Keeping Up with Python: the 2.2 Release

Python 2.2 resolves some well known deficiencies of the language and introduces some new powerful constructs that are key strengths of other object-oriented languages.

Although all these new features and weakness resolutions bring Python pretty far down the path, there are those who claim that they violate Python's simplistic nature. If you're stictly a purist, that is probably a valid consideration. However, by finally purging some of the annoyances and adding a few more powerful constructs to the language, we are probably better off than we were before. These changes will not have a negative impact on existing code, and those that do, such as the change in the division operator, are at least not required for some time and allow for a more painless transition.

Finally, see Resources for a couple of other high-level documents, such as Andrew Kuchlin's “What's New in Python 2.2” and the slide presentation from one of Guido's talks last fall at a Python user group meeting. Python 2.2.1 can be downloaded at the main Python language home page. Happy hacking!



Wesley J. Chun, author of Core Python Programming, has over a decade of programming and instructional experience. Chun helped build Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! People Search using Python and is currently employed by Synarc, a service company in clinical trials utilizing Python to develop applications that allow radiologists to perform patient assessments.