blob: 69170897ccc50a5f1ae43b410d6fbb6641ef0c2d [file] [log] [blame]
.. _whats-new-in-2.6:
What's New in Python 2.6
.. XXX add trademark info for Apple, Microsoft, SourceForge.
:Author: A.M. Kuchling (amk at
.. $Id$
Rules for maintenance:
* Anyone can add text to this document. Do not spend very much time
on the wording of your changes, because your text will probably
get rewritten to some degree.
* The maintainer will go through Misc/NEWS periodically and add
changes; it's therefore more important to add your changes to
Misc/NEWS than to this file.
* This is not a complete list of every single change; completeness
is the purpose of Misc/NEWS. Some changes I consider too small
or esoteric to include. If such a change is added to the text,
I'll just remove it. (This is another reason you shouldn't spend
too much time on writing your addition.)
* If you want to draw your new text to the attention of the
maintainer, add 'XXX' to the beginning of the paragraph or
* It's OK to just add a fragmentary note about a change. For
example: "XXX Describe the transmogrify() function added to the
socket module." The maintainer will research the change and
write the necessary text.
* You can comment out your additions if you like, but it's not
necessary (especially when a final release is some months away).
* Credit the author of a patch or bugfix. Just the name is
sufficient; the e-mail address isn't necessary.
* It's helpful to add the bug/patch number in a parenthetical comment.
XXX Describe the transmogrify() function added to the socket
(Contributed by P.Y. Developer; :issue:`12345`.)
This saves the maintainer some effort going through the SVN logs
when researching a change.
This article explains the new features in Python 2.6, released on October 1,
2008. The release schedule is described in :pep:`361`.
The major theme of Python 2.6 is preparing the migration path to
Python 3.0, a major redesign of the language. Whenever possible,
Python 2.6 incorporates new features and syntax from 3.0 while
remaining compatible with existing code by not removing older features
or syntax. When it's not possible to do that, Python 2.6 tries to do
what it can, adding compatibility functions in a
:mod:`future_builtins` module and a :option:`!-3` switch to warn about
usages that will become unsupported in 3.0.
Some significant new packages have been added to the standard library,
such as the :mod:`multiprocessing` and :mod:`json` modules, but
there aren't many new features that aren't related to Python 3.0 in
some way.
Python 2.6 also sees a number of improvements and bugfixes throughout
the source. A search through the change logs finds there were 259
patches applied and 612 bugs fixed between Python 2.5 and 2.6. Both
figures are likely to be underestimates.
This article doesn't attempt to provide a complete specification of
the new features, but instead provides a convenient overview. For
full details, you should refer to the documentation for Python 2.6. If
you want to understand the rationale for the design and
implementation, refer to the PEP for a particular new feature.
Whenever possible, "What's New in Python" links to the bug/patch item
for each change.
.. Compare with previous release in 2 - 3 sentences here.
add hyperlink when the documentation becomes available online.
.. ========================================================================
.. Large, PEP-level features and changes should be described here.
.. ========================================================================
Python 3.0
The development cycle for Python versions 2.6 and 3.0 was
synchronized, with the alpha and beta releases for both versions being
made on the same days. The development of 3.0 has influenced many
features in 2.6.
Python 3.0 is a far-ranging redesign of Python that breaks
compatibility with the 2.x series. This means that existing Python
code will need some conversion in order to run on
Python 3.0. However, not all the changes in 3.0 necessarily break
compatibility. In cases where new features won't cause existing code
to break, they've been backported to 2.6 and are described in this
document in the appropriate place. Some of the 3.0-derived features
* A :meth:`__complex__` method for converting objects to a complex number.
* Alternate syntax for catching exceptions: ``except TypeError as exc``.
* The addition of :func:`functools.reduce` as a synonym for the built-in
:func:`reduce` function.
Python 3.0 adds several new built-in functions and changes the
semantics of some existing builtins. Functions that are new in 3.0
such as :func:`bin` have simply been added to Python 2.6, but existing
builtins haven't been changed; instead, the :mod:`future_builtins`
module has versions with the new 3.0 semantics. Code written to be
compatible with 3.0 can do ``from future_builtins import hex, map`` as
A new command-line switch, :option:`!-3`, enables warnings
about features that will be removed in Python 3.0. You can run code
with this switch to see how much work will be necessary to port
code to 3.0. The value of this switch is available
to Python code as the boolean variable :data:`sys.py3kwarning`,
and to C extension code as :c:data:`Py_Py3kWarningFlag`.
.. seealso::
The 3xxx series of PEPs, which contains proposals for Python 3.0.
:pep:`3000` describes the development process for Python 3.0.
Start with :pep:`3100` that describes the general goals for Python
3.0, and then explore the higher-numbered PEPS that propose
specific features.
Changes to the Development Process
While 2.6 was being developed, the Python development process
underwent two significant changes: we switched from SourceForge's
issue tracker to a customized Roundup installation, and the
documentation was converted from LaTeX to reStructuredText.
New Issue Tracker: Roundup
For a long time, the Python developers had been growing increasingly
annoyed by SourceForge's bug tracker. SourceForge's hosted solution
doesn't permit much customization; for example, it wasn't possible to
customize the life cycle of issues.
The infrastructure committee of the Python Software Foundation
therefore posted a call for issue trackers, asking volunteers to set
up different products and import some of the bugs and patches from
SourceForge. Four different trackers were examined: `Jira
`Launchpad <>`__,
`Roundup <>`__, and
`Trac <>`__.
The committee eventually settled on Jira
and Roundup as the two candidates. Jira is a commercial product that
offers no-cost hosted instances to free-software projects; Roundup
is an open-source project that requires volunteers
to administer it and a server to host it.
After posting a call for volunteers, a new Roundup installation was
set up at One installation of Roundup can
host multiple trackers, and this server now also hosts issue trackers
for Jython and for the Python web site. It will surely find
other uses in the future. Where possible,
this edition of "What's New in Python" links to the bug/patch
item for each change.
Hosting of the Python bug tracker is kindly provided by
`Upfront Systems <>`__
of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Martin von Löwis put a
lot of effort into importing existing bugs and patches from
SourceForge; his scripts for this import operation are at
```` and may be useful to
other projects wishing to move from SourceForge to Roundup.
.. seealso::
The Python bug tracker.
The Jython bug tracker.
Roundup downloads and documentation.
Martin von Löwis's conversion scripts.
New Documentation Format: reStructuredText Using Sphinx
The Python documentation was written using LaTeX since the project
started around 1989. In the 1980s and early 1990s, most documentation
was printed out for later study, not viewed online. LaTeX was widely
used because it provided attractive printed output while remaining
straightforward to write once the basic rules of the markup were
Today LaTeX is still used for writing publications destined for
printing, but the landscape for programming tools has shifted. We no
longer print out reams of documentation; instead, we browse through it
online and HTML has become the most important format to support.
Unfortunately, converting LaTeX to HTML is fairly complicated and Fred
L. Drake Jr., the long-time Python documentation editor, spent a lot
of time maintaining the conversion process. Occasionally people would
suggest converting the documentation into SGML and later XML, but
performing a good conversion is a major task and no one ever committed
the time required to finish the job.
During the 2.6 development cycle, Georg Brandl put a lot of effort
into building a new toolchain for processing the documentation. The
resulting package is called Sphinx, and is available from
Sphinx concentrates on HTML output, producing attractively styled and
modern HTML; printed output is still supported through conversion to
LaTeX. The input format is reStructuredText, a markup syntax
supporting custom extensions and directives that is commonly used in
the Python community.
Sphinx is a standalone package that can be used for writing, and
almost two dozen other projects
(`listed on the Sphinx web site <>`__)
have adopted Sphinx as their documentation tool.
.. seealso::
`Documenting Python <>`__
Describes how to write for Python's documentation.
`Sphinx <>`__
Documentation and code for the Sphinx toolchain.
`Docutils <>`__
The underlying reStructuredText parser and toolset.
.. _pep-0343:
PEP 343: The 'with' statement
The previous version, Python 2.5, added the ':keyword:`with`'
statement as an optional feature, to be enabled by a ``from __future__
import with_statement`` directive. In 2.6 the statement no longer needs to
be specially enabled; this means that :keyword:`!with` is now always a
keyword. The rest of this section is a copy of the corresponding
section from the "What's New in Python 2.5" document; if you're
familiar with the ':keyword:`!with`' statement
from Python 2.5, you can skip this section.
The ':keyword:`with`' statement clarifies code that previously would use
``try...finally`` blocks to ensure that clean-up code is executed. In this
section, I'll discuss the statement as it will commonly be used. In the next
section, I'll examine the implementation details and show how to write objects
for use with this statement.
The ':keyword:`with`' statement is a control-flow structure whose basic
structure is::
with expression [as variable]:
The expression is evaluated, and it should result in an object that supports the
context management protocol (that is, has :meth:`__enter__` and :meth:`__exit__`
The object's :meth:`__enter__` is called before *with-block* is executed and
therefore can run set-up code. It also may return a value that is bound to the
name *variable*, if given. (Note carefully that *variable* is *not* assigned
the result of *expression*.)
After execution of the *with-block* is finished, the object's :meth:`__exit__`
method is called, even if the block raised an exception, and can therefore run
clean-up code.
Some standard Python objects now support the context management protocol and can
be used with the ':keyword:`with`' statement. File objects are one example::
with open('/etc/passwd', 'r') as f:
for line in f:
print line
... more processing code ...
After this statement has executed, the file object in *f* will have been
automatically closed, even if the :keyword:`for` loop raised an exception
part-way through the block.
.. note::
In this case, *f* is the same object created by :func:`open`, because
:meth:`file.__enter__` returns *self*.
The :mod:`threading` module's locks and condition variables also support the
':keyword:`with`' statement::
lock = threading.Lock()
with lock:
# Critical section of code
The lock is acquired before the block is executed and always released once the
block is complete.
The :func:`localcontext` function in the :mod:`decimal` module makes it easy
to save and restore the current decimal context, which encapsulates the desired
precision and rounding characteristics for computations::
from decimal import Decimal, Context, localcontext
# Displays with default precision of 28 digits
v = Decimal('578')
print v.sqrt()
with localcontext(Context(prec=16)):
# All code in this block uses a precision of 16 digits.
# The original context is restored on exiting the block.
print v.sqrt()
.. _new-26-context-managers:
Writing Context Managers
Under the hood, the ':keyword:`with`' statement is fairly complicated. Most
people will only use ':keyword:`!with`' in company with existing objects and
don't need to know these details, so you can skip the rest of this section if
you like. Authors of new objects will need to understand the details of the
underlying implementation and should keep reading.
A high-level explanation of the context management protocol is:
* The expression is evaluated and should result in an object called a "context
manager". The context manager must have :meth:`__enter__` and :meth:`__exit__`
* The context manager's :meth:`__enter__` method is called. The value returned
is assigned to *VAR*. If no ``as VAR`` clause is present, the value is simply
* The code in *BLOCK* is executed.
* If *BLOCK* raises an exception, the context manager's :meth:`__exit__` method
is called with three arguments, the exception details (``type, value, traceback``,
the same values returned by :func:`sys.exc_info`, which can also be ``None``
if no exception occurred). The method's return value controls whether an exception
is re-raised: any false value re-raises the exception, and ``True`` will result
in suppressing it. You'll only rarely want to suppress the exception, because
if you do the author of the code containing the ':keyword:`with`' statement will
never realize anything went wrong.
* If *BLOCK* didn't raise an exception, the :meth:`__exit__` method is still
called, but *type*, *value*, and *traceback* are all ``None``.
Let's think through an example. I won't present detailed code but will only
sketch the methods necessary for a database that supports transactions.
(For people unfamiliar with database terminology: a set of changes to the
database are grouped into a transaction. Transactions can be either committed,
meaning that all the changes are written into the database, or rolled back,
meaning that the changes are all discarded and the database is unchanged. See
any database textbook for more information.)
Let's assume there's an object representing a database connection. Our goal will
be to let the user write code like this::
db_connection = DatabaseConnection()
with db_connection as cursor:
cursor.execute('insert into ...')
cursor.execute('delete from ...')
# ... more operations ...
The transaction should be committed if the code in the block runs flawlessly or
rolled back if there's an exception. Here's the basic interface for
:class:`DatabaseConnection` that I'll assume::
class DatabaseConnection:
# Database interface
def cursor(self):
"Returns a cursor object and starts a new transaction"
def commit(self):
"Commits current transaction"
def rollback(self):
"Rolls back current transaction"
The :meth:`__enter__` method is pretty easy, having only to start a new
transaction. For this application the resulting cursor object would be a useful
result, so the method will return it. The user can then add ``as cursor`` to
their ':keyword:`with`' statement to bind the cursor to a variable name. ::
class DatabaseConnection:
def __enter__(self):
# Code to start a new transaction
cursor = self.cursor()
return cursor
The :meth:`__exit__` method is the most complicated because it's where most of
the work has to be done. The method has to check if an exception occurred. If
there was no exception, the transaction is committed. The transaction is rolled
back if there was an exception.
In the code below, execution will just fall off the end of the function,
returning the default value of ``None``. ``None`` is false, so the exception
will be re-raised automatically. If you wished, you could be more explicit and
add a :keyword:`return` statement at the marked location. ::
class DatabaseConnection:
def __exit__(self, type, value, tb):
if tb is None:
# No exception, so commit
# Exception occurred, so rollback.
# return False
.. _new-module-contextlib:
The contextlib module
The :mod:`contextlib` module provides some functions and a decorator that
are useful when writing objects for use with the ':keyword:`with`' statement.
The decorator is called :func:`contextmanager`, and lets you write a single
generator function instead of defining a new class. The generator should yield
exactly one value. The code up to the :keyword:`yield` will be executed as the
:meth:`__enter__` method, and the value yielded will be the method's return
value that will get bound to the variable in the ':keyword:`with`' statement's
:keyword:`!as` clause, if any. The code after the :keyword:`!yield` will be
executed in the :meth:`__exit__` method. Any exception raised in the block will
be raised by the :keyword:`!yield` statement.
Using this decorator, our database example from the previous section
could be written as::
from contextlib import contextmanager
def db_transaction(connection):
cursor = connection.cursor()
yield cursor
db = DatabaseConnection()
with db_transaction(db) as cursor:
The :mod:`contextlib` module also has a ``nested(mgr1, mgr2, ...)`` function
that combines a number of context managers so you don't need to write nested
':keyword:`with`' statements. In this example, the single ':keyword:`!with`'
statement both starts a database transaction and acquires a thread lock::
lock = threading.Lock()
with nested (db_transaction(db), lock) as (cursor, locked):
Finally, the :func:`closing` function returns its argument so that it can be
bound to a variable, and calls the argument's ``.close()`` method at the end
of the block. ::
import urllib, sys
from contextlib import closing
with closing(urllib.urlopen('')) as f:
for line in f:
.. seealso::
:pep:`343` - The "with" statement
PEP written by Guido van Rossum and Nick Coghlan; implemented by Mike Bland,
Guido van Rossum, and Neal Norwitz. The PEP shows the code generated for a
':keyword:`with`' statement, which can be helpful in learning how the statement
The documentation for the :mod:`contextlib` module.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-0366:
PEP 366: Explicit Relative Imports From a Main Module
Python's :option:`-m` switch allows running a module as a script.
When you ran a module that was located inside a package, relative
imports didn't work correctly.
The fix for Python 2.6 adds a :attr:`__package__` attribute to
modules. When this attribute is present, relative imports will be
relative to the value of this attribute instead of the
:attr:`__name__` attribute.
PEP 302-style importers can then set :attr:`__package__` as necessary.
The :mod:`runpy` module that implements the :option:`-m` switch now
does this, so relative imports will now work correctly in scripts
running from inside a package.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-0370:
PEP 370: Per-user ``site-packages`` Directory
When you run Python, the module search path ``sys.path`` usually
includes a directory whose path ends in ``"site-packages"``. This
directory is intended to hold locally installed packages available to
all users using a machine or a particular site installation.
Python 2.6 introduces a convention for user-specific site directories.
The directory varies depending on the platform:
* Unix and Mac OS X: :file:`~/.local/`
* Windows: :file:`%APPDATA%/Python`
Within this directory, there will be version-specific subdirectories,
such as :file:`lib/python2.6/site-packages` on Unix/Mac OS and
:file:`Python26/site-packages` on Windows.
If you don't like the default directory, it can be overridden by an
environment variable. :envvar:`PYTHONUSERBASE` sets the root
directory used for all Python versions supporting this feature. On
Windows, the directory for application-specific data can be changed by
setting the :envvar:`APPDATA` environment variable. You can also
modify the :file:`` file for your Python installation.
The feature can be disabled entirely by running Python with the
:option:`-s` option or setting the :envvar:`PYTHONNOUSERSITE`
environment variable.
.. seealso::
:pep:`370` - Per-user ``site-packages`` Directory
PEP written and implemented by Christian Heimes.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-0371:
PEP 371: The ``multiprocessing`` Package
The new :mod:`multiprocessing` package lets Python programs create new
processes that will perform a computation and return a result to the
parent. The parent and child processes can communicate using queues
and pipes, synchronize their operations using locks and semaphores,
and can share simple arrays of data.
The :mod:`multiprocessing` module started out as an exact emulation of
the :mod:`threading` module using processes instead of threads. That
goal was discarded along the path to Python 2.6, but the general
approach of the module is still similar. The fundamental class
is the :class:`Process`, which is passed a callable object and
a collection of arguments. The :meth:`start` method
sets the callable running in a subprocess, after which you can call
the :meth:`is_alive` method to check whether the subprocess is still running
and the :meth:`join` method to wait for the process to exit.
Here's a simple example where the subprocess will calculate a
factorial. The function doing the calculation is written strangely so
that it takes significantly longer when the input argument is a
multiple of 4.
import time
from multiprocessing import Process, Queue
def factorial(queue, N):
"Compute a factorial."
# If N is a multiple of 4, this function will take much longer.
if (N % 4) == 0:
time.sleep(.05 * N/4)
# Calculate the result
fact = 1L
for i in range(1, N+1):
fact = fact * i
# Put the result on the queue
if __name__ == '__main__':
queue = Queue()
N = 5
p = Process(target=factorial, args=(queue, N))
result = queue.get()
print 'Factorial', N, '=', result
A :class:`~queue.Queue` is used to communicate the result of the factorial.
The :class:`~queue.Queue` object is stored in a global variable.
The child process will use the value of the variable when the child
was created; because it's a :class:`~queue.Queue`, parent and child can use
the object to communicate. (If the parent were to change the value of
the global variable, the child's value would be unaffected, and vice
Two other classes, :class:`Pool` and :class:`Manager`, provide
higher-level interfaces. :class:`Pool` will create a fixed number of
worker processes, and requests can then be distributed to the workers
by calling :meth:`apply` or :meth:`apply_async` to add a single request,
and :meth:`map` or :meth:`map_async` to add a number of
requests. The following code uses a :class:`Pool` to spread requests
across 5 worker processes and retrieve a list of results::
from multiprocessing import Pool
def factorial(N, dictionary):
"Compute a factorial."
p = Pool(5)
result =, range(1, 1000, 10))
for v in result:
print v
This produces the following output::
The other high-level interface, the :class:`Manager` class, creates a
separate server process that can hold master copies of Python data
structures. Other processes can then access and modify these data
structures using proxy objects. The following example creates a
shared dictionary by calling the :meth:`dict` method; the worker
processes then insert values into the dictionary. (Locking is not
done for you automatically, which doesn't matter in this example.
:class:`Manager`'s methods also include :meth:`Lock`, :meth:`RLock`,
and :meth:`Semaphore` to create shared locks.)
import time
from multiprocessing import Pool, Manager
def factorial(N, dictionary):
"Compute a factorial."
# Calculate the result
fact = 1L
for i in range(1, N+1):
fact = fact * i
# Store result in dictionary
dictionary[N] = fact
if __name__ == '__main__':
p = Pool(5)
mgr = Manager()
d = mgr.dict() # Create shared dictionary
# Run tasks using the pool
for N in range(1, 1000, 10):
p.apply_async(factorial, (N, d))
# Mark pool as closed -- no more tasks can be added.
# Wait for tasks to exit
# Output results
for k, v in sorted(d.items()):
print k, v
This will produce the output::
1 1
11 39916800
21 51090942171709440000
31 8222838654177922817725562880000000
41 33452526613163807108170062053440751665152000000000
51 15511187532873822802242430164693032110632597200169861120000...
.. seealso::
The documentation for the :mod:`multiprocessing` module.
:pep:`371` - Addition of the multiprocessing package
PEP written by Jesse Noller and Richard Oudkerk;
implemented by Richard Oudkerk and Jesse Noller.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-3101:
PEP 3101: Advanced String Formatting
In Python 3.0, the ``%`` operator is supplemented by a more powerful string
formatting method, :meth:`format`. Support for the :meth:`str.format` method
has been backported to Python 2.6.
In 2.6, both 8-bit and Unicode strings have a ``.format()`` method that
treats the string as a template and takes the arguments to be formatted.
The formatting template uses curly brackets (``{``, ``}``) as special characters::
>>> # Substitute positional argument 0 into the string.
>>> "User ID: {0}".format("root")
'User ID: root'
>>> # Use the named keyword arguments
>>> "User ID: {uid} Last seen: {last_login}".format(
... uid="root",
... last_login = "5 Mar 2008 07:20")
'User ID: root Last seen: 5 Mar 2008 07:20'
Curly brackets can be escaped by doubling them::
>>> "Empty dict: {{}}".format()
"Empty dict: {}"
Field names can be integers indicating positional arguments, such as
``{0}``, ``{1}``, etc. or names of keyword arguments. You can also
supply compound field names that read attributes or access dictionary keys::
>>> import sys
>>> print 'Platform: {0.platform}\nPython version: {0.version}'.format(sys)
Platform: darwin
Python version: 2.6a1+ (trunk:61261M, Mar 5 2008, 20:29:41)
[GCC 4.0.1 (Apple Computer, Inc. build 5367)]'
>>> import mimetypes
>>> 'Content-type: {0[.mp4]}'.format(mimetypes.types_map)
'Content-type: video/mp4'
Note that when using dictionary-style notation such as ``[.mp4]``, you
don't need to put any quotation marks around the string; it will look
up the value using ``.mp4`` as the key. Strings beginning with a
number will be converted to an integer. You can't write more
complicated expressions inside a format string.
So far we've shown how to specify which field to substitute into the
resulting string. The precise formatting used is also controllable by
adding a colon followed by a format specifier. For example::
>>> # Field 0: left justify, pad to 15 characters
>>> # Field 1: right justify, pad to 6 characters
>>> fmt = '{0:15} ${1:>6}'
>>> fmt.format('Registration', 35)
'Registration $ 35'
>>> fmt.format('Tutorial', 50)
'Tutorial $ 50'
>>> fmt.format('Banquet', 125)
'Banquet $ 125'
Format specifiers can reference other fields through nesting::
>>> fmt = '{0:{1}}'
>>> width = 15
>>> fmt.format('Invoice #1234', width)
'Invoice #1234 '
>>> width = 35
>>> fmt.format('Invoice #1234', width)
'Invoice #1234 '
The alignment of a field within the desired width can be specified:
================ ============================================
Character Effect
================ ============================================
< (default) Left-align
> Right-align
^ Center
= (For numeric types only) Pad after the sign.
================ ============================================
Format specifiers can also include a presentation type, which
controls how the value is formatted. For example, floating-point numbers
can be formatted as a general number or in exponential notation::
>>> '{0:g}'.format(3.75)
>>> '{0:e}'.format(3.75)
A variety of presentation types are available. Consult the 2.6
documentation for a :ref:`complete list <formatstrings>`; here's a sample:
===== ========================================================================
``b`` Binary. Outputs the number in base 2.
``c`` Character. Converts the integer to the corresponding Unicode character
before printing.
``d`` Decimal Integer. Outputs the number in base 10.
``o`` Octal format. Outputs the number in base 8.
``x`` Hex format. Outputs the number in base 16, using lower-case letters for
the digits above 9.
``e`` Exponent notation. Prints the number in scientific notation using the
letter 'e' to indicate the exponent.
``g`` General format. This prints the number as a fixed-point number, unless
the number is too large, in which case it switches to 'e' exponent
``n`` Number. This is the same as 'g' (for floats) or 'd' (for integers),
except that it uses the current locale setting to insert the appropriate
number separator characters.
``%`` Percentage. Multiplies the number by 100 and displays in fixed ('f')
format, followed by a percent sign.
===== ========================================================================
Classes and types can define a :meth:`__format__` method to control how they're
formatted. It receives a single argument, the format specifier::
def __format__(self, format_spec):
if isinstance(format_spec, unicode):
return unicode(str(self))
return str(self)
There's also a :func:`format` builtin that will format a single
value. It calls the type's :meth:`__format__` method with the
provided specifier::
>>> format(75.6564, '.2f')
.. seealso::
The reference documentation for format fields.
:pep:`3101` - Advanced String Formatting
PEP written by Talin. Implemented by Eric Smith.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-3105:
PEP 3105: ``print`` As a Function
The ``print`` statement becomes the :func:`print` function in Python 3.0.
Making :func:`print` a function makes it possible to replace the function
by doing ``def print(...)`` or importing a new function from somewhere else.
Python 2.6 has a ``__future__`` import that removes ``print`` as language
syntax, letting you use the functional form instead. For example::
>>> from __future__ import print_function
>>> print('# of entries', len(dictionary), file=sys.stderr)
The signature of the new function is::
def print(*args, sep=' ', end='\n', file=None)
The parameters are:
* *args*: positional arguments whose values will be printed out.
* *sep*: the separator, which will be printed between arguments.
* *end*: the ending text, which will be printed after all of the
arguments have been output.
* *file*: the file object to which the output will be sent.
.. seealso::
:pep:`3105` - Make print a function
PEP written by Georg Brandl.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-3110:
PEP 3110: Exception-Handling Changes
One error that Python programmers occasionally make
is writing the following code::
except TypeError, ValueError: # Wrong!
The author is probably trying to catch both :exc:`TypeError` and
:exc:`ValueError` exceptions, but this code actually does something
different: it will catch :exc:`TypeError` and bind the resulting
exception object to the local name ``"ValueError"``. The
:exc:`ValueError` exception will not be caught at all. The correct
code specifies a tuple of exceptions::
except (TypeError, ValueError):
This error happens because the use of the comma here is ambiguous:
does it indicate two different nodes in the parse tree, or a single
node that's a tuple?
Python 3.0 makes this unambiguous by replacing the comma with the word
"as". To catch an exception and store the exception object in the
variable ``exc``, you must write::
except TypeError as exc:
Python 3.0 will only support the use of "as", and therefore interprets
the first example as catching two different exceptions. Python 2.6
supports both the comma and "as", so existing code will continue to
work. We therefore suggest using "as" when writing new Python code
that will only be executed with 2.6.
.. seealso::
:pep:`3110` - Catching Exceptions in Python 3000
PEP written and implemented by Collin Winter.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-3112:
PEP 3112: Byte Literals
Python 3.0 adopts Unicode as the language's fundamental string type and
denotes 8-bit literals differently, either as ``b'string'``
or using a :class:`bytes` constructor. For future compatibility,
Python 2.6 adds :class:`bytes` as a synonym for the :class:`str` type,
and it also supports the ``b''`` notation.
The 2.6 :class:`str` differs from 3.0's :class:`bytes` type in various
ways; most notably, the constructor is completely different. In 3.0,
``bytes([65, 66, 67])`` is 3 elements long, containing the bytes
representing ``ABC``; in 2.6, ``bytes([65, 66, 67])`` returns the
12-byte string representing the :func:`str` of the list.
The primary use of :class:`bytes` in 2.6 will be to write tests of
object type such as ``isinstance(x, bytes)``. This will help the 2to3
converter, which can't tell whether 2.x code intends strings to
contain either characters or 8-bit bytes; you can now
use either :class:`bytes` or :class:`str` to represent your intention
exactly, and the resulting code will also be correct in Python 3.0.
There's also a ``__future__`` import that causes all string literals
to become Unicode strings. This means that ``\u`` escape sequences
can be used to include Unicode characters::
from __future__ import unicode_literals
s = ('\u751f\u3080\u304e\u3000\u751f\u3054'
print len(s) # 12 Unicode characters
At the C level, Python 3.0 will rename the existing 8-bit
string type, called :c:type:`PyStringObject` in Python 2.x,
to :c:type:`PyBytesObject`. Python 2.6 uses ``#define``
to support using the names :c:func:`PyBytesObject`,
:c:func:`PyBytes_Check`, :c:func:`PyBytes_FromStringAndSize`,
and all the other functions and macros used with strings.
Instances of the :class:`bytes` type are immutable just
as strings are. A new :class:`bytearray` type stores a mutable
sequence of bytes::
>>> bytearray([65, 66, 67])
>>> b = bytearray(u'\u21ef\u3244', 'utf-8')
>>> b
>>> b[0] = '\xe3'
>>> b
>>> unicode(str(b), 'utf-8')
u'\u31ef \u3244'
Byte arrays support most of the methods of string types, such as
:meth:`startswith`/:meth:`endswith`, :meth:`find`/:meth:`rfind`,
and some of the methods of lists, such as :meth:`append`,
:meth:`pop`, and :meth:`reverse`.
>>> b = bytearray('ABC')
>>> b.append('d')
>>> b.append(ord('e'))
>>> b
There's also a corresponding C API, with
and various other functions.
.. seealso::
:pep:`3112` - Bytes literals in Python 3000
PEP written by Jason Orendorff; backported to 2.6 by Christian Heimes.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-3116:
PEP 3116: New I/O Library
Python's built-in file objects support a number of methods, but
file-like objects don't necessarily support all of them. Objects that
imitate files usually support :meth:`read` and :meth:`write`, but they
may not support :meth:`readline`, for example. Python 3.0 introduces
a layered I/O library in the :mod:`io` module that separates buffering
and text-handling features from the fundamental read and write
There are three levels of abstract base classes provided by
the :mod:`io` module:
* :class:`RawIOBase` defines raw I/O operations: :meth:`read`,
:meth:`write`, :meth:`seek`, :meth:`tell`, :meth:`truncate`,
and :meth:`close`.
Most of the methods of this class will often map to a single system call.
There are also :meth:`readable`, :meth:`writable`, and :meth:`seekable`
methods for determining what operations a given object will allow.
Python 3.0 has concrete implementations of this class for files and
sockets, but Python 2.6 hasn't restructured its file and socket objects
in this way.
.. XXX should 2.6 register them in
* :class:`BufferedIOBase` is an abstract base class that
buffers data in memory to reduce the number of
system calls used, making I/O processing more efficient.
It supports all of the methods of :class:`RawIOBase`,
and adds a :attr:`raw` attribute holding the underlying raw object.
There are five concrete classes implementing this ABC.
:class:`BufferedWriter` and :class:`BufferedReader` are for objects
that support write-only or read-only usage that have a :meth:`seek`
method for random access. :class:`BufferedRandom` objects support
read and write access upon the same underlying stream, and
:class:`BufferedRWPair` is for objects such as TTYs that have both
read and write operations acting upon unconnected streams of data.
The :class:`BytesIO` class supports reading, writing, and seeking
over an in-memory buffer.
.. index::
single: universal newlines; What's new
* :class:`TextIOBase`: Provides functions for reading and writing
strings (remember, strings will be Unicode in Python 3.0),
and supporting :term:`universal newlines`. :class:`TextIOBase` defines
the :meth:`readline` method and supports iteration upon
There are two concrete implementations. :class:`TextIOWrapper`
wraps a buffered I/O object, supporting all of the methods for
text I/O and adding a :attr:`buffer` attribute for access
to the underlying object. :class:`StringIO` simply buffers
everything in memory without ever writing anything to disk.
(In Python 2.6, :class:`io.StringIO` is implemented in
pure Python, so it's pretty slow. You should therefore stick with the
existing :mod:`StringIO` module or :mod:`cStringIO` for now. At some
point Python 3.0's :mod:`io` module will be rewritten into C for speed,
and perhaps the C implementation will be backported to the 2.x releases.)
In Python 2.6, the underlying implementations haven't been
restructured to build on top of the :mod:`io` module's classes. The
module is being provided to make it easier to write code that's
forward-compatible with 3.0, and to save developers the effort of writing
their own implementations of buffering and text I/O.
.. seealso::
:pep:`3116` - New I/O
PEP written by Daniel Stutzbach, Mike Verdone, and Guido van Rossum.
Code by Guido van Rossum, Georg Brandl, Walter Doerwald,
Jeremy Hylton, Martin von Löwis, Tony Lownds, and others.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-3118:
PEP 3118: Revised Buffer Protocol
The buffer protocol is a C-level API that lets Python types
exchange pointers into their internal representations. A
memory-mapped file can be viewed as a buffer of characters, for
example, and this lets another module such as :mod:`re`
treat memory-mapped files as a string of characters to be searched.
The primary users of the buffer protocol are numeric-processing
packages such as NumPy, which expose the internal representation
of arrays so that callers can write data directly into an array instead
of going through a slower API. This PEP updates the buffer protocol in light of experience
from NumPy development, adding a number of new features
such as indicating the shape of an array or locking a memory region.
The most important new C API function is
``PyObject_GetBuffer(PyObject *obj, Py_buffer *view, int flags)``, which
takes an object and a set of flags, and fills in the
``Py_buffer`` structure with information
about the object's memory representation. Objects
can use this operation to lock memory in place
while an external caller could be modifying the contents,
so there's a corresponding ``PyBuffer_Release(Py_buffer *view)`` to
indicate that the external caller is done.
.. XXX PyObject_GetBuffer not documented in c-api
The *flags* argument to :c:func:`PyObject_GetBuffer` specifies
constraints upon the memory returned. Some examples are:
* :const:`PyBUF_WRITABLE` indicates that the memory must be writable.
* :const:`PyBUF_LOCK` requests a read-only or exclusive lock on the memory.
* :const:`PyBUF_C_CONTIGUOUS` and :const:`PyBUF_F_CONTIGUOUS`
requests a C-contiguous (last dimension varies the fastest) or
Fortran-contiguous (first dimension varies the fastest) array layout.
Two new argument codes for :c:func:`PyArg_ParseTuple`,
``s*`` and ``z*``, return locked buffer objects for a parameter.
.. seealso::
:pep:`3118` - Revising the buffer protocol
PEP written by Travis Oliphant and Carl Banks; implemented by
Travis Oliphant.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-3119:
PEP 3119: Abstract Base Classes
Some object-oriented languages such as Java support interfaces,
declaring that a class has a given set of methods or supports a given
access protocol. Abstract Base Classes (or ABCs) are an equivalent
feature for Python. The ABC support consists of an :mod:`abc` module
containing a metaclass called :class:`ABCMeta`, special handling of
this metaclass by the :func:`isinstance` and :func:`issubclass`
builtins, and a collection of basic ABCs that the Python developers
think will be widely useful. Future versions of Python will probably
add more ABCs.
Let's say you have a particular class and wish to know whether it supports
dictionary-style access. The phrase "dictionary-style" is vague, however.
It probably means that accessing items with ``obj[1]`` works.
Does it imply that setting items with ``obj[2] = value`` works?
Or that the object will have :meth:`keys`, :meth:`values`, and :meth:`items`
methods? What about the iterative variants such as :meth:`iterkeys`? :meth:`copy`
and :meth:`update`? Iterating over the object with :func:`iter`?
The Python 2.6 :mod:`collections` module includes a number of
different ABCs that represent these distinctions. :class:`Iterable`
indicates that a class defines :meth:`__iter__`, and
:class:`Container` means the class defines a :meth:`__contains__`
method and therefore supports ``x in y`` expressions. The basic
dictionary interface of getting items, setting items, and
:meth:`keys`, :meth:`values`, and :meth:`items`, is defined by the
:class:`MutableMapping` ABC.
You can derive your own classes from a particular ABC
to indicate they support that ABC's interface::
import collections
class Storage(collections.MutableMapping):
Alternatively, you could write the class without deriving from
the desired ABC and instead register the class by
calling the ABC's :meth:`register` method::
import collections
class Storage:
For classes that you write, deriving from the ABC is probably clearer.
The :meth:`register` method is useful when you've written a new
ABC that can describe an existing type or class, or if you want
to declare that some third-party class implements an ABC.
For example, if you defined a :class:`PrintableType` ABC,
it's legal to do::
# Register Python's types
Classes should obey the semantics specified by an ABC, but
Python can't check this; it's up to the class author to
understand the ABC's requirements and to implement the code accordingly.
To check whether an object supports a particular interface, you can
now write::
def func(d):
if not isinstance(d, collections.MutableMapping):
raise ValueError("Mapping object expected, not %r" % d)
Don't feel that you must now begin writing lots of checks as in the
above example. Python has a strong tradition of duck-typing, where
explicit type-checking is never done and code simply calls methods on
an object, trusting that those methods will be there and raising an
exception if they aren't. Be judicious in checking for ABCs and only
do it where it's absolutely necessary.
You can write your own ABCs by using ``abc.ABCMeta`` as the
metaclass in a class definition::
from abc import ABCMeta, abstractmethod
class Drawable():
__metaclass__ = ABCMeta
def draw(self, x, y, scale=1.0):
def draw_doubled(self, x, y):
self.draw(x, y, scale=2.0)
class Square(Drawable):
def draw(self, x, y, scale):
In the :class:`Drawable` ABC above, the :meth:`draw_doubled` method
renders the object at twice its size and can be implemented in terms
of other methods described in :class:`Drawable`. Classes implementing
this ABC therefore don't need to provide their own implementation
of :meth:`draw_doubled`, though they can do so. An implementation
of :meth:`draw` is necessary, though; the ABC can't provide
a useful generic implementation.
You can apply the ``@abstractmethod`` decorator to methods such as
:meth:`draw` that must be implemented; Python will then raise an
exception for classes that don't define the method.
Note that the exception is only raised when you actually
try to create an instance of a subclass lacking the method::
>>> class Circle(Drawable):
... pass
>>> c = Circle()
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: Can't instantiate abstract class Circle with abstract methods draw
Abstract data attributes can be declared using the
``@abstractproperty`` decorator::
from abc import abstractproperty
def readonly(self):
return self._x
Subclasses must then define a :meth:`readonly` property.
.. seealso::
:pep:`3119` - Introducing Abstract Base Classes
PEP written by Guido van Rossum and Talin.
Implemented by Guido van Rossum.
Backported to 2.6 by Benjamin Aranguren, with Alex Martelli.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-3127:
PEP 3127: Integer Literal Support and Syntax
Python 3.0 changes the syntax for octal (base-8) integer literals,
prefixing them with "0o" or "0O" instead of a leading zero, and adds
support for binary (base-2) integer literals, signalled by a "0b" or
"0B" prefix.
Python 2.6 doesn't drop support for a leading 0 signalling
an octal number, but it does add support for "0o" and "0b"::
>>> 0o21, 2*8 + 1
(17, 17)
>>> 0b101111
The :func:`oct` builtin still returns numbers
prefixed with a leading zero, and a new :func:`bin`
builtin returns the binary representation for a number::
>>> oct(42)
>>> future_builtins.oct(42)
>>> bin(173)
The :func:`int` and :func:`long` builtins will now accept the "0o"
and "0b" prefixes when base-8 or base-2 are requested, or when the
*base* argument is zero (signalling that the base used should be
determined from the string)::
>>> int ('0o52', 0)
>>> int('1101', 2)
>>> int('0b1101', 2)
>>> int('0b1101', 0)
.. seealso::
:pep:`3127` - Integer Literal Support and Syntax
PEP written by Patrick Maupin; backported to 2.6 by
Eric Smith.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-3129:
PEP 3129: Class Decorators
Decorators have been extended from functions to classes. It's now legal to
class A:
This is equivalent to::
class A:
A = foo(bar(A))
.. seealso::
:pep:`3129` - Class Decorators
PEP written by Collin Winter.
.. ======================================================================
.. _pep-3141:
PEP 3141: A Type Hierarchy for Numbers
Python 3.0 adds several abstract base classes for numeric types
inspired by Scheme's numeric tower. These classes were backported to
2.6 as the :mod:`numbers` module.
The most general ABC is :class:`Number`. It defines no operations at
all, and only exists to allow checking if an object is a number by
doing ``isinstance(obj, Number)``.
:class:`Complex` is a subclass of :class:`Number`. Complex numbers
can undergo the basic operations of addition, subtraction,
multiplication, division, and exponentiation, and you can retrieve the
real and imaginary parts and obtain a number's conjugate. Python's built-in
complex type is an implementation of :class:`Complex`.
:class:`Real` further derives from :class:`Complex`, and adds
operations that only work on real numbers: :func:`floor`, :func:`trunc`,
rounding, taking the remainder mod N, floor division,
and comparisons.
:class:`Rational` numbers derive from :class:`Real`, have
:attr:`numerator` and :attr:`denominator` properties, and can be
converted to floats. Python 2.6 adds a simple rational-number class,
:class:`Fraction`, in the :mod:`fractions` module. (It's called
:class:`Fraction` instead of :class:`Rational` to avoid
a name clash with :class:`numbers.Rational`.)
:class:`Integral` numbers derive from :class:`Rational`, and
can be shifted left and right with ``<<`` and ``>>``,
combined using bitwise operations such as ``&`` and ``|``,
and can be used as array indexes and slice boundaries.
In Python 3.0, the PEP slightly redefines the existing builtins
:func:`round`, :func:`math.floor`, :func:`math.ceil`, and adds a new
one, :func:`math.trunc`, that's been backported to Python 2.6.
:func:`math.trunc` rounds toward zero, returning the closest
:class:`Integral` that's between the function's argument and zero.
.. seealso::
:pep:`3141` - A Type Hierarchy for Numbers
PEP written by Jeffrey Yasskin.
`Scheme's numerical tower <>`__, from the Guile manual.
`Scheme's number datatypes <>`__ from the R5RS Scheme specification.
The :mod:`fractions` Module
To fill out the hierarchy of numeric types, the :mod:`fractions`
module provides a rational-number class. Rational numbers store their
values as a numerator and denominator forming a fraction, and can
exactly represent numbers such as ``2/3`` that floating-point numbers
can only approximate.
The :class:`Fraction` constructor takes two :class:`Integral` values
that will be the numerator and denominator of the resulting fraction. ::
>>> from fractions import Fraction
>>> a = Fraction(2, 3)
>>> b = Fraction(2, 5)
>>> float(a), float(b)
(0.66666666666666663, 0.40000000000000002)
>>> a+b
Fraction(16, 15)
>>> a/b
Fraction(5, 3)
For converting floating-point numbers to rationals,
the float type now has an :meth:`as_integer_ratio()` method that returns
the numerator and denominator for a fraction that evaluates to the same
floating-point value::
>>> (2.5) .as_integer_ratio()
(5, 2)
>>> (3.1415) .as_integer_ratio()
(7074029114692207L, 2251799813685248L)
>>> (1./3) .as_integer_ratio()
(6004799503160661L, 18014398509481984L)
Note that values that can only be approximated by floating-point
numbers, such as 1./3, are not simplified to the number being
approximated; the fraction attempts to match the floating-point value
The :mod:`fractions` module is based upon an implementation by Sjoerd
Mullender that was in Python's :file:`Demo/classes/` directory for a
long time. This implementation was significantly updated by Jeffrey
Other Language Changes
Some smaller changes made to the core Python language are:
* Directories and zip archives containing a :file:`` file
can now be executed directly by passing their name to the
interpreter. The directory or zip archive is automatically inserted
as the first entry in sys.path. (Suggestion and initial patch by
Andy Chu, subsequently revised by Phillip J. Eby and Nick Coghlan;
* The :func:`hasattr` function was catching and ignoring all errors,
under the assumption that they meant a :meth:`__getattr__` method
was failing somehow and the return value of :func:`hasattr` would
therefore be ``False``. This logic shouldn't be applied to
:exc:`KeyboardInterrupt` and :exc:`SystemExit`, however; Python 2.6
will no longer discard such exceptions when :func:`hasattr`
encounters them. (Fixed by Benjamin Peterson; :issue:`2196`.)
* When calling a function using the ``**`` syntax to provide keyword
arguments, you are no longer required to use a Python dictionary;
any mapping will now work::
>>> def f(**kw):
... print sorted(kw)
>>> ud=UserDict.UserDict()
>>> ud['a'] = 1
>>> ud['b'] = 'string'
>>> f(**ud)
['a', 'b']
(Contributed by Alexander Belopolsky; :issue:`1686487`.)
It's also become legal to provide keyword arguments after a ``*args`` argument
to a function call. ::
>>> def f(*args, **kw):
... print args, kw
>>> f(1,2,3, *(4,5,6), keyword=13)
(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) {'keyword': 13}
Previously this would have been a syntax error.
(Contributed by Amaury Forgeot d'Arc; :issue:`3473`.)
* A new builtin, ``next(iterator, [default])`` returns the next item
from the specified iterator. If the *default* argument is supplied,
it will be returned if *iterator* has been exhausted; otherwise,
the :exc:`StopIteration` exception will be raised. (Backported
in :issue:`2719`.)
* Tuples now have :meth:`index` and :meth:`count` methods matching the
list type's :meth:`index` and :meth:`count` methods::
>>> t = (0,1,2,3,4,0,1,2)
>>> t.index(3)
>>> t.count(0)
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger)
* The built-in types now have improved support for extended slicing syntax,
accepting various combinations of ``(start, stop, step)``.
Previously, the support was partial and certain corner cases wouldn't work.
(Implemented by Thomas Wouters.)
.. Revision 57619
* Properties now have three attributes, :attr:`getter`, :attr:`setter`
and :attr:`deleter`, that are decorators providing useful shortcuts
for adding a getter, setter or deleter function to an existing
property. You would use them like this::
class C(object):
def x(self):
return self._x
def x(self, value):
self._x = value
def x(self):
del self._x
class D(C):
def x(self):
return self._x * 2
def x(self, value):
self._x = value / 2
* Several methods of the built-in set types now accept multiple iterables:
:meth:`union`, :meth:`update`,
:meth:`difference` and :meth:`difference_update`.
>>> s=set('1234567890')
>>> s.intersection('abc123', 'cdf246') # Intersection between all inputs
>>> s.difference('246', '789')
set(['1', '0', '3', '5'])
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger.)
* Many floating-point features were added. The :func:`float` function
will now turn the string ``nan`` into an
IEEE 754 Not A Number value, and ``+inf`` and ``-inf`` into
positive or negative infinity. This works on any platform with
IEEE 754 semantics. (Contributed by Christian Heimes; :issue:`1635`.)
Other functions in the :mod:`math` module, :func:`isinf` and
:func:`isnan`, return true if their floating-point argument is
infinite or Not A Number. (:issue:`1640`)
Conversion functions were added to convert floating-point numbers
into hexadecimal strings (:issue:`3008`). These functions
convert floats to and from a string representation without
introducing rounding errors from the conversion between decimal and
binary. Floats have a :meth:`hex` method that returns a string
representation, and the ``float.fromhex()`` method converts a string
back into a number::
>>> a = 3.75
>>> a.hex()
>>> float.fromhex('0x1.e000000000000p+1')
>>> b=1./3
>>> b.hex()
* A numerical nicety: when creating a complex number from two floats
on systems that support signed zeros (-0 and +0), the
:func:`complex` constructor will now preserve the sign
of the zero. (Fixed by Mark T. Dickinson; :issue:`1507`.)
* Classes that inherit a :meth:`__hash__` method from a parent class
can set ``__hash__ = None`` to indicate that the class isn't
hashable. This will make ``hash(obj)`` raise a :exc:`TypeError`
and the class will not be indicated as implementing the
:class:`Hashable` ABC.
You should do this when you've defined a :meth:`__cmp__` or
:meth:`__eq__` method that compares objects by their value rather
than by identity. All objects have a default hash method that uses
``id(obj)`` as the hash value. There's no tidy way to remove the
:meth:`__hash__` method inherited from a parent class, so
assigning ``None`` was implemented as an override. At the
C level, extensions can set ``tp_hash`` to
(Fixed by Nick Coghlan and Amaury Forgeot d'Arc; :issue:`2235`.)
* The :exc:`GeneratorExit` exception now subclasses
:exc:`BaseException` instead of :exc:`Exception`. This means
that an exception handler that does ``except Exception:``
will not inadvertently catch :exc:`GeneratorExit`.
(Contributed by Chad Austin; :issue:`1537`.)
* Generator objects now have a :attr:`gi_code` attribute that refers to
the original code object backing the generator.
(Contributed by Collin Winter; :issue:`1473257`.)
* The :func:`compile` built-in function now accepts keyword arguments
as well as positional parameters. (Contributed by Thomas Wouters;
* The :func:`complex` constructor now accepts strings containing
parenthesized complex numbers, meaning that ``complex(repr(cplx))``
will now round-trip values. For example, ``complex('(3+4j)')``
now returns the value (3+4j). (:issue:`1491866`)
* The string :meth:`translate` method now accepts ``None`` as the
translation table parameter, which is treated as the identity
transformation. This makes it easier to carry out operations
that only delete characters. (Contributed by Bengt Richter and
implemented by Raymond Hettinger; :issue:`1193128`.)
* The built-in :func:`dir` function now checks for a :meth:`__dir__`
method on the objects it receives. This method must return a list
of strings containing the names of valid attributes for the object,
and lets the object control the value that :func:`dir` produces.
Objects that have :meth:`__getattr__` or :meth:`__getattribute__`
methods can use this to advertise pseudo-attributes they will honor.
* Instance method objects have new attributes for the object and function
comprising the method; the new synonym for :attr:`im_self` is
:attr:`__self__`, and :attr:`im_func` is also available as :attr:`__func__`.
The old names are still supported in Python 2.6, but are gone in 3.0.
* An obscure change: when you use the :func:`locals` function inside a
:keyword:`class` statement, the resulting dictionary no longer returns free
variables. (Free variables, in this case, are variables referenced in the
:keyword:`!class` statement that aren't attributes of the class.)
.. ======================================================================
* The :mod:`warnings` module has been rewritten in C. This makes
it possible to invoke warnings from the parser, and may also
make the interpreter's startup faster.
(Contributed by Neal Norwitz and Brett Cannon; :issue:`1631171`.)
* Type objects now have a cache of methods that can reduce
the work required to find the correct method implementation
for a particular class; once cached, the interpreter doesn't need to
traverse base classes to figure out the right method to call.
The cache is cleared if a base class or the class itself is modified,
so the cache should remain correct even in the face of Python's dynamic
(Original optimization implemented by Armin Rigo, updated for
Python 2.6 by Kevin Jacobs; :issue:`1700288`.)
By default, this change is only applied to types that are included with
the Python core. Extension modules may not necessarily be compatible with
this cache,
so they must explicitly add :c:macro:`Py_TPFLAGS_HAVE_VERSION_TAG`
to the module's ``tp_flags`` field to enable the method cache.
(To be compatible with the method cache, the extension module's code
must not directly access and modify the ``tp_dict`` member of
any of the types it implements. Most modules don't do this,
but it's impossible for the Python interpreter to determine that.
See :issue:`1878` for some discussion.)
* Function calls that use keyword arguments are significantly faster
by doing a quick pointer comparison, usually saving the time of a
full string comparison. (Contributed by Raymond Hettinger, after an
initial implementation by Antoine Pitrou; :issue:`1819`.)
* All of the functions in the :mod:`struct` module have been rewritten in
C, thanks to work at the Need For Speed sprint.
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger.)
* Some of the standard built-in types now set a bit in their type
objects. This speeds up checking whether an object is a subclass of
one of these types. (Contributed by Neal Norwitz.)
* Unicode strings now use faster code for detecting
whitespace and line breaks; this speeds up the :meth:`split` method
by about 25% and :meth:`splitlines` by 35%.
(Contributed by Antoine Pitrou.) Memory usage is reduced
by using pymalloc for the Unicode string's data.
* The ``with`` statement now stores the :meth:`__exit__` method on the stack,
producing a small speedup. (Implemented by Jeffrey Yasskin.)
* To reduce memory usage, the garbage collector will now clear internal
free lists when garbage-collecting the highest generation of objects.
This may return memory to the operating system sooner.
.. ======================================================================
.. _new-26-interpreter:
Interpreter Changes
Two command-line options have been reserved for use by other Python
implementations. The :option:`-J` switch has been reserved for use by
Jython for Jython-specific options, such as switches that are passed to
the underlying JVM. :option:`-X` has been reserved for options
specific to a particular implementation of Python such as CPython,
Jython, or IronPython. If either option is used with Python 2.6, the
interpreter will report that the option isn't currently used.
Python can now be prevented from writing :file:`.pyc` or :file:`.pyo`
files by supplying the :option:`-B` switch to the Python interpreter,
or by setting the :envvar:`PYTHONDONTWRITEBYTECODE` environment
variable before running the interpreter. This setting is available to
Python programs as the ``sys.dont_write_bytecode`` variable, and
Python code can change the value to modify the interpreter's
behaviour. (Contributed by Neal Norwitz and Georg Brandl.)
The encoding used for standard input, output, and standard error can
be specified by setting the :envvar:`PYTHONIOENCODING` environment
variable before running the interpreter. The value should be a string
in the form ``<encoding>`` or ``<encoding>:<errorhandler>``.
The *encoding* part specifies the encoding's name, e.g. ``utf-8`` or
``latin-1``; the optional *errorhandler* part specifies
what to do with characters that can't be handled by the encoding,
and should be one of "error", "ignore", or "replace". (Contributed
by Martin von Löwis.)
.. ======================================================================
New and Improved Modules
As in every release, Python's standard library received a number of
enhancements and bug fixes. Here's a partial list of the most notable
changes, sorted alphabetically by module name. Consult the
:file:`Misc/NEWS` file in the source tree for a more complete list of
changes, or look through the Subversion logs for all the details.
* The :mod:`asyncore` and :mod:`asynchat` modules are
being actively maintained again, and a number of patches and bugfixes
were applied. (Maintained by Josiah Carlson; see :issue:`1736190` for
one patch.)
* The :mod:`bsddb` module also has a new maintainer, Jesús Cea Avión, and the package
is now available as a standalone package. The web page for the package is
The plan is to remove the package from the standard library
in Python 3.0, because its pace of releases is much more frequent than
The :mod:`bsddb.dbshelve` module now uses the highest pickling protocol
available, instead of restricting itself to protocol 1.
(Contributed by W. Barnes.)
* The :mod:`!cgi` module will now read variables from the query string
of an HTTP POST request. This makes it possible to use form actions
with URLs that include query strings such as
"/cgi-bin/". (Contributed by Alexandre Fiori and
Nubis; :issue:`1817`.)
The :func:`parse_qs` and :func:`parse_qsl` functions have been
relocated from the :mod:`!cgi` module to the :mod:`urlparse` module.
The versions still available in the :mod:`!cgi` module will
trigger :exc:`PendingDeprecationWarning` messages in 2.6
* The :mod:`cmath` module underwent extensive revision,
contributed by Mark Dickinson and Christian Heimes.
Five new functions were added:
* :func:`polar` converts a complex number to polar form, returning
the modulus and argument of the complex number.
* :func:`rect` does the opposite, turning a modulus, argument pair
back into the corresponding complex number.
* :func:`phase` returns the argument (also called the angle) of a complex
* :func:`isnan` returns True if either
the real or imaginary part of its argument is a NaN.
* :func:`isinf` returns True if either the real or imaginary part of
its argument is infinite.
The revisions also improved the numerical soundness of the
:mod:`cmath` module. For all functions, the real and imaginary
parts of the results are accurate to within a few units of least
precision (ulps) whenever possible. See :issue:`1381` for the
details. The branch cuts for :func:`asinh`, :func:`atanh`: and
:func:`atan` have also been corrected.
The tests for the module have been greatly expanded; nearly 2000 new
test cases exercise the algebraic functions.
On IEEE 754 platforms, the :mod:`cmath` module now handles IEEE 754
special values and floating-point exceptions in a manner consistent
with Annex 'G' of the C99 standard.
* A new data type in the :mod:`collections` module: :class:`namedtuple(typename,
fieldnames)` is a factory function that creates subclasses of the standard tuple
whose fields are accessible by name as well as index. For example::
>>> var_type = collections.namedtuple('variable',
... 'id name type size')
>>> # Names are separated by spaces or commas.
>>> # 'id, name, type, size' would also work.
>>> var_type._fields
('id', 'name', 'type', 'size')
>>> var = var_type(1, 'frequency', 'int', 4)
>>> print var[0], # Equivalent
1 1
>>> print var[2], var.type # Equivalent
int int
>>> var._asdict()
{'size': 4, 'type': 'int', 'id': 1, 'name': 'frequency'}
>>> v2 = var._replace(name='amplitude')
>>> v2
variable(id=1, name='amplitude', type='int', size=4)
Several places in the standard library that returned tuples have
been modified to return :class:`namedtuple` instances. For example,
the :meth:`Decimal.as_tuple` method now returns a named tuple with
:attr:`sign`, :attr:`digits`, and :attr:`exponent` fields.
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger.)
* Another change to the :mod:`collections` module is that the
:class:`deque` type now supports an optional *maxlen* parameter;
if supplied, the deque's size will be restricted to no more
than *maxlen* items. Adding more items to a full deque causes
old items to be discarded.
>>> from collections import deque
>>> dq=deque(maxlen=3)
>>> dq
deque([], maxlen=3)
>>> dq.append(1); dq.append(2); dq.append(3)
>>> dq
deque([1, 2, 3], maxlen=3)
>>> dq.append(4)
>>> dq
deque([2, 3, 4], maxlen=3)
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger.)
* The :mod:`Cookie` module's :class:`Morsel` objects now support an
:attr:`httponly` attribute. In some browsers. cookies with this attribute
set cannot be accessed or manipulated by JavaScript code.
(Contributed by Arvin Schnell; :issue:`1638033`.)
* A new window method in the :mod:`curses` module,
:meth:`chgat`, changes the display attributes for a certain number of
characters on a single line. (Contributed by Fabian Kreutz.)
# Boldface text starting at y=0,x=21
# and affecting the rest of the line.
stdscr.chgat(0, 21, curses.A_BOLD)
The :class:`Textbox` class in the :mod:`curses.textpad` module
now supports editing in insert mode as well as overwrite mode.
Insert mode is enabled by supplying a true value for the *insert_mode*
parameter when creating the :class:`Textbox` instance.
* The :mod:`datetime` module's :meth:`strftime` methods now support a
``%f`` format code that expands to the number of microseconds in the
object, zero-padded on
the left to six places. (Contributed by Skip Montanaro; :issue:`1158`.)
* The :mod:`decimal` module was updated to version 1.66 of
`the General Decimal Specification <>`__. New features
include some methods for some basic mathematical functions such as
:meth:`exp` and :meth:`log10`::
>>> Decimal(1).exp()
>>> Decimal("2.7182818").ln()
>>> Decimal(1000).log10()
The :meth:`as_tuple` method of :class:`Decimal` objects now returns a
named tuple with :attr:`sign`, :attr:`digits`, and :attr:`exponent` fields.
(Implemented by Facundo Batista and Mark Dickinson. Named tuple
support added by Raymond Hettinger.)
* The :mod:`difflib` module's :class:`SequenceMatcher` class
now returns named tuples representing matches,
with :attr:`a`, :attr:`b`, and :attr:`size` attributes.
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger.)
* An optional ``timeout`` parameter, specifying a timeout measured in
seconds, was added to the :class:`ftplib.FTP` class constructor as
well as the :meth:`connect` method. (Added by Facundo Batista.)
Also, the :class:`FTP` class's :meth:`storbinary` and
:meth:`storlines` now take an optional *callback* parameter that
will be called with each block of data after the data has been sent.
(Contributed by Phil Schwartz; :issue:`1221598`.)
* The :func:`reduce` built-in function is also available in the
:mod:`functools` module. In Python 3.0, the builtin has been
dropped and :func:`reduce` is only available from :mod:`functools`;
currently there are no plans to drop the builtin in the 2.x series.
(Patched by Christian Heimes; :issue:`1739906`.)
* When possible, the :mod:`getpass` module will now use
:file:`/dev/tty` to print a prompt message and read the password,
falling back to standard error and standard input. If the
password may be echoed to the terminal, a warning is printed before
the prompt is displayed. (Contributed by Gregory P. Smith.)
* The :func:`glob.glob` function can now return Unicode filenames if
a Unicode path was used and Unicode filenames are matched within the
directory. (:issue:`1001604`)
* A new function in the :mod:`heapq` module, ``merge(iter1, iter2, ...)``,
takes any number of iterables returning data in sorted
order, and returns a new generator that returns the contents of all
the iterators, also in sorted order. For example::
>>> list(heapq.merge([1, 3, 5, 9], [2, 8, 16]))
[1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 16]
Another new function, ``heappushpop(heap, item)``,
pushes *item* onto *heap*, then pops off and returns the smallest item.
This is more efficient than making a call to :func:`heappush` and then
:mod:`heapq` is now implemented to only use less-than comparison,
instead of the less-than-or-equal comparison it previously used.
This makes :mod:`heapq`'s usage of a type match the
:meth:`list.sort` method.
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger.)
* An optional ``timeout`` parameter, specifying a timeout measured in
seconds, was added to the :class:`httplib.HTTPConnection` and
:class:`HTTPSConnection` class constructors. (Added by Facundo
* Most of the :mod:`inspect` module's functions, such as
:func:`getmoduleinfo` and :func:`getargs`, now return named tuples.
In addition to behaving like tuples, the elements of the return value
can also be accessed as attributes.
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger.)
Some new functions in the module include
:func:`isgenerator`, :func:`isgeneratorfunction`,
and :func:`isabstract`.
* The :mod:`itertools` module gained several new functions.
``izip_longest(iter1, iter2, ...[, fillvalue])`` makes tuples from
each of the elements; if some of the iterables are shorter than
others, the missing values are set to *fillvalue*. For example::
>>> tuple(itertools.izip_longest([1,2,3], [1,2,3,4,5]))
((1, 1), (2, 2), (3, 3), (None, 4), (None, 5))
``product(iter1, iter2, ..., [repeat=N])`` returns the Cartesian product
of the supplied iterables, a set of tuples containing
every possible combination of the elements returned from each iterable. ::
>>> list(itertools.product([1,2,3], [4,5,6]))
[(1, 4), (1, 5), (1, 6),
(2, 4), (2, 5), (2, 6),
(3, 4), (3, 5), (3, 6)]
The optional *repeat* keyword argument is used for taking the
product of an iterable or a set of iterables with themselves,
repeated *N* times. With a single iterable argument, *N*-tuples
are returned::
>>> list(itertools.product([1,2], repeat=3))
[(1, 1, 1), (1, 1, 2), (1, 2, 1), (1, 2, 2),
(2, 1, 1), (2, 1, 2), (2, 2, 1), (2, 2, 2)]
With two iterables, *2N*-tuples are returned. ::
>>> list(itertools.product([1,2], [3,4], repeat=2))
[(1, 3, 1, 3), (1, 3, 1, 4), (1, 3, 2, 3), (1, 3, 2, 4),
(1, 4, 1, 3), (1, 4, 1, 4), (1, 4, 2, 3), (1, 4, 2, 4),
(2, 3, 1, 3), (2, 3, 1, 4), (2, 3, 2, 3), (2, 3, 2, 4),
(2, 4, 1, 3), (2, 4, 1, 4), (2, 4, 2, 3), (2, 4, 2, 4)]
``combinations(iterable, r)`` returns sub-sequences of length *r* from
the elements of *iterable*. ::
>>> list(itertools.combinations('123', 2))
[('1', '2'), ('1', '3'), ('2', '3')]
>>> list(itertools.combinations('123', 3))
[('1', '2', '3')]
>>> list(itertools.combinations('1234', 3))
[('1', '2', '3'), ('1', '2', '4'),
('1', '3', '4'), ('2', '3', '4')]
``permutations(iter[, r])`` returns all the permutations of length *r* of
the iterable's elements. If *r* is not specified, it will default to the
number of elements produced by the iterable. ::
>>> list(itertools.permutations([1,2,3,4], 2))
[(1, 2), (1, 3), (1, 4),
(2, 1), (2, 3), (2, 4),
(3, 1), (3, 2), (3, 4),
(4, 1), (4, 2), (4, 3)]
``itertools.chain(*iterables)`` is an existing function in
:mod:`itertools` that gained a new constructor in Python 2.6.
``itertools.chain.from_iterable(iterable)`` takes a single
iterable that should return other iterables. :func:`chain` will
then return all the elements of the first iterable, then
all the elements of the second, and so on. ::
>>> list(itertools.chain.from_iterable([[1,2,3], [4,5,6]]))
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
(All contributed by Raymond Hettinger.)
* The :mod:`logging` module's :class:`FileHandler` class
and its subclasses :class:`WatchedFileHandler`, :class:`RotatingFileHandler`,
and :class:`TimedRotatingFileHandler` now
have an optional *delay* parameter to their constructors. If *delay*
is true, opening of the log file is deferred until the first
:meth:`emit` call is made. (Contributed by Vinay Sajip.)
:class:`TimedRotatingFileHandler` also has a *utc* constructor
parameter. If the argument is true, UTC time will be used
in determining when midnight occurs and in generating filenames;
otherwise local time will be used.
* Several new functions were added to the :mod:`math` module:
* :func:`~math.isinf` and :func:`~math.isnan` determine whether a given float
is a (positive or negative) infinity or a NaN (Not a Number), respectively.
* :func:`~math.copysign` copies the sign bit of an IEEE 754 number,
returning the absolute value of *x* combined with the sign bit of
*y*. For example, ``math.copysign(1, -0.0)`` returns -1.0.
(Contributed by Christian Heimes.)
* :func:`~math.factorial` computes the factorial of a number.
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger; :issue:`2138`.)
* :func:`~math.fsum` adds up the stream of numbers from an iterable,
and is careful to avoid loss of precision through using partial sums.
(Contributed by Jean Brouwers, Raymond Hettinger, and Mark Dickinson;
* :func:`~math.acosh`, :func:`~math.asinh`
and :func:`~math.atanh` compute the inverse hyperbolic functions.
* :func:`~math.log1p` returns the natural logarithm of *1+x*
(base *e*).
* :func:`trunc` rounds a number toward zero, returning the closest
:class:`Integral` that's between the function's argument and zero.
Added as part of the backport of
`PEP 3141's type hierarchy for numbers <#pep-3141>`__.
* The :mod:`math` module has been improved to give more consistent
behaviour across platforms, especially with respect to handling of
floating-point exceptions and IEEE 754 special values.
Whenever possible, the module follows the recommendations of the C99
standard about 754's special values. For example, ``sqrt(-1.)``
should now give a :exc:`ValueError` across almost all platforms,
while ``sqrt(float('NaN'))`` should return a NaN on all IEEE 754
platforms. Where Annex 'F' of the C99 standard recommends signaling
'divide-by-zero' or 'invalid', Python will raise :exc:`ValueError`.
Where Annex 'F' of the C99 standard recommends signaling 'overflow',
Python will raise :exc:`OverflowError`. (See :issue:`711019` and
(Contributed by Christian Heimes and Mark Dickinson.)
* :class:`~mmap.mmap` objects now have a :meth:`rfind` method that searches for a
substring beginning at the end of the string and searching
backwards. The :meth:`find` method also gained an *end* parameter
giving an index at which to stop searching.
(Contributed by John Lenton.)
* The :mod:`operator` module gained a
:func:`methodcaller` function that takes a name and an optional
set of arguments, returning a callable that will call
the named function on any arguments passed to it. For example::
>>> # Equivalent to lambda s: s.replace('old', 'new')
>>> replacer = operator.methodcaller('replace', 'old', 'new')
>>> replacer('old wine in old bottles')
'new wine in new bottles'
(Contributed by Georg Brandl, after a suggestion by Gregory Petrosyan.)
The :func:`attrgetter` function now accepts dotted names and performs
the corresponding attribute lookups::
>>> inst_name = operator.attrgetter(
... '__class__.__name__')
>>> inst_name('')
>>> inst_name(help)
(Contributed by Georg Brandl, after a suggestion by Barry Warsaw.)
* The :mod:`os` module now wraps several new system calls.
``fchmod(fd, mode)`` and ``fchown(fd, uid, gid)`` change the mode
and ownership of an opened file, and ``lchmod(path, mode)`` changes
the mode of a symlink. (Contributed by Georg Brandl and Christian
:func:`chflags` and :func:`lchflags` are wrappers for the
corresponding system calls (where they're available), changing the
flags set on a file. Constants for the flag values are defined in
the :mod:`stat` module; some possible values include
:const:`UF_IMMUTABLE` to signal the file may not be changed and
:const:`UF_APPEND` to indicate that data can only be appended to the
file. (Contributed by M. Levinson.)
``os.closerange(low, high)`` efficiently closes all file descriptors
from *low* to *high*, ignoring any errors and not including *high* itself.
This function is now used by the :mod:`subprocess` module to make starting
processes faster. (Contributed by Georg Brandl; :issue:`1663329`.)
* The ``os.environ`` object's :meth:`clear` method will now unset the
environment variables using :func:`os.unsetenv` in addition to clearing
the object's keys. (Contributed by Martin Horcicka; :issue:`1181`.)
* The :func:`os.walk` function now has a ``followlinks`` parameter. If
set to True, it will follow symlinks pointing to directories and
visit the directory's contents. For backward compatibility, the
parameter's default value is false. Note that the function can fall
into an infinite recursion if there's a symlink that points to a
parent directory. (:issue:`1273829`)
* In the :mod:`os.path` module, the :func:`splitext` function
has been changed to not split on leading period characters.
This produces better results when operating on Unix's dot-files.
For example, ``os.path.splitext('.ipython')``
now returns ``('.ipython', '')`` instead of ``('', '.ipython')``.
A new function, ``os.path.relpath(path, start='.')``, returns a relative path
from the ``start`` path, if it's supplied, or from the current
working directory to the destination ``path``. (Contributed by
Richard Barran; :issue:`1339796`.)
On Windows, :func:`os.path.expandvars` will now expand environment variables
given in the form "%var%", and "~user" will be expanded into the
user's home directory path. (Contributed by Josiah Carlson;
* The Python debugger provided by the :mod:`pdb` module
gained a new command: "run" restarts the Python program being debugged
and can optionally take new command-line arguments for the program.
(Contributed by Rocky Bernstein; :issue:`1393667`.)
* The :func:`pdb.post_mortem` function, used to begin debugging a
traceback, will now use the traceback returned by :func:`sys.exc_info`
if no traceback is supplied. (Contributed by Facundo Batista;
* The :mod:`pickletools` module now has an :func:`optimize` function
that takes a string containing a pickle and removes some unused
opcodes, returning a shorter pickle that contains the same data structure.
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger.)
* A :func:`get_data` function was added to the :mod:`pkgutil`
module that returns the contents of resource files included
with an installed Python package. For example::
>>> import pkgutil
>>> print pkgutil.get_data('test', 'exception_hierarchy.txt')
+-- SystemExit
+-- KeyboardInterrupt
+-- GeneratorExit
+-- Exception
+-- StopIteration
+-- StandardError
(Contributed by Paul Moore; :issue:`2439`.)
* The :mod:`pyexpat` module's :class:`Parser` objects now allow setting
their :attr:`buffer_size` attribute to change the size of the buffer
used to hold character data.
(Contributed by Achim Gaedke; :issue:`1137`.)
* The :mod:`Queue` module now provides queue variants that retrieve entries
in different orders. The :class:`PriorityQueue` class stores
queued items in a heap and retrieves them in priority order,
and :class:`LifoQueue` retrieves the most recently added entries first,
meaning that it behaves like a stack.
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger.)
* The :mod:`random` module's :class:`Random` objects can
now be pickled on a 32-bit system and unpickled on a 64-bit
system, and vice versa. Unfortunately, this change also means
that Python 2.6's :class:`Random` objects can't be unpickled correctly
on earlier versions of Python.
(Contributed by Shawn Ligocki; :issue:`1727780`.)
The new ``triangular(low, high, mode)`` function returns random
numbers following a triangular distribution. The returned values
are between *low* and *high*, not including *high* itself, and
with *mode* as the most frequently occurring value
in the distribution. (Contributed by Wladmir van der Laan and
Raymond Hettinger; :issue:`1681432`.)
* Long regular expression searches carried out by the :mod:`re`
module will check for signals being delivered, so
time-consuming searches can now be interrupted.
(Contributed by Josh Hoyt and Ralf Schmitt; :issue:`846388`.)
The regular expression module is implemented by compiling bytecodes
for a tiny regex-specific virtual machine. Untrusted code
could create malicious strings of bytecode directly and cause crashes,
so Python 2.6 includes a verifier for the regex bytecode.
(Contributed by Guido van Rossum from work for Google App Engine;
* The :mod:`rlcompleter` module's :meth:`Completer.complete()` method
will now ignore exceptions triggered while evaluating a name.
(Fixed by Lorenz Quack; :issue:`2250`.)
* The :mod:`sched` module's :class:`scheduler` instances now
have a read-only :attr:`queue` attribute that returns the
contents of the scheduler's queue, represented as a list of
named tuples with the fields ``(time, priority, action, argument)``.
(Contributed by Raymond Hettinger; :issue:`1861`.)
* The :mod:`select` module now has wrapper functions
for the Linux :c:func:`epoll` and BSD :c:func:`kqueue` system calls.
:meth:`modify` method was added to the existing :class:`poll`
objects; ``pollobj.modify(fd, eventmask)`` takes a file descriptor
or file object and an event mask, modifying the recorded event mask
for that file.
(Contributed by Christian Heimes; :issue:`1657`.)
* The :func:`shutil.copytree` function now has an optional *ignore* argument
that takes a callable object. This callable will receive each directory path
and a list of the directory's contents, and returns a list of names that
will be ignored, not copied.
The :mod:`shutil` module also provides an :func:`ignore_patterns`
function for use with this new parameter. :func:`ignore_patterns`
takes an arbitrary number of glob-style patterns and returns a
callable that will ignore any files and directories that match any
of these patterns. The following example copies a directory tree,
but skips both :file:`.svn` directories and Emacs backup files,
which have names ending with '~'::
shutil.copytree('Doc/library', '/tmp/library',
ignore=shutil.ignore_patterns('*~', '.svn'))
(Contributed by Tarek Ziadé; :issue:`2663`.)
* Integrating signal handling with GUI handling event loops
like those used by Tkinter or GTk+ has long been a problem; most
software ends up polling, waking up every fraction of a second to check
if any GUI events have occurred.
The :mod:`signal` module can now make this more efficient.
Calling ``signal.set_wakeup_fd(fd)`` sets a file descriptor
to be used; when a signal is received, a byte is written to that
file descriptor. There's also a C-level function,
:c:func:`PySignal_SetWakeupFd`, for setting the descriptor.
Event loops will use this by opening a pipe to create two descriptors,
one for reading and one for writing. The writable descriptor
will be passed to :func:`set_wakeup_fd`, and the readable descriptor
will be added to the list of descriptors monitored by the event loop via
:c:func:`select` or :c:func:`poll`.
On receiving a signal, a byte will be written and the main event loop
will be woken up, avoiding the need to poll.
(Contributed by Adam Olsen; :issue:`1583`.)
The :func:`siginterrupt` function is now available from Python code,
and allows changing whether signals can interrupt system calls or not.
(Contributed by Ralf Schmitt.)
The :func:`setitimer` and :func:`getitimer` functions have also been
added (where they're available). :func:`setitimer`
allows setting interval timers that will cause a signal to be
delivered to the process after a specified time, measured in
wall-clock time, consumed process time, or combined process+system
time. (Contributed by Guilherme Polo; :issue:`2240`.)
* The :mod:`smtplib` module now supports SMTP over SSL thanks to the
addition of the :class:`SMTP_SSL` class. This class supports an
interface identical to the existing :class:`SMTP` class.
(Contributed by Monty Taylor.) Both class constructors also have an
optional ``timeout`` parameter that specifies a timeout for the
initial connection attempt, measured in seconds. (Contributed by
Facundo Batista.)
An implementation of the LMTP protocol (:rfc:`2033`) was also added
to the module. LMTP is used in place of SMTP when transferring
e-mail between agents that don't manage a mail queue. (LMTP
implemented by Leif Hedstrom; :issue:`957003`.)
:meth:`SMTP.starttls` now complies with :rfc:`3207` and forgets any
knowledge obtained from the server not obtained from the TLS
negotiation itself. (Patch contributed by Bill Fenner;
* The :mod:`socket` module now supports TIPC (,
a high-performance non-IP-based protocol designed for use in clustered
environments. TIPC addresses are 4- or 5-tuples.
(Contributed by Alberto Bertogli; :issue:`1646`.)
A new function, :func:`create_connection`, takes an address and
connects to it using an optional timeout value, returning the
connected socket object. This function also looks up the address's
type and connects to it using IPv4 or IPv6 as appropriate. Changing
your code to use :func:`create_connection` instead of
``socket(socket.AF_INET, ...)`` may be all that's required to make
your code work with IPv6.
* The base classes in the :mod:`SocketServer` module now support
calling a :meth:`handle_timeout` method after a span of inactivity
specified by the server's :attr:`timeout` attribute. (Contributed
by Michael Pomraning.) The :meth:`serve_forever` method
now takes an optional poll interval measured in seconds,
controlling how often the server will check for a shutdown request.
(Contributed by Pedro Werneck and Jeffrey Yasskin;
:issue:`742598`, :issue:`1193577`.)
* The :mod:`sqlite3` module, maintained by Gerhard Häring,
has been updated from version 2.3.2 in Python 2.5 to
version 2.4.1.
* The :mod:`struct` module now supports the C99 :c:expr:`_Bool` type,
using the format character ``'?'``.
(Contributed by David Remahl.)
* The :class:`Popen` objects provided by the :mod:`subprocess` module
now have :meth:`terminate`, :meth:`kill`, and :meth:`send_signal` methods.
On Windows, :meth:`send_signal` only supports the :const:`SIGTERM`
signal, and all these methods are aliases for the Win32 API function
(Contributed by Christian Heimes.)
* A new variable in the :mod:`sys` module, :attr:`float_info`, is an
object containing information derived from the :file:`float.h` file
about the platform's floating-point support. Attributes of this
object include :attr:`mant_dig` (number of digits in the mantissa),
:attr:`epsilon` (smallest difference between 1.0 and the next
largest value representable), and several others. (Contributed by
Christian Heimes; :issue:`1534`.)
Another new variable, :attr:`dont_write_bytecode`, controls whether Python
writes any :file:`.pyc` or :file:`.pyo` files on importing a module.
If this variable is true, the compiled files are not written. The
variable is initially set on start-up by supplying the :option:`-B`
switch to the Python interpreter, or by setting the
:envvar:`PYTHONDONTWRITEBYTECODE` environment variable before
running the interpreter. Python code can subsequently
change the value of this variable to control whether bytecode files
are written or not.
(Contributed by Neal Norwitz and Georg Brandl.)
Information about the command-line arguments supplied to the Python
interpreter is available by reading attributes of a named
tuple available as ``sys.flags``. For example, the :attr:`verbose`
attribute is true if Python
was executed in verbose mode, :attr:`debug` is true in debugging mode, etc.
These attributes are all read-only.
(Contributed by Christian Heimes.)
A new function, :func:`getsizeof`, takes a Python object and returns
the amount of memory used by the object, measured in bytes. Built-in
objects return correct results; third-party extensions may not,
but can define a :meth:`__sizeof__` method to return the
object's size.
(Contributed by Robert Schuppenies; :issue:`2898`.)
It's now possible to determine the current profiler and tracer functions
by calling :func:`sys.getprofile` and :func:`sys.gettrace`.
(Contributed by Georg Brandl; :issue:`1648`.)
* The :mod:`tarfile` module now supports POSIX.1-2001 (pax) tarfiles in
addition to the POSIX.1-1988 (ustar) and GNU tar formats that were
already supported. The default format is GNU tar; specify the
``format`` parameter to open a file using a different format::
tar ="output.tar", "w",
The new ``encoding`` and ``errors`` parameters specify an encoding and
an error handling scheme for character conversions. ``'strict'``,
``'ignore'``, and ``'replace'`` are the three standard ways Python can
handle errors,;
``'utf-8'`` is a special value that replaces bad characters with
their UTF-8 representation. (Character conversions occur because the
PAX format supports Unicode filenames, defaulting to UTF-8 encoding.)
The :meth:`TarFile.add` method now accepts an ``exclude`` argument that's
a function that can be used to exclude certain filenames from
an archive.
The function must take a filename and return true if the file
should be excluded or false if it should be archived.
The function is applied to both the name initially passed to :meth:`add`
and to the names of files in recursively added directories.
(All changes contributed by Lars Gustäbel).
* An optional ``timeout`` parameter was added to the
:class:`!telnetlib.Telnet` class constructor, specifying a timeout
measured in seconds. (Added by Facundo Batista.)
* The :class:`tempfile.NamedTemporaryFile` class usually deletes
the temporary file it created when the file is closed. This
behaviour can now be changed by passing ``delete=False`` to the
constructor. (Contributed by Damien Miller; :issue:`1537850`.)
A new class, :class:`SpooledTemporaryFile`, behaves like
a temporary file but stores its data in memory until a maximum size is
exceeded. On reaching that limit, the contents will be written to
an on-disk temporary file. (Contributed by Dustin J. Mitchell.)
The :class:`NamedTemporaryFile` and :class:`SpooledTemporaryFile` classes
both work as context managers, so you can write
``with tempfile.NamedTemporaryFile() as tmp: ...``.
(Contributed by Alexander Belopolsky; :issue:`2021`.)
* The :mod:`test.test_support` module gained a number
of context managers useful for writing tests.
:func:`EnvironmentVarGuard` is a
context manager that temporarily changes environment variables and
automatically restores them to their old values.
Another context manager, :class:`TransientResource`, can surround calls
to resources that may or may not be available; it will catch and
ignore a specified list of exceptions. For example,
a network test may ignore certain failures when connecting to an
external web site::
with test_support.TransientResource(IOError,
f = urllib.urlopen('')
Finally, :func:`check_warnings` resets the :mod:`warning` module's
warning filters and returns an object that will record all warning
messages triggered (:issue:`3781`)::
with test_support.check_warnings() as wrec:
# ... code that triggers a warning ...
assert str(wrec.message) == "function is outdated"
assert len(wrec.warnings) == 1, "Multiple warnings raised"
(Contributed by Brett Cannon.)
* The :mod:`textwrap` module can now preserve existing whitespace
at the beginnings and ends of the newly created lines
by specifying ``drop_whitespace=False``
as an argument::
>>> S = """This sentence has a bunch of
... extra whitespace."""
>>> print textwrap.fill(S, width=15)
This sentence
has a bunch
of extra
>>> print textwrap.fill(S, drop_whitespace=False, width=15)
This sentence
has a bunch
of extra
(Contributed by Dwayne Bailey; :issue:`1581073`.)
* The :mod:`threading` module API is being changed to use properties
such as :attr:`daemon` instead of :meth:`setDaemon` and
:meth:`isDaemon` methods, and some methods have been renamed to use
underscores instead of camel-case; for example, the
:meth:`activeCount` method is renamed to :meth:`active_count`. Both
the 2.6 and 3.0 versions of the module support the same properties
and renamed methods, but don't remove the old methods. No date has been set
for the deprecation of the old APIs in Python 3.x; the old APIs won't
be removed in any 2.x version.
(Carried out by several people, most notably Benjamin Peterson.)
The :mod:`threading` module's :class:`Thread` objects
gained an :attr:`ident` property that returns the thread's
identifier, a nonzero integer. (Contributed by Gregory P. Smith;
* The :mod:`timeit` module now accepts callables as well as strings
for the statement being timed and for the setup code.
Two convenience functions were added for creating
:class:`Timer` instances:
``repeat(stmt, setup, time, repeat, number)`` and
``timeit(stmt, setup, time, number)`` create an instance and call
the corresponding method. (Contributed by Erik Demaine;
* The :mod:`Tkinter` module now accepts lists and tuples for options,
separating the elements by spaces before passing the resulting value to
(Contributed by Guilherme Polo; :issue:`2906`.)
* The :mod:`turtle` module for turtle graphics was greatly enhanced by
Gregor Lingl. New features in the module include:
* Better animation of turtle movement and rotation.
* Control over turtle movement using the new :meth:`delay`,
:meth:`tracer`, and :meth:`speed` methods.
* The ability to set new shapes for the turtle, and to
define a new coordinate system.
* Turtles now have an :meth:`undo()` method that can roll back actions.
* Simple support for reacting to input events such as mouse and keyboard
activity, making it possible to write simple games.
* A :file:`turtle.cfg` file can be used to customize the starting appearance
of the turtle's screen.
* The module's docstrings can be replaced by new docstrings that have been
translated into another language.
* An optional ``timeout`` parameter was added to the
:func:`urllib.urlopen` function and the
:class:`urllib.ftpwrapper` class constructor, as well as the
:func:`urllib2.urlopen` function. The parameter specifies a timeout
measured in seconds. For example::
>>> u = urllib2.urlopen("",
Traceback (most recent call last):
urllib2.URLError: <urlopen error timed out>
(Added by Facundo Batista.)
* The Unicode database provided by the :mod:`unicodedata` module
has been updated to version 5.1.0. (Updated by
Martin von Löwis; :issue:`3811`.)
* The :mod:`warnings` module's :func:`formatwarning` and :func:`showwarning`
gained an optional *line* argument that can be used to supply the
line of source code. (Added as part of :issue:`1631171`, which re-implemented
part of the :mod:`warnings` module in C code.)
A new function, :func:`catch_warnings`, is a context manager
intended for testing purposes that lets you temporarily modify the
warning filters and then restore their original values (:issue:`3781`).
* The XML-RPC :class:`SimpleXMLRPCServer` and :class:`DocXMLRPCServer`
classes can now be prevented from immediately opening and binding to
their socket by passing ``False`` as the *bind_and_activate*
constructor parameter. This can be used to modify the instance's
:attr:`allow_reuse_address` attribute before calling the
:meth:`server_bind` and :meth:`server_activate` methods to
open the socket and begin listening for connections.
(Contributed by Peter Parente; :issue:`1599845`.)
:class:`SimpleXMLRPCServer` also has a :attr:`_send_traceback_header`
attribute; if true, the exception and formatted traceback are returned
as HTTP headers "X-Exception" and "X-Traceback". This feature is
for debugging purposes only and should not be used on production servers
because the tracebacks might reveal passwords or other sensitive
information. (Contributed by Alan McIntyre as part of his
project for Google's Summer of Code 2007.)
* The :mod:`xmlrpclib` module no longer automatically converts
:class:`` and :class:`datetime.time` to the
:class:`xmlrpclib.DateTime` type; the conversion semantics were
not necessarily correct for all applications. Code using
:mod:`xmlrpclib` should convert :class:`date` and :class:`~datetime.time`
instances. (:issue:`1330538`) The code can also handle
dates before 1900 (contributed by Ralf Schmitt; :issue:`2014`)
and 64-bit integers represented by using ``<i8>`` in XML-RPC responses
(contributed by Riku Lindblad; :issue:`2985`).
* The :mod:`zipfile` module's :class:`ZipFile` class now has
:meth:`extract` and :meth:`extractall` methods that will unpack
a single file or all the files in the archive to the current directory, or
to a specified directory::
z = zipfile.ZipFile('')
# Unpack a single file, writing it relative
# to the /tmp directory.
z.extract('Python/sysmodule.c', '/tmp')
# Unpack all the files in the archive.
(Contributed by Alan McIntyre; :issue:`467924`.)
The :meth:`open`, :meth:`read` and :meth:`extract` methods can now
take either a filename or a :class:`ZipInfo` object. This is useful when an
archive accidentally contains a duplicated filename.
(Contributed by Graham Horler; :issue:`1775025`.)
Finally, :mod:`zipfile` now supports using Unicode filenames
for archived files. (Contributed by Alexey Borzenkov; :issue:`1734346`.)
.. ======================================================================
.. whole new modules get described in subsections here
The :mod:`ast` module
The :mod:`ast` module provides an Abstract Syntax Tree
representation of Python code, and Armin Ronacher
contributed a set of helper functions that perform a variety of
common tasks. These will be useful for HTML templating
packages, code analyzers, and similar tools that process
Python code.
The :func:`parse` function takes an expression and returns an AST.
The :func:`dump` function outputs a representation of a tree, suitable
for debugging::
import ast
t = ast.parse("""
d = {}
for i in 'abcdefghijklm':
d[i + i] = ord(i) - ord('a') + 1
print d
print ast.dump(t)
This outputs a deeply nested tree::
Name(id='d', ctx=Store())
], value=Dict(keys=[], values=[]))
For(target=Name(id='i', ctx=Store()),
iter=Str(s='abcdefghijklm'), body=[
Name(id='d', ctx=Load()),
BinOp(left=Name(id='i', ctx=Load()), op=Add(),
right=Name(id='i', ctx=Load()))), ctx=Store())
], value=
Name(id='ord', ctx=Load()), args=[
Name(id='i', ctx=Load())
], keywords=[], starargs=None, kwargs=None),
op=Sub(), right=Call(func=
Name(id='ord', ctx=Load()), args=[
], keywords=[], starargs=None, kwargs=None)),
op=Add(), right=Num(n=1)))
], orelse=[])
Print(dest=None, values=[
Name(id='d', ctx=Load())
], nl=True)
The :func:`literal_eval` method takes a string or an AST
representing a literal expression, parses and evaluates it, and
returns the resulting value. A literal expression is a Python
expression containing only strings, numbers, dictionaries,
etc. but no statements or function calls. If you need to
evaluate an expression but cannot accept the security risk of using an
:func:`eval` call, :func:`literal_eval` will handle it safely::
>>> literal = '("a", "b", {2:4, 3:8, 1:2})'
>>> print ast.literal_eval(literal)
('a', 'b', {1: 2, 2: 4, 3: 8})
>>> print ast.literal_eval('"a" + "b"')
Traceback (most recent call last):
ValueError: malformed string
The module also includes :class:`NodeVisitor` and
:class:`NodeTransformer` classes for traversing and modifying an AST,
and functions for common transformations such as changing line
.. ======================================================================
The :mod:`future_builtins` module
Python 3.0 makes many changes to the repertoire of built-in
functions, and most of the changes can't be introduced in the Python
2.x series because they would break compatibility.
The :mod:`future_builtins` module provides versions
of these built-in functions that can be imported when writing
3.0-compatible code.
The functions in this module currently include:
* ``ascii(obj)``: equivalent to :func:`repr`. In Python 3.0,
:func:`repr` will return a Unicode string, while :func:`ascii` will
return a pure ASCII bytestring.
* ``filter(predicate, iterable)``,
``map(func, iterable1, ...)``: the 3.0 versions
return iterators, unlike the 2.x builtins which return lists.
* ``hex(value)``, ``oct(value)``: instead of calling the
:meth:`__hex__` or :meth:`__oct__` methods, these versions will
call the :meth:`__index__` method and convert the result to hexadecimal
or octal. :func:`oct` will use the new ``0o`` notation for its
.. ======================================================================
The :mod:`json` module: JavaScript Object Notation
The new :mod:`json` module supports the encoding and decoding of Python types in
JSON (Javascript Object Notation). JSON is a lightweight interchange format
often used in web applications. For more information about JSON, see
:mod:`json` comes with support for decoding and encoding most built-in Python
types. The following example encodes and decodes a dictionary::
>>> import json
>>> data = {"spam": "foo", "parrot": 42}
>>> in_json = json.dumps(data) # Encode the data
>>> in_json
'{"parrot": 42, "spam": "foo"}'
>>> json.loads(in_json) # Decode into a Python object
{"spam": "foo", "parrot": 42}
It's also possible to write your own decoders and encoders to support
more types. Pretty-printing of the JSON strings is also supported.
:mod:`json` (originally called simplejson) was written by Bob
.. ======================================================================
The :mod:`plistlib` module: A Property-List Parser
The ``.plist`` format is commonly used on Mac OS X to
store basic data types (numbers, strings, lists,
and dictionaries) by serializing them into an XML-based format.
It resembles the XML-RPC serialization of data types.
Despite being primarily used on Mac OS X, the format
has nothing Mac-specific about it and the Python implementation works
on any platform that Python supports, so the :mod:`plistlib` module
has been promoted to the standard library.
Using the module is simple::
import sys
import plistlib
import datetime
# Create data structure
data_struct = dict(,
# Create string containing XML.
plist_str = plistlib.writePlistToString(data_struct)
new_struct = plistlib.readPlistFromString(plist_str)
print data_struct
print new_struct
# Write data structure to a file and read it back.
plistlib.writePlist(data_struct, '/tmp/customizations.plist')
new_struct = plistlib.readPlist('/tmp/customizations.plist')
# read/writePlist accepts file-like objects as well as paths.
plistlib.writePlist(data_struct, sys.stdout)
.. ======================================================================
ctypes Enhancements
Thomas Heller continued to maintain and enhance the
:mod:`ctypes` module.
:mod:`ctypes` now supports a :class:`c_bool` datatype
that represents the C99 ``bool`` type. (Contributed by David Remahl;
The :mod:`ctypes` string, buffer and array types have improved
support for extended slicing syntax,
where various combinations of ``(start, stop, step)`` are supplied.
(Implemented by Thomas Wouters.)
.. Revision 57769
All :mod:`ctypes` data types now support
:meth:`from_buffer` and :meth:`from_buffer_copy`
methods that create a ctypes instance based on a
provided buffer object. :meth:`from_buffer_copy` copies
the contents of the object,
while :meth:`from_buffer` will share the same memory area.
A new calling convention tells :mod:`ctypes` to clear the ``errno`` or
Win32 LastError variables at the outset of each wrapped call.
(Implemented by Thomas Heller; :issue:`1798`.)
You can now retrieve the Unix ``errno`` variable after a function
call. When creating a wrapped function, you can supply
``use_errno=True`` as a keyword parameter to the :func:`DLL` function
and then call the module-level methods :meth:`set_errno` and
:meth:`get_errno` to set and retrieve the error value.
The Win32 LastError variable is similarly supported by
the :func:`DLL`, :func:`OleDLL`, and :func:`WinDLL` functions.
You supply ``use_last_error=True`` as a keyword parameter
and then call the module-level methods :meth:`set_last_error`
and :meth:`get_last_error`.
The :func:`byref` function, used to retrieve a pointer to a ctypes
instance, now has an optional *offset* parameter that is a byte
count that will be added to the returned pointer.
.. ======================================================================
Improved SSL Support
Bill Janssen made extensive improvements to Python 2.6's support for
the Secure Sockets Layer by adding a new module, :mod:`ssl`, that's
built atop the `OpenSSL <>`__ library.
This new module provides more control over the protocol negotiated,
the X.509 certificates used, and has better support for writing SSL
servers (as opposed to clients) in Python. The existing SSL support
in the :mod:`socket` module hasn't been removed and continues to work,
though it will be removed in Python 3.0.
To use the new module, you must first create a TCP connection in the
usual way and then pass it to the :func:`ssl.wrap_socket` function.
It's possible to specify whether a certificate is required, and to
obtain certificate info by calling the :meth:`getpeercert` method.
.. seealso::
The documentation for the :mod:`ssl` module.
.. ======================================================================
Deprecations and Removals
* String exceptions have been removed. Attempting to use them raises a
* Changes to the :class:`Exception` interface
as dictated by :pep:`352` continue to be made. For 2.6,
the :attr:`message` attribute is being deprecated in favor of the
:attr:`args` attribute.
* (3.0-warning mode) Python 3.0 will feature a reorganized standard
library that will drop many outdated modules and rename others.
Python 2.6 running in 3.0-warning mode will warn about these modules
when they are imported.
The list of deprecated modules is:
:mod:`test.testall`, and
* The :mod:`gopherlib` module has been removed.
* The :mod:`MimeWriter` module and :mod:`mimify` module
have been deprecated; use the :mod:`email`
package instead.
* The :mod:`md5` module has been deprecated; use the :mod:`hashlib` module
* The :mod:`posixfile` module has been deprecated; :func:`fcntl.lockf`
provides better locking.
* The :mod:`popen2` module has been deprecated; use the :mod:`subprocess`
* The :mod:`rgbimg` module has been removed.
* The :mod:`sets` module has been deprecated; it's better to
use the built-in :class:`set` and :class:`frozenset` types.
* The :mod:`sha` module has been deprecated; use the :mod:`hashlib` module
.. ======================================================================
Build and C API Changes
Changes to Python's build process and to the C API include:
* Python now must be compiled with C89 compilers (after 19
years!). This means that the Python source tree has dropped its
own implementations of :c:func:`memmove` and :c:func:`strerror`, which
are in the C89 standard library.
* Python 2.6 can be built with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 (version
9.0), and this is the new default compiler. See the
:file:`PCbuild` directory for the build files. (Implemented by
Christian Heimes.)
* On Mac OS X, Python 2.6 can be compiled as a 4-way universal build.
The :program:`configure` script
can take a :option:`!--with-universal-archs=[32-bit|64-bit|all]`
switch, controlling whether the binaries are built for 32-bit
architectures (x86, PowerPC), 64-bit (x86-64 and PPC-64), or both.
(Contributed by Ronald Oussoren.)
* The BerkeleyDB module now has a C API object, available as
``bsddb.db.api``. This object can be used by other C extensions
that wish to use the :mod:`bsddb` module for their own purposes.
(Contributed by Duncan Grisby.)
* The new buffer interface, previously described in
`the PEP 3118 section <#pep-3118-revised-buffer-protocol>`__,
adds :c:func:`PyObject_GetBuffer` and :c:func:`PyBuffer_Release`,
as well as a few other functions.
* Python's use of the C stdio library is now thread-safe, or at least
as thread-safe as the underlying library is. A long-standing potential
bug occurred if one thread closed a file object while another thread
was reading from or writing to the object. In 2.6 file objects
have a reference count, manipulated by the
:c:func:`PyFile_IncUseCount` and :c:func:`PyFile_DecUseCount`
functions. File objects can't be closed unless the reference count
is zero. :c:func:`PyFile_IncUseCount` should be called while the GIL
is still held, before carrying out an I/O operation using the
``FILE *`` pointer, and :c:func:`PyFile_DecUseCount` should be called
immediately after the GIL is re-acquired.
(Contributed by Antoine Pitrou and Gregory P. Smith.)
* Importing modules simultaneously in two different threads no longer
deadlocks; it will now raise an :exc:`ImportError`. A new API
function, :c:func:`PyImport_ImportModuleNoBlock`, will look for a
module in ``sys.modules`` first, then try to import it after
acquiring an import lock. If the import lock is held by another
thread, an :exc:`ImportError` is raised.
(Contributed by Christian Heimes.)
* Several functions return information about the platform's
floating-point support. :c:func:`PyFloat_GetMax` returns
the maximum representable floating point value,
and :c:func:`PyFloat_GetMin` returns the minimum
positive value. :c:func:`PyFloat_GetInfo` returns an object
containing more information from the :file:`float.h` file, such as
``"mant_dig"`` (number of digits in the mantissa), ``"epsilon"``
(smallest difference between 1.0 and the next largest value
representable), and several others.
(Contributed by Christian Heimes; :issue:`1534`.)
* C functions and methods that use
:c:func:`PyComplex_AsCComplex` will now accept arguments that
have a :meth:`__complex__` method. In particular, the functions in the
:mod:`cmath` module will now accept objects with this method.
This is a backport of a Python 3.0 change.
(Contributed by Mark Dickinson; :issue:`1675423`.)
* Python's C API now includes two functions for case-insensitive string
comparisons, ``PyOS_stricmp(char*, char*)``
and ``PyOS_strnicmp(char*, char*, Py_ssize_t)``.
(Contributed by Christian Heimes; :issue:`1635`.)
* Many C extensions define their own little macro for adding
integers and strings to the module's dictionary in the
``init*`` function. Python 2.6 finally defines standard macros
for adding values to a module, :c:macro:`PyModule_AddStringMacro`
and :c:macro:`PyModule_AddIntMacro()`. (Contributed by
Christian Heimes.)
* Some macros were renamed in both 3.0 and 2.6 to make it clearer that
they are macros,
not functions. :c:macro:`Py_Size()` became :c:macro:`Py_SIZE()`,
:c:macro:`Py_Type()` became :c:macro:`Py_TYPE()`, and
:c:macro:`Py_Refcnt()` became :c:macro:`Py_REFCNT()`.
The mixed-case macros are still available
in Python 2.6 for backward compatibility.
* Distutils now places C extensions it builds in a
different directory when running on a debug version of Python.
(Contributed by Collin Winter; :issue:`1530959`.)
* Several basic data types, such as integers and strings, maintain
internal free lists of objects that can be re-used. The data
structures for these free lists now follow a naming convention: the
variable is always named ``free_list``, the counter is always named
``numfree``, and a macro ``Py<typename>_MAXFREELIST`` is
always defined.
* A new Makefile target, "make patchcheck", prepares the Python source tree
for making a patch: it fixes trailing whitespace in all modified
``.py`` files, checks whether the documentation has been changed,
and reports whether the :file:`Misc/ACKS` and :file:`Misc/NEWS` files
have been updated.
(Contributed by Brett Cannon.)
Another new target, "make profile-opt", compiles a Python binary
using GCC's profile-guided optimization. It compiles Python with
profiling enabled, runs the test suite to obtain a set of profiling
results, and then compiles using these results for optimization.
(Contributed by Gregory P. Smith.)
.. ======================================================================
Port-Specific Changes: Windows
* The support for Windows 95, 98, ME and NT4 has been dropped.
Python 2.6 requires at least Windows 2000 SP4.
* The new default compiler on Windows is Visual Studio 2008 (version
9.0). The build directories for Visual Studio 2003 (version 7.1) and
2005 (version 8.0) were moved into the PC/ directory. The new
:file:`PCbuild` directory supports cross compilation for X64, debug
builds and Profile Guided Optimization (PGO). PGO builds are roughly
10% faster than normal builds. (Contributed by Christian Heimes
with help from Amaury Forgeot d'Arc and Martin von Löwis.)
* The :mod:`msvcrt` module now supports
both the normal and wide char variants of the console I/O
API. The :func:`getwch` function reads a keypress and returns a Unicode
value, as does the :func:`getwche` function. The :func:`putwch` function
takes a Unicode character and writes it to the console.
(Contributed by Christian Heimes.)
* :func:`os.path.expandvars` will now expand environment variables in
the form "%var%", and "~user" will be expanded into the user's home
directory path. (Contributed by Josiah Carlson; :issue:`957650`.)
* The :mod:`socket` module's socket objects now have an
:meth:`ioctl` method that provides a limited interface to the
:c:func:`WSAIoctl` system interface.
* The :mod:`_winreg` module now has a function,
that expands environment variable references such as ``%NAME%``
in an input string. The handle objects provided by this
module now support the context protocol, so they can be used
in :keyword:`with` statements. (Contributed by Christian Heimes.)
:mod:`_winreg` also has better support for x64 systems,
exposing the :func:`DisableReflectionKey`, :func:`EnableReflectionKey`,
and :func:`QueryReflectionKey` functions, which enable and disable
registry reflection for 32-bit processes running on 64-bit systems.
* The :mod:`!msilib` module's :class:`Record` object
gained :meth:`GetInteger` and :meth:`GetString` methods that
return field values as an integer or a string.
(Contributed by Floris Bruynooghe; :issue:`2125`.)
.. ======================================================================
Port-Specific Changes: Mac OS X
* When compiling a framework build of Python, you can now specify the
framework name to be used by providing the
:option:`!--with-framework-name=` option to the
:program:`configure` script.
* The :mod:`macfs` module has been removed. This in turn required the
:func:`macostools.touched` function to be removed because it depended on the
:mod:`macfs` module. (:issue:`1490190`)
* Many other Mac OS modules have been deprecated and will be removed in
Python 3.0:
:mod:`Terminal`, and
.. ======================================================================
Port-Specific Changes: IRIX
A number of old IRIX-specific modules were deprecated and will
be removed in Python 3.0:
:mod:`al` and :mod:`AL`,
:mod:`CL` and :mod:`cl`,
:mod:`FL` and :mod:`fl`,
:mod:`GL` and :mod:`gl`,
:mod:`SV` and :mod:`sv`,
:mod:`videoreader`, and
.. ======================================================================
Porting to Python 2.6
This section lists previously described changes and other bugfixes
that may require changes to your code:
* Classes that aren't supposed to be hashable should
set ``__hash__ = None`` in their definitions to indicate
the fact.
* String exceptions have been removed. Attempting to use them raises a
* The :meth:`__init__` method of :class:`collections.deque`
now clears any existing contents of the deque
before adding elements from the iterable. This change makes the
behavior match ``list.__init__()``.
* :meth:`object.__init__` previously accepted arbitrary arguments and
keyword arguments, ignoring them. In Python 2.6, this is no longer
allowed and will result in a :exc:`TypeError`. This will affect
:meth:`__init__` methods that end up calling the corresponding
method on :class:`object` (perhaps through using :func:`super`).