NEWS RELEASE: For immediate release
PythonLabs Releases Python 2.1
FALLS CHURCH VA (April 17, 2001) - PythonLabs and the Python Software Foundation today announced the final release of Python 2.1, a new version of the popular object-oriented programming language. Python 2.1 is the first release under the auspices of the Python Software Foundation (PSF).
"After months of work and many pre-releases, closely coordinated with the Python developer community, Python 2.1 is ready for the world," said Guido van Rossum, Python's creator and director of PythonLabs at Digital Creations.
Python 2.1 contains several important innovations over previous versions. Nested scopes, a feature found in many other languages, are finally coming to Python. This will become a standard feature in the future, but because this change can break a small amount of existing code, in Python 2.1 it must be enabled explicitly for each module that wants to use the feature.
A warnings framework is introduced, which lets the Python interpreter issue warning messages about code that will become obsolete in the future. Python programmers can use this framework to issue their own warnings. The warnings framework has a flexible filtering mechanism that allows end users to selectively disable warnings or change their disposition.
This release also introduces two frameworks for automatic software testing: doctest, which allows Python modules and classes to include snippets of self-test code in their in-line documentation; and unittest, which supports the creation of separate test classes as recommended by Extreme Programming (XP). Unittest was previously known as PyUnit, a separate project by Steve Purcell.
Usability is dramatically improved by pydoc, a new documentation tool. Pydoc, created by Ka- Ping Yee, provides several ways to view the in-line documentation embedded in Python modules and classes. This flexible tool provides a command-line interface in the style of the Unix "man" command, as well as a way to view the documentation in a web browser.
Many other new features were added, and numerous improvements were made to stability and performance. The most important speed-up is for line-by-line reading of text files, a very common operation in Python programs.
As a rapidly growing programming language, Python is Open Source, cross-platform and easy to use. An elegant, highly readable language, Python's strength is object-oriented scripting. It is used for cutting-edge applications by leading technology and research institutions such as: Carnegie Mellon University, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and NASA. Hundreds of thousands of programmers are using Python around the world today, and the number is growing steadily. More information is available at www.python.org. To download version 2.1 go to www.python.org/2.1/
About PythonLabs at Digital Creations
PythonLabs is the core Python development group under leadership of Python's creator, Guido van Rossum. PythonLabs is funded by Digital Creations, the leading provider of enterprise content management solutions based on the Open Source Zope application server and its new Content Management Framework (CMF). Digital Creations rapidly creates and deploys high- performance content management solutions that are scalable, reliable, and easily maintained. The company is headquartered in Virginia, with offices in New York and Oregon. For more on Digital Creations and Zope, go to www.digicool.com.
About the Python Software Foundation
The PSF is a non-profit corporation whose membership is composed of core Python code contributors and sponsors. The PSF exists to promote and protect Python interests. Organizations and individuals interested in contributing please contact the PSF President, Dick Hardt or go to www.python.org/psf.