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16 November 2010, 17:06

Fourth alpha of Python 3.2 released

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Python Logo As part of their efforts to improve and stabilise Python 3.x, the Python developers have released the forth and final alpha for Python 3.2, the latest generation of the Python language. Python 3.2 Alpha 4 will be followed by a first and second beta in December, and two release candidates in January. The final version of Python 3.2 is expected to arrive on the 5th of February, 2011.

As one would expect at this stage of development, the developers have focused on addressing a number of bugs found in the previous alphas. The latest development preview of Python 3.2 corrects the SyntaxError caret when the offset is equal to the length of the offending line and includes a variety of fixes for IMAP, including addressing an issue that prevented logging in or proper shut down. Various other changes include updates to the Tools / Demos, Tests and Extension Modules.

As defined in PEP 3147, Python 3.2 will feature support for .pyc repository directories, improving the sharing of Python source code files among multiple installed different versions of the Python interpreter.

Other changes include an overhauled GIL implementation that reduces contention, a variety of fixes regarding string / unicode issues, a pure-Python implementation of the datetime module and various consistency and behavior fixes for numeric operations. The unittest module and pdb, the Python debugger, have also received a number of improvements.

As with all development releases, Python 3.2 Alpha 4 is not recommended for production use. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.

Further information about the development release, including a summary of planned features, can be found on the "What's New In Python 3.2" page and in the change log. Python 3.2 Alpha 4 is available to download as a source tar archive or a Windows x86 or Windows x86-64 bit installer from the project's site. The developers say that Mac OS X installer images will be provided "shortly".

Python 3.2 Alpha 4 is licensed, as all recent Python releases, under the permissive and GPL compatible Python license. The latest stable releases of Python are version 2.7.1 and 3.1.3 from the 13th of November – from now on, the 2.7.x branch will only receive bug fixes.

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