Both versions shipped a regression that needed to be addressed.
Python Insider reports that 3.10.3 and 3.9.11 both shipped a regression which caused those versions not to build on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. While this 11-year-old version is now out of maintenance support, it’s still used in production workloads. Some of those rely on Python 3.9 and/or 3.10. In particular, our own
manylinux2010 image used to build widely compatible Linux wheels is based on CentOS 6. (Don’t worry, we do have newer
manylinux* variants, see PEP 599 and PEP 600 for details.)
Due to the out-of-schedule release, the respective versions released this week contain a very limited set of changes. Python 3.9.12 only contains 12 other bug fixes on top of 3.9.11. Python 3.10.4 only contains 10 other bug fixes on top of 3.10.3.
The Python team hopes that the third time is a charm. They do not intend to make another release before May. That is when they will come with the regularly scheduled bug fix releases of 3.9 and 3.10.
Tip: Google launches differential privacy tool for Python developers.