Python 2.1 Press Release

<h4>NEWS RELEASE: For immediate release</h4>

<center><h1>PythonLabs Releases Python 2.1</h1></center>

<p>FALLS CHURCH VA (April 17, 2001) – PythonLabs and the Python
Software Foundation today announced the final release of Python 2.1, a
new version of the popular object-oriented programming
language. Python 2.1 is the first release under the auspices of the
Python Software Foundation (PSF).

<p>”After months of work and many pre-releases, closely coordinated
with the Python developer community, Python 2.1 is ready for the
world,” said Guido van Rossum, Python’s creator and director of
PythonLabs at Digital Creations.

<p>Python 2.1 contains several important innovations over previous
versions. Nested scopes, a feature found in many other languages, are
finally coming to Python. This will become a standard feature in the
future, but because this change can break a small amount of existing
code, in Python 2.1 it must be enabled explicitly for each module that
wants to use the feature.

<p>A warnings framework is introduced, which lets the Python
interpreter issue warning messages about code that will become
obsolete in the future. Python programmers can use this framework to
issue their own warnings. The warnings framework has a flexible
filtering mechanism that allows end users to selectively disable
warnings or change their disposition.

<p>This release also introduces two frameworks for automatic software
testing: doctest, which allows Python modules and classes to include
snippets of self-test code in their in-line documentation; and
unittest, which supports the creation of separate test classes as
recommended by Extreme Programming (XP). Unittest was previously known
as PyUnit, a separate project by Steve Purcell.

<p>Usability is dramatically improved by pydoc, a new documentation
tool. Pydoc, created by Ka- Ping Yee, provides several ways to view
the in-line documentation embedded in Python modules and classes. This
flexible tool provides a command-line interface in the style of the
Unix “man” command, as well as a way to view the documentation in a
web browser.

<p>Many other new features were added, and numerous improvements were
made to stability and performance. The most important speed-up is for
line-by-line reading of text files, a very common operation in Python
programs.

<p><b>About Python</b>

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