Python release 1.0.2 is out
Wed, 04 May 1994 15:52:14 +0200

Python release 1.0.2 is out. It is available immediately from [] in the directory /pub/python, with
filename python1.0.2.tar.gz.

The following sites keep mirrors of the Python distribution and will
(hopefully) have a copy of release 1.0.2 available within 24 hours
from the posting of this message:

Site IP address Directory /pub/plan/python/cwi /languages/python /graphics/graphics/sgi-stuff/python /pub/languages/python (old?) /pub/unix/languages/python (*python* only)

Note that this is a UNIX only distribution. I will try to produce
Mac, DOS and Windows binaries as soon as possible. These will be
announced separately. The Extensions and Demo2 distributions will
also be updated separately.

Here's the NEWS section describing what's new in this release:

==> Release 1.0.2 (4 May 1994) <==

Overview of the most visible changes. Bug fixes are not listed. See
also ChangeLog.


* String literals follow Standard C rules: they may be continued on
the next line using a backslash; adjacent literals are concatenated
at compile time.

* A new kind of string literals, surrounded by triple quotes (""" or
'''), can be continued on the next line without a backslash.


* Function arguments may have a default value, e.g. def f(a, b=1);
defaults are evaluated at function definition time. This also applies
to lambda.

* The try-except statement has an optional else clause, which is
executed when no exception occurs in the try clause.


* The result of a statement-level expression is no longer printed,
except_ for expressions entered interactively. Consequently, the -k
command line option is gone.

* The result of the last printed interactive expression is assigned to
the variable '_'.

* Access to implicit global variables has been speeded up by removing
an always-failing dictionary lookup in the dictionary of local
variables (mod suggested by Steve Makewski and Tim Peters).

* There is a new command line option, -u, to force stdout and stderr
to be unbuffered.

* Incorporated Steve Majewski's mods to import.c for dynamic loading
under AIX.

* Fewer chances of dumping core when trying to reload or re-import
static built-in, dynamically loaded built-in, or frozen modules.

* Loops over sequences now don't ask for the sequence's length when
they start, but try to access items 0, 1, 2, and so on until they hit
an IndexError. This makes it possible to create classes that generate
infinite or indefinite sequences a la Steve Majewski. This affects
for loops, the (not) in operator, and the built-in functions filter(),
map(), max(), min(), reduce().

Changed Built-in operations

* The '%' operator on strings (printf-style formatting) supports a new
feature (adapted from a patch by Donald Beaudry) to allow
'%(<key>)<format>' % {...} to take values from a dictionary by name
instead of from a tuple by position (see also the new function

* The '%s' formatting operator is changed to accept any type and
convert it to a string using str().

* Dictionaries with more than 20,000 entries can now be created
(thanks to Steve Kirsch).

New Built-in Functions

* vars() returns a dictionary containing the local variables; vars(m)
returns a dictionary containing the variables of module m. Note:
dir(x) is now equivalent to vars(x).keys().

Changed Built-in Functions

* open() has an optional third argument to specify the buffer size: 0
for unbuffered, 1 for line buffered, >1 for explicit buffer size, <0
for default.

* open()'s second argument is now optional; it defaults to "r".

* apply() now checks that its second argument is indeed a tuple.

New Built-in Modules

Changed Built-in Modules

The thread module no longer supports exit_prog().

New Python Modules

* Module addpack contains a standard interface to modify sys.path to
find optional packages (groups of related modules).

* Module urllib contains a number of functions to access
World-Wide-Web files specified by their URL.

* Module httplib implements the client side of the HTTP protocol used
by World-Wide-Web servers.

* Module gopherlib implements the client side of the Gopher protocol.

* Module mailbox (by Jack Jansen) contains a parser for UNIX and MMDF
style mailbox files.

* Module random contains various random distributions, e.g. gauss().

* Module lockfile locks and unlocks open files using fcntl (inspired
by a similar module by Andy Bensky).

* Module ntpath (by Jaap Vermeulen) implements path operations for

* Module test_thread (in Lib/test) contains a small test set for the
thread module.

Changed Python Modules

* The string module's expandvars() function is now documented and is
implemented in Python (using regular expressions) instead of forking
off a shell process.

* Module rfc822 now supports accessing the header fields using the
mapping/dictionary interface, e.g. h['subject'].

* Module pdb now makes it possible to set a break on a function
(syntax: break <expression>, where <expression> yields a function

Changed Demos

* The Demo/scripts/ script is working again (thanks to Jaap

New Demos

* Demo/threads/ is a proposed interface for restartable
functions a la Tim Peters.

* Demo/scripts/, by Quentin Stafford-Fraser, generates a
directory full of HTML pages which between them contain links to all
the newsgroups available on your server.

* Demo/dns contains a DNS (Domain Name Server) client.

* Demo/lutz contains miscellaneous demos by Mark Lutz (e.g., a
nice enhanced Python shell!!!).

* Demo/turing contains a Turing machine by Amrit Prem.


* Documented new language features mentioned above (but not all new

* Added a chapter to the Tutorial describing recent additions to

* Clarified some sentences in the reference manual,
e.g. break/continue, local/global scope, slice assignment.

Source Structure

* Moved Include/tokenizer.h to Parser/tokenizer.h.

* Added Python/getopt.c for systems that don't have it.

Emacs mode

* Indentation of continuated lines is done more intelligently;
consequently the variable py-continuation-offset is gone.

--Guido van Rossum, CWI, Amsterdam <>
URL: <>