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There are 3 separate issues here
  • input
  • output
  • codebase

The holy grail would be to have a single Cython codebase run in Python 2.3 - 3.x., accept valid 2.3 - 3.x code, and the code produced should be able to compile and link against Python 2.3 - 3.x (irregardless of what platform Cython was run on).

This may be unrealistic. We know there will be slight dependancies on the runtime platform due to the growing/changing content of the builtins module. Where there are ambiguities in the code (e.g. code that is valid 2.x and 3.x, but has different meaning) we should perhaps give a warning, and default to the code it is being run on. I would like to attempt for some level of implementing 3.x-only features manually for use in a 2.x environment, but certainly this will not be possible for everything. (One instance where we have done this is keyword-only arguments.)

StefanBehnel: the biggest semantic problem I currently see is bytes/unicode literals. Should Cython source code default to 'bytes' literals, which are compatible with plain C strings? Or should it follow Python 3 in breaking source code compatibility? This would mean that most(!) code would break, as converting a string literal to a C string would no longer work.

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