, and rolled out one of the largest Python 3 migrations ever.

[…]

To solve this build and deploy problem, we decided on a new architecture to embed the Python runtime in our native application. Rather than delegate this process to the freezers, we would use tooling specific to each platform (e.g. Visual Studio on Windows) to build the various entry points ourselves. Further, we would abstract Python code behind a library, aiming to more directly support the “mixing and matching” of various languages.

This would allow us to make use of each platform’s IDEs/toolchain directly (e.g. to add native targets like FinderSync on macOS) while retaining the ability to conveniently write much of our application logic in Python.

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