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Programming language Python recently released three new versions — 3.10.2, 3.9.10 and 3.11.0a4 — with enhanced functionality. Python 3.6 has been retired.

According to Python’s developers, the development of the new versions did not go entirely according to plan. The now-released versions encountered various problems in the development process, affecting the final product.

Python version 3.10.2 is an accelerated release. Version 3.11Oa4 had to deal with 20 revision projects before being greenlit. Version 3.9.10 was created on a new M1 Mac running macOS Monterey, presenting challenges as well. Windows installers are yet to be included for each of the new versions.

Important update for 3.10

Despite a bumpy development process, version 3.10.2 does what it’s supposed to do: splatter numerous bugs. Most notably, using Cython and making certain function calls no longer causes a memory leak. Previously, a small yet constant number of bytes could leak when making Cython function calls. The newly-fixed problem significantly impacted long-running applications.

The developers recommend that Python 3.10 installations be upgraded to the new release. Version 3.10.2 fixed 100 other bugs. The next maintenance release of Python 3.10 is expected in early April.

Update Python 3.9.10

Version 3.9.10 is the latest update for the long-standing Python 3.9 series. 3.9.10 fixes and modifies 130 issues in the previous release of 3.9.

Among other things, the new universal2 variant became the default installer for macOS. Python is now compatible with Mac OS X 10.9 and newer versions like macOS 11 Big Sur and macOS 12 Monterey. These versions work natively on Apple’s proprietary processors.

The next maintenance release (3.9.11) is expected in March 2022.

Alpha release 3.11.0a4

Finally, the next version of Python’s alpha (3.11.0a4) is live. The devs introduced PEP 657 for adding Fine-Grained Error Locations in Tracebacks and PEP 654 with Exception Groups.

The next alpha release (3.11.0a5) is expected to go live on February 22. The first beta release should make an appearance around June of this year.

Version 3.6 retired

In addition to the new versions, Python developers have announced that Python 6 reached its end-of-life status. No more upgrades and security patches will be released. Python 3.7 will be moved to end-of-life status in June.