The State of Python

1 AM November 28, 2007

Anthony Baxter, Python release manager, filled us in on the state of Python:

  • 2.5.2 is coming and will be a bug-fix release.
  • Moving from 2.x to 3.0
    • There will be a -Wpy3k flag for 2.6 which will warn of constructs incompatible with Py3K.
    • 2.6 will have “from future import” new features.
    • There will be a -3 flag to enable all future features.
    • There will be a “2to3” converter to programatically convert Python 2.x to 3.0.
  • 2.6 final will come at about the same time as 3.0 final. There will be a 2.7. after that.
  • 3.0 is not a rewrite.
    • The Python guys claim to have learnt from the Perl6 experience.
    • 3.0 is about throwing out junk, removing mistakes and adding new features.
  • Big new 3.0 features:
    • print is now a function.
    • The <> not equals operator is going away.
    • String exceptions are going away.
    • All strings are now unicode.
    • Iterators are being used in many places where lists used to be returned, e.g dict.keys().
    • Parameters and return values can be annotated.
    • Absolute imports will be the default.
  • There will be a standard library reorganisation, with lots of culling and renaming.
  • 3.0 is nominally due for release August-September 2008, but Anthony thinks it might take a bit longer.
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