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TIL - Importing annotations from future for concise Python typing

·110 words·1 min
TIL Python
Daniel Andrlik
Daniel Andrlik lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia. By day he manages product teams. The rest of the time he is a podcast host and producer, writer of speculative fiction, a rabid reader, and a programmer.

Python 3.10 introduced several improvements for type hints, including a much more concise Union operator. This means that instead of using:

def square(number: Union[int, float]) -> Union[int, float]:
    return number ** 2

You can instead write this:

def square(number: int | float) -> int | float:
    return number ** 2

The examples above can be found in the Python 3.10 release notes.

I already knew about these changes, but what I didn’t know is that you can make use of these same improvements in your code as early as Python 3.7 if you do the following.

from __future__ import annotations

Thanks to Will McGugan for pointing this out on Twitter!


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