Python 2.7 beta 1 released
Due to arrive in June 2010, Python 2.7 has now reached its first beta. Python 2.7 is planned to be the last major edition of the Python 2.x series before it goes into "bug fix mode". Python 2.7 is focussed on back porting a number of features which were included in Python 3.1, such as a C based I/O library for higher performance, the addition of an ordered dictionary type and the new syntax for nested with statements. Full details of what is in Python 2.7 are available on the What's New in Python 2.7 page.
The change log for the beta 1 release lists numerous bug fixes, improvements to weak reference handling, an updated Unicode database and consistency changes in comparisons. One backwards incompatible change, to the handling of Unicode line breaks (line tabulation and form feed are now considered line breaks) is to comply with TR14 of the Unicode standard. Users of the ssl module can now access the OpenSSL's version numbers through new attributes, allowing Python programs to ensure an up-to-date OpenSSL is being used.
Python 2.7 beta 1 is available to download from the Python 2.7 pages as source code or binary installers for 32 or 64 bit Windows. The developers do not recommend the use of Python 2.7 beta 1 in production use.