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Python 3.1 Available with ActivePython
by Diane Mueller

Diane Mueller, October 27, 2010

Python 3.1 now available in ActivePythonPython is constantly evolving, and ActiveState is pleased to announce the availablity of ActivePython builds for Python 3.1.2 as part of our ongoing effort to make the latest releases of the Python language available to our customers.  

While most current Linux distributions and Macs are still shipping with 2.x by default, Python 3.1 is easily installed with builds of popular Python packages such as NumPy and PyQT4 readily available for Python 3 for ActivePython Business Edition customers. Operating systems vendors tend to release whatever Python is available and stable for their environments at the time that they build their distributions. They also tend to release older versions of Python in order to ensure the widest compatibility across their customer base.

So if your next project requires Python 3.x,  you can choose a build of Python directly from ActiveState that meets your organization's requirements and ensures that wherever you prototype, test or deploy to production -  you are using the same versions of packages across all your organization's platforms.

Which Python is Right for You?

As a language Python 3.1 is an excellant choice if you know the packages you need are already supported in Python 3. One of the first things you will notice, however, is that not all of your favorite 2.x packages have yet been ported to 3.x  - such as Twisted (for networking ),  Django and Pylons (for building websites),  PIL (for processing images) - are not yet available in Python 3.  The Python community has a number of active efforts underway working on 3.x support. While many of the ports to 3.x are non-trivial, there is a handy tool (2to3) for porting 2.x code to 3.x  that applies a series of fixers to transform it into valid Python 3.x code. 

To determine what is right version for your project , the Python 2 or Python 3 document from Python.org provides a good background on the issues.  

The What's New in Python 3.1 document provides a good overview of the major language changes and likely sources of incompatibility with existing Python 2.x code.

Development Advice and Assistance

Choosing the right modules and extensions can be complex, confusing and time consuming. ActiveState experts will save your team time by finding the best technologies for your project based on your development and system requirements. For more information, check ActiveState's Consulting & Professional Services or contact us for more information.

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Diane Mueller is a Cloud Evangelist at ActiveState. She has been designing & implementing financial applications at Fortune 500 corporations for over 20 years. Diane has been actively involved in development efforts of XBRL Open Standard (http://www.xbrl.org) since 1999.