Python Distribution - Python

At the time of this writing, the last official version of Python is version 2.0, released on October 16,2000. Prior to that, we had version 1.6 final released on September 5, 2000, and version 1.5.2 releasedon April 13, 1999.

After release 2.0, Guido plans to work on two more 2. x releases that might be available by the end of 2000 or January 2001. After that, all his attention will be dedicated to a total Python redesign, a future project called Python 3000. Despite many rumors that have been spread in the Python community, Guido affirms that this mythical version is "not as incompatible as people fear."

The latest Python source codes for your UNIX, Windows, or Mac system are maintained under the CVS revision control system. CVS (Concurrent Version System) is a version control system that stores and manages the code that is in process of development. Remember! The source code available through CVS might be slightly different from the one released along with the last official release.

The 1.5.2 distribution comes with five tutorials that you should wisely go through:

  • The Python Tutorial
  • The Library Reference
  • The Language Reference
  • Extending and Embedding Python
  • The Python/C API

The new release 2.0 also contains the following manuals:

  • Distributing Python Modules
  • Installing Python Modules
  • Documenting Python

The first two manuals above cover how to setup the the Python Distribution Utilities ("Distutils") inorder to create source and built distributions. The former uses the module developer's point-of-view,and the latter uses the end-user's point-of-view.

The last manual shows how to follow some standard guidelines for documenting Python.

System Requirements

Python runs on many platforms. Its portability enables it to run on several brands of UNIX, Macintosh,Windows, VMS, Amiga, OS/2, Be-OS, and many others. Most all platforms, which have a C compiler,support Python. You can try to compile Python yourself in any architecture you want because thesource code is distributed along with the binaries.

Depending on the system that you are using, you might need to get a C compiler in case you have needto download the source code instead of the binary distribution.

Right now it is okay to use the binary distributions (whenever they are available), but when youbecome more confident with the language, you might want to build a Python version that uses yourown extensions. So, you will need to have a C compiler.

Remember that you are free to use Python's source code any way you want. The full C source code isfreely available for download.

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