Python 2.0b1 is released!

Andrew Kuchling akuchlin at
Wed Sep 6 19:59:17 CEST 2000

Nick Bower <bowern at> writes:
> umm... could someone tell me why python 2.0 is not called python 1.61
> (going by the relase schedule and amount of changes).  Is there *really*
> that much difference between python 2.0 and 1.6 that a major version
> change was required?

Yes.  Here's some text I just wrote about this for the "What's New in
2.0" article:

\section{What About Python 1.6?}
Python 1.6 can be thought of as the Contractual Obligations Python
release.  After the core development team left CNRI in May 2000, CNRI
requested that a 1.6 release be created, containing all the work on
Python that had been performed at CNRI.  Python 1.6 therefore
represents the state of the CVS tree as of May 2000, with the most
significant new feature being Unicode support.  Development continued
after May, of course, so the 1.6 tree received a few fixes to ensure
that it's forward-compatible with Python 2.0.  1.6 is therefore part
of Python's evolution, and not a side branch.
So, should you take much interest in Python 1.6?  Probably not.  The
1.6final and 2.0beta1 releases were made on the same day (September 5,
2000), the plan being to finalize Python 2.0 within a month or so.  If
you have applications to maintain, there seems little point in
breaking things by moving to 1.6, fixing them, and then having another
round of breakage within a month by moving to 2.0; you're better off
just going straight to 2.0.  Most of the really interesting features
described in this document are only in 2.0, because a lot of work was
done between May and September.                                                 

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