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14 October 2010, 11:48

Third and final alpha of Python 3.2 released

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The Python developers have released the third and final alpha of Python 3.2, the latest generation of the Python language. Since the moratorium on changing Python 3's language syntax from last November is still in effect, there are no changes in the language or its built-in types in this release. The latest version of the alpha includes a large number of bug fixes including some fixes to the handling finalisation with the improved Python GIL (Global Interpreter Lock) which was introduced in the first alpha to improve multi-threaded performance.

Defined in PEP 3148, "concurrent.futures" is a new package added to Python 3.2 alpha 3, which is designed to simplify the creation of applications which use multiple threads or processes with support for Thread and Process pools to manage concurrent tasks. Another enhancement is that SyntaxErrors emitted by Python now have a column offset, which allows error messages to display the exact point in a line where an error was detected. There are also updates to the random module, Full details of the over one hundred changes and fixes are available in the NEWS file. A summary of what is planned, at least so far, for Python 3.2 is available in "What's New In Python 3.2".

As an alpha the new release is not recommended for production use and testers are encouraged to report bugs they find. Python 3.2 alpha 3 can be downloaded as a source tar archive, a Windows x86 or Windows x86-64 bit installer, as a 32-bit only Mac OS X installer or as a combined Mac OS X 32 bit and 64 bit installer. This is the first time that Mac OS X 64 bit support has been made available in the 3.2 alpha builds. Python 3.2 alpha 3 is licensed, as all recent Python releases, under the permissive and GPL compatible Python licence.


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