Introduction to Python - Python

Python is an open source language that is getting a lot of attention from the market. It combines ease of use with the capability to run on multiple platforms because it is implemented focusing on every major operating system. Guido van Rossum created the language nearly 11 years ago and since then, Python has changed through the years, turning itself into one of the most powerful programming languages currently available.

Python is a good proto type language. In just a few minutes, you can develop proto types that would take you several hours in other languages. It also embodies all object-oriented concepts as part of its core engine. There fore, creating programming object -oriented applications in Python is much easier than it would be in other languages such as Java or C++.

As I just said, Python is an open source project. Consequently, it is truly free. No copy lefts orcopy rights are involved in its license agreement. You can change it, modify it, give it away, sell it, andeven freely distribute it for commercial use. Its copy right only protects the author from legal problems that might occur if someone decides to sue the author for errors caused by using Python, or if someone else tries to claim ownership of the language.

Maybe you still don't know Python, but many companies are out there using it. The problem is these companies don't want to go public talking about it because they think that using Python witho ut getting the attention of their competitors is a good strategy. Okay, I know that you are curious to know who in the world is using Python. Organizations like Industrial Light and Magic, Yahoo!, Red Hat, and NASA are some of companies that run Python applications.

Now a days, many developers are contributing to Python's support. That means that, currently, a lot of people are testing and designing modules for the language. If you spend some time visiting Python'sofficial Web site, you can get a list of several development groups that are working hard to give Python some support to new technologies, such as XML and image processing.

Both Perl and Java already have a large group of programmers who are very devoted to their programming languages, and, today, Python is starting to get there.

Notice that Python is a language extremely easy to code if you have ever programmed before. Guidoclaims to have fun every time he has to do something using Python. Learning Python through this will be exciting too. Soon, you will have some practice and understand the reason I say that.

Python!? What Is It?

Let's define Python:

Python is an interpreted, high-level programming language, pure object-oriented, and powerful server side scripting language for the Web. Like all scripting languages, Python code resembles pseudo code.

Its syntax's rules and elegant design make it readable even among multi programmer development teams. The language doesn't provide a rich syntax, which is really helpful. The idea behind that is tokeep you thinking about the business rules of your application and not to spend time trying to figure outwhat command you should use.

Quoting Guido van Rossum—"Rich syntax is more of a burden than a help."

It is also true (and later you will have a chance to check it out) that Python is interactive, portable, easyto learn, easy to use, and a serious language. Furthermore, it provides dynamic semantics and rapidprototyping capabilities.

Python is largely known as a glue language that connects existing components. It is embeddable inapplications from other languages (C/C++, Java, and so on), and it is also possible to add new modules to Python, extending its core vocabulary.

Python is a very stable language because it has been in the market for the last 10 years and also because its interpreter and all standard libraries have their source code available along with the binaries.

Distributing the sources for everyone is a good development strategy because it makes developers fromall around the world work together. Any one can submit suggestions and patches to the official development team, led by Python's creator—Guido van Rossum.

Guido is the coauthor of the second implementation of the scripting language ABC—a language that was used, mostly, for teaching purposes in the '80s by a small number of people. Python isdirectly derived from ABC.

Python was born in an educational environment, in the Christmas of 1989 at CWI in Amsterdam,Nether lands. Guido was a researcher at CWI at that time. Initially, it was just a project to keep him busy during the holidays. Later, it became part of the Amoeba Project at CWI. Its first public release was in February of 1991.

For a long time, Python's development occurred at CNRI in Reston, VA in the United States. In June of2000, the Python development team moved to Python Labs, a member organization of the Be Open Network, which is maintained by the lead developers of the Python language, including Guido.

On October 27, 2000 the entire Python Labs Team has left because of some mutual disagreements concerning the future of Python. The Team is now working for Digital Creations (themakers of Zope), and Guido has just announced the idea of creating a nonprofit organization called Python Software Foundation (PSF)in order to take ownership of future Python developments.

By the way, Python was named after the British comedy troupe Monty Python. It had a comedy series called Monty Python's Flying Circus on the BBC in the '70s. Guido is a huge fan.

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