Simon Willison’s Weblog

Python2.4 highlights

A.M. Kuchling’s “What’s New in Python X” documents are always a treat, and his guide to the forthcoming Python 2.4 is no exception. Among other things, 2.4 elevates sets to built in type status, dramatically improves the usability of Python’s list sort method (for easier application of DSU, aka the Schwartzian transform), makes reverse iteration easier and introduces an alternative string substitution method.

All that’s before you get on to the really exciting stuff: generator expressions, the new decimal type (because floating point numbers are such a nuisance) and the controversial function decorators.

I have to admit I didn’t understand the significance of half of this stuff until I read about them in “What’s New”, which explains the use-cases for the new features with great clarity.

Python seems to advance at just the right rate; new features are introduced fast enough to keep me interested (and keep the language feeling alive) but not so fast as to leave me feeling left behind.

This is Python2.4 highlights by Simon Willison, posted on 21st September 2004.

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Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2004/09/21/python24