The PyPy development team has announced the release of version 1.6 of its "very compliant" Python interpreter with integrated tracing just-in-time (JIT) compiler. According to the developers, the latest update fully implements Python 2.7.1 and brings speed and stability improvements.

Code-named "kickass panda", PyPy 1.6 is said to be between 20 and 30 per cent faster than the previous 1.5 release; performance improvements include faster JIT warmup time and better Garbage Collector behaviour. A web-based JitViewer tool is included for seeing which parts of code have been compiled using JIT.

The extension module API for CPython, the standard C interpreter for Python, now includes support for more extensions. Other changes include beta-level support for loading CPython C extensions, and improved support for 32-bit versions of Windows and 64-bit versions of Mac OS X. More than 50 bugs found in PyPy 1.5 have also been addressed.

Further information about the release can be found in a post on the PyPy Status blog and on the PyPy Features page. PyPy 1.6 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from the project's web site. Source code for PyPy is made available under the MIT License.

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