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Python 3.6 moves to a beta release

Python 3.6, a planned upgrade to the language featuring readability and cryptography enhancements, has moved to the first of four planned beta releases.

Dubbed Python 3.6.0b1, the beta adds a secrets module to the standard library. This cryptography capability prompts developers to use the random-number generator in the operating platform they are using rather than Python's own generator. Numbers are generated as random tokens for security. This spring, Python founder Guido van Rossum said the module would serve as a wrapper around the system random number generator.

Other improvements in Python 3.6 cover capabilities such as underscores in numeric literals, for easier reading of literals, and local time disambiguation, for handling time changes.

The next beta is set for release on Oct. 3, followed by others on Oct. 31 and Nov. 21, according to the Python 3.6 release schedule. A release candidate or two will follow in December, with the final release planned for Dec. 16.

"We strongly encourage maintainers of third-party Python projects to test with 3.6 during the beta phase and report issues found to bugs.python.org as soon as possible," a bulletin on Python.org said. Although the 3.6 release has been deemed feature-complete, features could be modified or, in "rare cases," deleted until the start of the release candidate phrase, the bulletin said.

Hailed for ease of use, Python has become very popular with both developers and businesses lately. With the 3.6 release, Van Rossum also has expressed intentions to move the project over from Mercurial to GitHub.

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