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Python 3.10 Features and Improvements

Python is one of the most powerful, widely-used programming languages in the world, battling it out year after year with such developer favorites as Java, JavaScript, and C#. It is used to create virtually every type of application possible, including desktop software, operating systems, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) programs, mobile apps, and even video games, thanks to the help of useful libraries like PyGame.

Changes in Python 3.10

Now, thanks to the release of Python 3.10, the Python programming language has become even more powerful and versatile. In this quick developer article, we will look at some of the new features and improvements incorporated in this newest release, including changes to Regex and pattern matching, the strict argument for the zip function, and improved error messages.

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Structural Pattern Matching in Python 3.10

Python is known for its power in the arena of regular expressions, Regex, and pattern matching. This ability of Python is one of the changes in the new version of the language. In Python 3.10, structural pattern matching allows developers to match variables against other sets of values. This is achieved through the newly added match-case statement.

Here is an example of how match-case wi4orks in Python 3.10 code:

name = "James"

match name:
	case "Paul":
		print("Not the right name.")
	case "Peter":
		print("Nope, not it either.")
	case "Mary":
		print("No sir, guess again.")
	case _:
		print("Name not found.")

Enclosing Context Manager in Parentheses

Python 3.10 allows for the formatting of long collections of context managers across multiple lines. To do so, you simply enclose context managers in parentheses when using the with statement.

Improved Error Messages

Another one of the major changes in Python 3.10 involves improved error messaging. As Python developers may know, sometimes error messages can be somewhat vague and not entirely helpful when tracking down what error has actually occurred or even what line the error is on.

Python 3.10 seeks to improve upon this by providing more accurate and help error messages, including noting exactly where the error occurred. Considering all of the time developers and programmers spend debugging code, this is a huge improvement for Python devs.

To see this in action, consider the following code and the error message you would get when you run it in your code editor or integrated development environment (IDE):

print("My name is James Payne and this is my error!)

This code would result in the following error message:

$ python errorExample.py
	File "/home/python/errorExample.py", lin 1
		print("My name is James Payne and this is my error!)
								   ^
SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal

Deprecations in Python 3.10

As is usually the case with major updates to programming languages, Python 3.10 has a number of deprecations as well. For starters, versions of OpenSSL older than version 1.1.1 are no longer supported. Modules including hashlib, hmac, and ssl module are all affected by this change. Additionally, the distutils package has been deprecated; it will be officially removed in Python 3.12.

You can find an entire list of changes in Python 3.10 by viewing the official changelog at Python.org.

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