RELEASED: Python 2.3a2

Guido van Rossum
Wed, 19 Feb 2003 20:19:01 -0500

Python 2.3a2 is the second (and likely last) alpha release of Python
2.3.  Much improved since the first alpha, chockfull of things you'd
like to check out:

Some highlights of what's new since 2.3a1:

- fixed mishandling of negated hex/oct literals (PEP 237)

- a new, more efficient pickling protocol (PEP 307)

- functions have a __module__ attribute

- new module itertools: efficient looping constructs

- many improvements to the new datetime module

New since Python 2.2:

- Many new and improved library modules, e.g. sets, heapq, datetime,
  textwrap, optparse, logging, bsddb, bz2, tarfile,
  ossaudiodev, and a new random number generator based on the highly
  acclaimed Mersenne Twister algorithm (with a period of 2**19937-1!).

- New builtin enumerate(): an iterator yielding (index, item) pairs.

- Extended slices, e.g. "hello"[::-1] returns "olleh".

- Universal newlines mode for reading files (converts \r, \n and \r\n
  all into \n).

- Source code encoding declarations.  (PEP 263)

- Import from zip files.  (PEP 273 and PEP 302)

- FutureWarning issued for "unsigned" operations on ints.  (PEP 237)

- Faster list.sort() is now stable.

- Unicode filenames on Windows.

- Karatsuba long multiplication (running time O(N**1.58) instead of

We request widespread testing of this release but don't recommend
using it for production situations.  Alpha releases contain bugs; in
addition, new APIs are not yet considered stable and may change until
the first beta release.  If you have an important Python application,
we strongly recommend that you try it out with an alpha release and
report any incompatibilities or other problems you may encounter, so
that they can be fixed before the final release.  To report problems,
use the SourceForge bug tracker:


--Guido van Rossum (home page: