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Python News: What's New From April 2024

by Leodanis Pozo Ramos May 06, 2024 community

In April 2024, Python’s core development team released versions 3.13.0a6 and 3.12.3 of the language! The former received several exciting features, improvements, and optimizations, while the latter got more than 300 commits for security improvements and bug fixes.

The 3.13.0a6 release is the last alpha release. In the first half of May, the code will be frozen and won’t accept new features. Note that 3.13.0a6 is a pre-release, so you shouldn’t use it for production environments. However, it provides a great way to try out some new and exciting language features.

There is also great news about PyCon US 2024, which opened its call for volunteers.

Let’s dive into the most exciting Python news from April 2024!

Python 3.13.0 Alpha 6 and 3.12.3 Arrive

This April, Python released its sixth alpha preview release, 3.13.0a6. This version is the last alpha release, as Python 3.13 will enter the beta phase on May 7. Once in beta, it won’t accept any new features.

Python 3.13 brings the following new features:

Meanwhile, the standard library comes with these new features:

  • The dbm module has a new dbm.sqlite3 backend for creating new files.
  • PEP 594 scheduled removals of many deprecated modules: aifc, audioop, chunk, cgi, cgitb, crypt, imghdr, mailcap, msilib, nis, nntplib, ossaudiodev, pipes, sndhdr, spwd, sunau, telnetlib, uu, xdrlib, lib2to3.
  • Many deprecated classes, functions, and methods (dead batteries) were removed.
  • New deprecations appeared, and many of them were scheduled for removal in Python 3.15 or 3.16.

For a detailed list of changes, additions, and removals, you can check out the Changelog document. The next pre-release of Python 3.13 will be 3.13.0b1, which is currently scheduled for May 7.

Regarding Python 3.12.3, you should know that it’s the newest maintenance release of Python’s latest major version. It contains more than 300 bug fixes, build improvements, and documentation updates.

The Python Software Foundation (PSF) Shares Great News

The Python Software Foundation (PSF) was also active in April, and they made a couple of exciting announcements that thrilled the Python community. Not only did they announce a new cybersecurity initiative for open-source software, but they also revealed the fellow members for the fourth quarter of 2023.

New Open Initiative for Cybersecurity Standards

On April 2, the PSF announced that they’re co-starting a new Open Initiative for Cybersecurity Standards collaboration with the Apache Software Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, other code-hosting open-source foundations, industry players, and researchers.

The initiative aims to establish common specifications for secure software development based on existing open-source best practices. It’s an effort to meet the challenges of cybersecurity in the open-source ecosystem.

Fellow Members for Q4 2023

In February, the PSF announced the fourth batch of PSF fellows for 2023. These are people who make outstanding contributions to the Python community. This round, the PSF has added another name to the fellows list:

PSF fellows are members who have significantly contributed to the Python ecosystem by serving as extraordinary leaders, growing the Python scientific community, and maintaining libraries. They also create educational content, organize events and conferences, run local community organizations, mentor Python learners, and more. Congratulations Jelle!

Python Events and Conferences Share Exciting News

In the fourth month of 2024, we also received some exciting news about the Python conferences that will be taking place in the upcoming months. The news is especially relevant for PyCon US 2024, which will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from May 15 to May 23.

PyCon US 2024 Opens Its Call for Volunteers

On April 2, the conference blog announced that their call for volunteers is open for members of the Python community who want to get involved in the conference. Anyone interested can sign up for volunteer roles directly through the PyCon US website.

Here’s a quick list of the roles currently available:

  • Registration
  • Information desk
  • Green room
  • Tutorial hosts
  • Swag set up
  • Swag handout
  • Session staff (Chair / Runner)
  • PyLadies auction helpers
  • PSF booth
  • Code of Conduct committee

For details on the role responsibilities, check the Volunteering page on the PyCon 2024 website. So, if you have a couple of hours to give to PyCon US and the Python community, then this could be a great opportunity for you. The organizers are aiming to fill over 300 onsite volunteer hours and would greatly appreciate your help!

PyCon US 2024 Hatchery Programs

PyCon US 2024 also announced its new hatchery program inclusions. The hatchery program initiative offers pathways for attendees to introduce new tracks, activities, summits, demos, and more at PyCon.

In previous PyCon editions, this program has hatched several new tracks, including Charlas, Mentored Sprints, and the Maintainer’s Summit. This year, the organizers got eight proposals, and now we’ll have four new programs:

  1. FlaskCon
  2. Community Organizers Summit
  3. Humble Data
  4. Documentation Summit

These sound like a great set of new programs that will make PyCon US 2024 an outstanding Python conference. Don’t miss it!

Essential Python Projects Release New Versions

In April 2024, the Python ecosystem continued to evolve and perfect their tools, frameworks, and libraries. A few essential Python projects rolled out new versions. Here are some of them:

Django 5.0.4 is a bugfix release that fixes several bugs, making the framework more stable and reliable.

The Ruff project also released a new version. Ruff is a fast Python linter and code formatter, written using the Rust programming language. You can use this tool to replace Black, Flake8, isort, pygostyle, pyupgrade, and a few others. This release switches from a generated parser to a hand-written recursive descent parser, which makes Ruff even faster with a 20 to 40% speedup for all linting and formatting invocations.

The pandas project also released version 2.2.2 with several changes. This is the first version of pandas that’s compatible with the upcoming NumPy 2.0 release. The wheels for pandas 2.2.2 will work with both NumPy 1.x and 2.x. Check the release notes for detailed information.

Finally, the Pillow library, which is a tool for fast access to data stored in a few basic pixel formats, also released a new version. This new version includes bug fixes, deprecations, API changes and additions, and a few miscellaneous changes. Check the release notes for a complete list of changes.

What’s Next for Python?

April 2024 was an exciting month for the Python community. We had the sixth alpha release of Python 3.13 and a new maintenance release of Python 3.12. Both bring exciting changes for the Python community.

We also received some good news from both the Python Software Foundation and PyCon US 2024.

Finally, the Python ecosystem released new versions of Django, Ruff, pandas, and Pillow. We can’t wait to see what’s next! Let us know your thoughts on these developments in the comments below!

Happy Pythoning!

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About Leodanis Pozo Ramos

Leodanis is an industrial engineer who loves Python and software development. He's a self-taught Python developer with 6+ years of experience. He's an avid technical writer with a growing number of articles published on Real Python and other sites.

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