Adventures in Machine Learning

What’s New in Python 311: Faster Code Nicer Syntax and More

Python 3.11: New Features and Improvements

Python is a well-known programming language that is appreciated for its simplicity and practicality. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you can rely on Python to develop clean, well-designed applications.

In this article, we will discuss some of the new features and improvements released in Python 3.11.

More Informative Error Tracebacks

Errors and exceptions can be a programmer’s worst nightmare. They can make the program crash or not work at all, and when it comes to debugging, it can take up a lot of time to locate the error.

Python 3.11 has introduced a new feature that makes error messages more informative. Now, if an error occurs, the traceback includes annotations that provide more context.

For instance, when a NameError occurs, an annotation is displayed with more information concerning the missing variable. This feature makes it easier for developers to identify what is causing the error and help them fix it more quickly.

Faster Code Execution

Python is known for its speed, but we all know that there is always room for improvement. Python 3.11 includes some enhancements to make the code execution faster.

One of the most significant changes is the introduction of an adaptive interpreter that can optimize how the bytecode is executed. This feature allows Python’s CPython interpreter to reduce memory usage and improving performance.

Nicer Syntax for Asynchronous Tasks

Asynchrony is a great way to achieve concurrency in Python, with the `asyncio` module providing the async and await keywords to make it easier to write asynchronous code. Python 3.11 has made some changes to how asynchronous programming is done.

Task groups have been introduced to make it easier to manage multiple tasks efficiently. The `async with` statement has also been added that simplifies asynchronous resource management.

Improved Type Variables

Python 3.11 has improved static typing capabilities by introducing Type Variables. These variables allow developers to specify their types more precisely.

Type Variables enable developers to build more robust and secure programs by having a defined set of expected data type inputs.

Support for TOML Configuration Parsing

Python 3.11 now offers the ability to parse TOML configuration files more efficiently. TOML is a popular file format used for configuration files, similar to JSON and YAML.

Now, developers can leverage the native support for TOML in Python, making it easier to read and write configuration files.

Other Pretty Cool Features

In addition to the major changes, Python 3.11 also has a few smaller features that add up to create a more enjoyable development experience. For instance, negative zero formatting, where a minus sign precedes a zero, can now be controlled.

Exception groups have also been introduced where exceptions can be grouped together, allowing for more readable error handling code. Additionally, the term “dead batteries” refers to unused standard libraries, and Python 3.11 has optimized the built-in library selection to reduce the number of what are now classified as dead batteries.

Improved Tracebacks in Python 3.11

One of the most notable features in Python 3.11 is the enhanced error traceback system. Python has always been good at providing helpful error messages, but Python 3.11 takes this to the next level by introducing annotations in the traceback.

For example, if a KeyError occurs, the traceback will show an annotation with the missing key. Similarly, if a TypeError occurs, the traceback will show an annotation with the type of the problematic value.

Working with Traceback Examples

Let’s take a look at an example. Suppose we have a Person class and we want to access the person’s name, but the name variable is not defined.


class Person:

def __init__(self, age):

self.age = age

person = Person(25)



The error traceback will contain an annotation stating “AttributeError: ‘Person’ object has no attribute ‘name'”. The traceback message provides us with the reason why the error occurred, which is that the name attribute is missing.

With this information, we can quickly identify and fix the problem.

Benefits of Enhanced Tracebacks

The enhanced traceback feature in Python 3.11 provides several benefits. Firstly, they enable developers to identify the root cause of the errors more quickly, resulting in faster debugging.

Secondly, it can help developers understand how the code interacts with other elements in the program, such as modules and methods, improving their ability to identify and fix future errors. Moreover, the new traceback information is useful, especially when passing exception information from client code to server code.

The enhanced traceback feature in Python 3.11 promotes better error handling and debugging practices, providing more detailed and informative error messages.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Python continues to improve with each subsequent release, providing developers with an even better experience. Python 3.11 is no exception, as it brings many improvements in functionality, performance, and productivity.

Whether you are a beginner or an expert, the new features and improvements in Python 3.11 will definitely make your life easier, making your programming journey more enjoyable and efficient.

Faster Code Execution in Python 3.11

Python is already known for its flexibility and ease of use, but one of its most significant downsides has been its performance. In the past, Python’s performance was sacrificed for code readability.

However, in Python 3.11, the developers have significantly improved the performance of the language.

The Shannon Plan and Faster CPython

The Shannon plan, named after developer Mark Shannon, is a performance optimization project for the CPython interpreter. The goal of the Shannon plan is to make Python code run faster by making changes to the interpreter’s architecture and how it compiles and executes code.

The plan provides a framework that makes it possible to add a JIT compiler to the existing CPython implementation. A JIT compiler stands for Just-In-Time and is a compiler that compiles code during runtime.

The JIT compiler can speed up code execution because it uses dynamic optimization techniques.

Specializing Adaptive Interpreter

Another significant change in Python 3.11 is the introduction of a specializing adaptive interpreter. This interpreter utilizes adaptive instructions, which adapt to the program’s execution patterns.

This means that the interpreter can optimize frequently executed parts of code, making them faster over time. Adaptive instructions work by collecting run-time statistics about the executed code and then recompiling the bytecode to optimize for the most common execution paths.

To use the adaptive instructions, the alternative bytecode instructions are included in the current bytecodes, which become active once certain conditions are met.

How Adaptive Instructions Work

Using the `dis` module, you can inspect the bytecode of a Python script or function, which allows you to see the adaptive instructions in action. For example, the following is the bytecode of a multiplication operation between two floating-point numbers before and after the binary_op_adaptive optimization.


import dis

from time import perf_counter

def test():

x = 2.0

y = 3.0

t1 = perf_counter()

for i in range(1000):

x * y

t2 = perf_counter()

print(t2 – t1)



Before optimization, the bytecode would look like:


7 57 LOAD_FAST 0 (x)

60 LOAD_FAST 1 (y)




After optimization, the bytecode would look like:


7 57 LOAD_FAST 0 (x)

60 LOAD_FAST 1 (y)




Guidelines for the Faster CPython Project

The Faster CPython project is an ongoing project, and as such, there are some guidelines that developers need to follow to ensure any changes they make are backward compatible and do not break existing functionality. Developers should ensure that their code is compatible with the coding standard used in the existing implementation.

They also need to perform thorough benchmarking, comparing the performance of their changes to the existing implementation. The benchmarks should be publicly available and have a clear, concise explanation of what was tested and how.

Finally, developers should be prepared to make breaking changes. Due to the performance optimization goal of the Faster CPython project, developers may need to make changes that alter the behavior of existing Python code.

Nicer Syntax for Asynchronous Tasks

Asynchronous programming has become increasingly popular in Python, particularly with the adoption of the `asyncio` module. It allows developers to write asynchronous code, allowing them to perform multiple tasks concurrently.

In Python 3.11, the syntax for asynchronous tasks has been made even better, making it easier to write and manage asynchronous code.

Asynchronous Programming in Python

In Python, asynchronous programming is possible with the use of generators and the `asyncio` module. With generators, developers can yield control of a function to the calling code and resume it later.

The `asyncio` module provides support for cooperative multitasking as well as tasks, which are the basic units of work when using the `async/await` syntax.

Introducing Task Groups

A task group is a new feature introduced in Python 3.11 that enables developers to group tasks together, making it easier to manage multiple tasks effectively. With task groups, developers can create and manage groups of tasks that can execute concurrently.

Task groups have a cleaner syntax when compared to regular task management, and they enable multiple tasks to be monitored as a single unit. Using task groups, developers will also find it easier to identify bugs and fix them.

The `asyncio` module automatically manages these task groups, simplifying the developer’s job.

Benefits of Task Groups

Task groups provide several benefits for developers. Firstly, task groups make it easier to write code that is easy to read and understand, as tasks are logically grouped together.

By using task groups, developers can more easily monitor the status of groups of tasks, making it easier to identify problems. Secondly, task groups can significantly improve efficiency.

By executing multiple tasks at the same time, developers can achieve more in a shorter amount of time. Task groups also fast-track the level of completion of individual tasks, freeing up system resources faster.

In conclusion, Python 3.11 brings significant improvements, particularly in terms of performance and syntax. With the addition of a specialized adaptive interpreter, Python code execution is much faster.

Furthermore, the introduction of task groups makes it easier to manage multiple tasks, and the cleaner syntax improves readability. With these new developments, Python 3.11 is a robust language that is both easy to use and efficient.

Improved Type Variables in Python 3.11

Python is known for its dynamic typing, but with the release of Python 3.11, developers now have access to improved type variables. With the introduction of new typing features, Python provides developers with better clarity, making programming more efficient and less prone to errors.

New Typing Features in Python 3.11

Python 3.11 introduces several new typing features that are worth exploring. Firstly, the Union feature allows developers to specify that a variable can hold one of several possible data types, making it more flexible.

Developers can now define a variable that can hold either a string or an integer, for example, by specifying:


my_variable: Union[str, int] # my_variable can hold either a string or an integer


Secondly, the Literal feature allows developers to specify a fixed set of possible values for a variable. An example of this is:


my_variable: Literal[‘red’, ‘green’, ‘blue’] # my_variable can only hold the values ‘red’, ‘green’ or ‘blue’


Other new features include TypedDict, which allows developers to define a dictionary with specific key-value pairs, and Protocol, which provides a more precise way to define abstract classes.

Benefits of Improved Static Typing

The advantages of Python’s improved static typing are many. Firstly, improved typing increases code readability by making it easier to understand the expected data types for variables.

Thus, developers avoid common errors that arise from inadvertently using the wrong data types. Additionally, improved typing helps with error prevention, as exceptions are raised earlier on in the code execution.

By catching these errors early, developers can address them more quickly and effectively.

Support for TOML Configuration Parsing

Python has long been popular among developers for its ease of use when it comes to working with various data formats. Python can handle a multitude of file formats, including JSON and YAML.

However, with the release of Python 3.11, we now have native support for TOML configuration files.

Working with Configuration Files in Python

Working with configuration files can be a challenging task for developers, particularly when handling various data formats. Python provides several libraries for dealing with configuration files, such as the `pathlib` library.

However, these libraries can have a steep learning curve and can be time-consuming. Until Python 3.11, developers had to rely on third-party libraries for handling TOML configuration files.

One popular library is `toml`. It’s a straightforward library to use, but it adds dependencies to your project.

In addition, it takes time to set up the environment to work with the library. Introducing TOML Support in Python 3.11

Python 3.11 has brought native support for TOML configuration files, making handling configuration files much easier.

Developers can now read and write TOML files using the built-in functions, without the need to install third-party libraries. For example, the following code snippet demonstrates how to parse a TOML file in Python 3.11:


import toml

with open(‘config.toml’) as config_file:

config = toml.load(config_file)


Benefits of Native TOML Support

By having native support for parsing TOML configuration files, Python 3.11 makes it easier for developers to work with configuration files. Developers can now import, parse, and handle TOML files natively, providing more efficient solutions compared to third-party libraries.

Native support for TOML also means better error handling. In case of errors, Python’s built-in functions can provide detailed and informative error messages.

Finally, Python’s support for TOML configuration files complements its support for other file formats, such as JSON and YAML. This means that Python can better cater to the needs of a diverse range of developers and projects.

In conclusion, Python 3.11 introduces several notable improvements to the language. With improved static typing, developers can prevent common errors caused by invalid data types.

Additionally, native support for TOML configuration files makes it easier for developers to work with this popular format, resulting in increased efficiency and better error handling. Overall, Python 3.11 continues to build on its reputation as one of the most versatile and dynamic programming languages available.

Other Pretty Cool Features in Python 3.11

Python 3.11 brings new features and improvements that enhance the developer experience. In addition to the major changes, some other pretty cool features have been added to this version of Python.

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