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Python is about to solve one of its most frustrating issues

A developer writing code
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Elle Aon)

Python is one of the most popular programming languages around, but that doesn't mean it's perfect, especially after what the comapny itself called a "cursed" start to the year. 

One of the main criticisms of Python is that it can be rather slow, especially compared to newer languages. Most people put up with this tardiness because of its flexibility and easiness to learn. 

All of that could be about to change, however, according to Core Python (CPython) developer Mark Shannon.

Python 3.11

Speaking at the PyCon 2022 conference and detailing in a later accompanying blog post (opens in new tab), Shannon gave us some more details on Python 3.11, the next version that is currently in beta stage, which should see the language speed up significantly. More details can also be found on – where else? – GitHub (opens in new tab)

In fact, there are some pretty big names trying to get this to work. Microsoft has funded the Python Software Foundation with a goal of speeding things up by at least two times, helping move Python towards C as the dominant language. 

As ZDNet (opens in new tab) notes, Python isn't really designed to be quick and the use cases, most of which are focused around machine learning, support this. 

"Python is widely acknowledged as slow. Whilst Python will never attain the performance of low-level languages like C, Fortran, or even Java, we would like it to be competitive with fast implementations of scripting languages, like V8 for Javascript or luajit for lua," wrote (opens in new tab) Shannon last year. 

One language to rule them all 

Understandably, there is a lot of competition among programming languages and each has their own pros and cons, leaving it up to the developer themselves to make the final call on which to use. 

A Redmonk survey (opens in new tab) in August 2021 showed that JavaScript was the most popular language, followed by Java and Python in second place. 

Rather than resting on their laurels, continuing to release updates that improve the core service is exactly how the developers behind Python need to act.

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.