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Programming Python, Second Edition by Mark Lutz

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Major Changes in 1.6

This section lists changes introduced by Python release 1.6; by proxy, most are part of release 2.0 as well.

Incompatibilities

The append method for lists can no longer be invoked with more than one argument. This used to append a single tuple made out of all arguments, but was undocumented. To append a tuple, write l.append((a, b, c)).

The connect, connect_ex, and bind methods for sockets require exactly one argument. Previously, you could call s.connect(host, port), but this was not by design; you must now write s.connect((host, port)).

The str and repr functions are now different more often. For long integers, str no longer appends an “L”; str(1L) is “1”, which used to be “1L”, and repr(1L) still returns “1L”. For floats, repr now gives 17 digits of precision to ensure that no precision is lost (on all current hardware).

Some library functions and tools have been moved to the deprecated category, including some widely used tools such as find. The string module is now simply a frontend to the new string methods, but given that this module is used by almost every Python module written to date, it is very unlikely to go away.

Core Language Changes

The following sections describe changes made to the Python language itself.

Unicode strings

Python now supports Unicode (i.e., 16-bit wide character) strings. Release 1.6 added a new fundamental datatype (the Unicode string), a new built-in function unicode, and numerous C APIs to deal with Unicode and encodings. ...

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