Python News: What's New From May 2024 :

Python News: What's New From May 2024
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May was packed with exciting updates and events in the Python community. This month saw the release of the first beta version of Python 3.13, the conclusion of PyCon US 2024, and the announcement of the keynote speakers for EuroPython 2024. Additionally, PEP 649 has been delayed until the Python 3.14 release, and the Python Software Foundation published its 2023 Annual Impact Report.

Get ready to explore the recent highlights!

The First Beta Version of Python 3.13 Released

After nearly a year of continuous development, the first beta release of Python 3.13 was made available to the general public. It marks a significant milestone in Python’s annual release cycle, officially kicking off the beta testing phase and introducing a freeze on new features. Beyond this point, Python’s core developers will shift their focus to only identifying and fixing bugs, enhancing security, and improving the interpreter’s performance.

While it’s still months before the final release planned for October 2024, as indicated by the Python 3.13 release schedule, third-party library maintainers are strongly encouraged to test their packages with this new Python version. The goal of early beta testing is to ensure compatibility and address any issues that may arise so that users can expect a smoother transition when Python 3.13 gets officially released later this year.

Although you shouldn’t use a beta version in any of your projects, especially in production environments, you can go ahead and try out the new version today. To check out Python’s latest features, you must install Python 3.13.0b1 using one of several approaches.

The quickest and arguably the most straightforward way to manage multiple Python versions alongside your system-wide interpreter is to use a tool like pyenv in the terminal:

$ pyenv install 3.13.0b1
$ pyenv shell 3.13.0b1
$ python
Python 3.13.0b1 (main, May 15 2024, 10:41:55) [GCC 13.2.0] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

The highlighted line brings the first beta release of Python 3.13 onto your computer, while the following command temporarily sets the path to the python executable in your current shell session. As a result, the python command points to the specified Python interpreter.

Alternatively, you can use a Python installer, which you’ll find at the bottom of the downloads page, or run Python in an isolated Docker container to keep it completely separate from your operating system. However, for ultimate control, you can try building the interpreter from source code based on the instructions in the README file. This method will let you experiment with more advanced features, like turning off the GIL.

Unlike previous Python releases, which introduced a host of tangible syntactical features that you could get your hands on, this one mainly emphasizes internal optimizations and cleanup. That said, according to the official release summary document, there are a few notable new features that will be immediately visible to most Python programmers:

Some of these features don’t work on Windows at the moment because they rely on Unix-specific libraries, so you won’t see any difference unless you’re a macOS or Linux user. The good news is that Windows support is coming in the second beta release, which will arrive soon, thanks to Real Python team member Anthony Shaw.

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June 10, 2024 at 07:30PM
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