Python hits major release

Builder: Version 2.5 improves reliability and performance, but will enterprises get on board?
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

Developers of the Python programming language this week unveiled Python's biggest update in five years, version 2.5.

The open source programming language has gained significant popularity as a complement to other open source server technologies, collectively known as the LAMP stack — Linux, Apache, MySQL and Python. (PHP and Perl are alternative candidates for the letter P.)

The update includes more than 350 patches and 450 bug fixes since version 2.4, according to developers.

The language is more reliable due to the use of the Buildbot tool for cross-platform testing, developers said. "This allows us to spot problems faster during development, and resulted in a much more robust release," developers said in the language's release notes.

A project called NeedForSpeed in Iceland contributed a number of optimisations, speeding up performance. "There were major speedups in exception handling and string operations, as well as a number of other changes to improve performance," developers said.

The release also adds a large number of new features, listed on the Python Web site.

Microsoft this month released its own version of Python, called IronPython, which uses Microsoft technologies and can compile to .NET or Mono.

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