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Python 2.0 and Beyond


Python 2.0 was released this week. The announcement slipped quietly into the comp.lang.python newsgroup. Without breaking stride, Jeremy Hylton of the development team posted PEP 226, an informational Python Enhancement Proposal, describing the release schedule for 2.1. According to PEP 226, the team hopes to receive all the proposals for changes in 2.1 by the middle of December. That gives developers a two-month design and review period for those proposals. The proposals will then be reviewed by the design team in the following six weeks, and those they agree to will be worked into Python in the following six-week beta testing period.

Several PEPs originally proposed for 2.0 have been deferred, including four incomplete proposals by David Ascher, Gordon McMillan's incomplete PEP 219 for Stackless Python, and Greg Wilson's PEP 211 for linear algebra operators. I expect a lot of activity near the end of the two-month period as details of incomplete PEPs are filled in and more PEPs are posted to the index of Python Enhancement Proposals.

With 2.0 out we should see new Python add-ons and modules rolling out in the next few weeks. Shortly after the 2.0 announcement, Robin Dunn posted a Microsoft Windows Help version of the 2.0 docs and the program he used to build it. This is a nice addition for Windows users. Robin Dunn also announced that the 2.2.1 build of wxPython for the 2.0 beta is working with 2.0 final, and he is working on getting a 2.0 version of wxPython 2.2.2 up. He says he should have it by the end of the week. Many modules tested with 2.0 beta are available now. I have installed and tested pyXML 0.6.1 for 2.0. NumPy also appears to be working fine with 2.0. Unfortunately, my version of Dislin (actually compiled for 1.5.2 and 1.6) is not. It bombs with some obscure thread error. I will have to use another machine to play with Eric Hagemann's next installment of Numerically Python. Alas, there is more to an upgrade of Python than just the core. Sometimes it feels like a big domino race: Set them up and knock them down again. I enjoyed that game much more as a kid, but I admit there is still something fun about trying to put each piece up without knocking all the rest down.

Stephen Figgins administrates Linux servers for Sunflower Broadband, a cable company.

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