Python 1.5

Konrad Hinsen
Thu, 8 Jan 1998 17:10:02 +0100

As most of you have probably heard already, version 1.5 of Python has
recently been released to the public. For those who haven't followed
the development closely, I'd like to discuss the implications for MMTK
users briefly.

Python 1.5 has many improvements compared to 1.4; for a full list see
the Python home page ( Most of these
improvements are of little immediate importance to the casual Python
user, which probably includes most MMTK users. However, there are some
attractive new features that facilitate writing larger libraries, such
as MMTK, or Numerical Python, which is heavily used by MMTK.

MMTK works with Python 1.5 just as well as with Python 1.4; in fact,
MMTK development has moved to Python 1.5 since the first alpha release
many months ago. However, it uses no 1.5-specific features yet,
and very probably it won't until at least the next public release.
In the long run, MMTK and its supporting packages will begin to use
such features, meaning that eventually MMTK will no longer work with
Python 1.4.

Python's author, Guido van Rossum, recommends everyone to upgrade from
1.4 to 1.5. I see no reason not to agree with this recommendation;
Python 1.5 is stable and highly compatible to its predecessors. Very
probably you wouldn't notice any difference after upgrading. There's
no hurry, of course, unless you need some of the new features for your
own code. But if you don't want to be left out of new developments,
you should consider upgrading during the coming few months.
Konrad Hinsen                          | E-Mail:
Laboratoire de Dynamique Moleculaire   | Tel.: +33-
Institut de Biologie Structurale       | Fax:  +33-
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