First alpha release is out

First look at Python 3.8 – Two major features proposed and a lot more under development

Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
© Shutterstock / supimol kumying  

Some days ago, the first alpha version for Python 3.8 was released and it brought to light a couple of major features while many more changes are still under development. Let’s take a look.

An early developer preview of Python 3.8 has been released and despite the fact that 3.8 is still under development, we can already see some major features coming compared to 3.7.

This release is the first out of four planned alpha releases with the next one coming up on the 24th of February.

Before we have a closer look at Python  3.8.0a1, here is the expected schedule:


Python 3.8.0a1

As an alpha release, Python 3.8.0a1, is intended to make it easier to test the current state of new features and bug fixes and to test the release process. What’s more, during the alpha phase, new features may be added until the beta phase starts.

Most of the new features of Python 3.8 are still under heavy development but there are a couple of major features we know are coming in the next version. Namely:

PEP 572: Assignment expressions – This is a proposal for creating a way to assign to variables within an expression using the notation NAME := expr. A new exception, TargetScopeError is added, and there is one change to evaluation order.

BPO 35766: typed_ast is merged back to CPython – This document describes the development and release schedule for Python 3.8. The schedule primarily concerns itself with PEP-sized items.

You should also keep in mind that this is a preview release and its use is not recommended for production environments.

If you are interested in having a closer look at the *very* extensive list of changes and the features currently under development, check out the official changelog.


Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou
Eirini-Eleni Papadopoulou was the editor for Coming from an academic background in East Asian Studies, she decided that it was time to go back to her high-school hobby that was computer science and she dived into the development world. Other hobbies include esports and League of Legends, although she never managed to escape elo hell (yet), and she is a guest writer/analyst for competitive LoL at TGH.

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