Python recently released an update for version 3.8.11 of the programming language. Version 3.9.8 follows the arrival of macOS 12 Monterey, which caused some problems for Python. Additionally, the update is combined with the general availability of an alpha version of the upcoming 3.11 release.
The arrival of macOS 12 Monterey resulted in some problems for Python. Among other things, the so-called tkinter file dialogs lost visibility in the new OS, including the built-in IDLE. According to Python.org, the problem was resolved by combining the update of version 3.8.11 (or as it is now called: 3.9.8) with the alpha release of Python 3.11, version 3.11.0a2.
Python version 3.10 remains the last stable release for now. As such, an updated macOS installer has been released to address macOS issues in this version as well.
Other updates needed
All releases opt for the new universal 2 variant as default installer, which is compatible with macOS X operating systems with version 10.9 or higher. This includes macOS 11 Big Sur and macOS 12 Monterey. Python developers indicate that third-party components such as pip must be manually updated to the new versions. There may also be a difference in behaviour within IDLE and other Tk-based applications, caused by the usage of the latest version of Tk.
As a result of the bundling of 3.8.11 and the alpha of 3.11, the latter standalone alpha version became generally available. 3.11.0a2 is the second of about seven planned alpha releases. Alpha version 3.11.0a3 will be available on December 6.
All Python 3.11 alpha versions are previews. Developers explicitly state that they cannot be used in production environments. New functionality will continue to be added until the beta version is launched on May 6, 2022.
Both Python 3.9.8 and the standalone 3.11.0a2 are available as of today.