Programming: Python language gets three “damn” updates

The Python Software Foundation (PSF), which brings together developers of the core programming language Python, has released three new versions of the popular programming language, after a bumpy start to the year. The goal? Make version 3.11 twice as fast as its predecessor, as Python creator Guido van Rossum wants.

The new versions of the Python series 3.10, 3.9 and the preview version 3.11 were released on Monday despite a series of hiccups and the slow renewal of a “more complex than expected” code signing certificate. Version 3.10.x is the latest feature set of Python 3, while 3.9.x is the legacy set and Python 3.11.x represents the future of the language.

“All the versions you are seeing have been cursed in some way. What a way to start 2022! In addition to the certificate delay, Python 3.10.2 is an accelerated release, Python 3.11.0a4 had nearly 20 version locks before it was finally removed, and Python 3.9.10 was built from a new Mac M1 on macOS Monterey. , explains the PSF team.

A chaotic renewal of certificates

None of the new Python versions (3.10.2, 3.9.1, and 3.11.0a4) contain a Windows installer due to a certificate renewal issue. Despite this obvious shortcoming, the Core Python (CPython) development team decided to release the new versions due to a serious memory leak issue affecting versions 3.10 and earlier, causing the installation of version 3.10 to fail. .2 be “highly recommended”.

“We held the versions all week while the situation was resolved. However, the urgency of 3.10.2 in particular pushed us to release without the Windows installers,” says Lukasz Langa, CPython developer and release manager… while “apologizing for the inconvenience” and promising to “do what this in [son] to be able to configure the Windows installer as soon as possible”.

CPython is the reference implementation of Python that other Python variants are based on. “The first three versions of 2022 have been cursed! What is usually a fairly mundane and largely automated process turned out to be three separate sites.

Problem solved this week?

However, the PSF expects the certificate renewal and Windows Installer issue to be fixed this week.

The memory leak affecting Python 3.10 occurs in some function calls when developers use Cython, a superset of Python with a compiler that makes it easy to write C code extensions that interact with Python code. Cython enables faster C-like performance when executing Python code.

“The memory leak consisted of a constant small number of bytes in some function calls in the Cython code,” says Langa. “Although in most cases this was not very noticeable, it had a big impact for long-term applications and certain usage patterns. »

Some serious flaws

CPython developer Pablo Galindo Salgado notes that the memory leak affects the language quite drastically, with one bug report implying that “every function call using __Pyx_PyCFunction_FastCall leaks memory in 3.10, which is pretty bad.” . Bug reports indicated that there was a megabytes of memory leak, which warranted an urgent fix for this bug.

The CPython developers have determined that the leak is in PyEval_EvalFrameEx, which is used by Cython instead of Python, but is only present in Python 3.10 and earlier, not Python 3.11 and later.

The next maintenance release for Python 3.10 will be 3.10.3 and is scheduled for April 4, 2022.

Source: .com

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