Python.org: Python 1.6 Released

“The final version of Python 1.6 is released on September 5,

There are lots of new modules and lots of bugs have been

“Probably the most pervasive change is the addition of Unicode
support. We’ve added a new fundamental datatype, the Unicode
string, a new build-in function unicode(), an numerous C APIs to
deal with Unicode and encodings. See the file Misc/unicode.txt for
details, or

“Two other big changes, related to the Unicode support, are the
addition of string methods and a new regular expression engine:

  • String methods mean that you can now say s.lower() etc. instead
    of importing the string module and saying string.lower(s) etc. One
    peculiarity is that the equivalent of string.join(sequence,
    delimiter) is delimiter.join(sequence). Use ” “.join(sequence) for
    the effect of string.join(sequence); to make this more readable,
    try space=” ” first. Note that the maxsplit argument defaults in
    split() and replace() have changed from 0 to -1.
  • The new regular expression engine, SRE by Fredrik Lundh, is
    fully backwards compatible with the old engine, and is in fact
    invoked using the same interface (the “re” module). You can
    explicitly invoke the old engine by import pre, or the SRE engine
    by importing sre. SRE is faster than pre, and supports Unicode
    (which was the main reason to put effort in yet another new regular
    expression engine — this is at least the fourth!).”

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