FREDERICKSBURG, VA, February 13, 2003
No, it’s not a snake or the name of a British comedy group. Python is one of the most useful, compelling and
intelligently designed programming platforms to have emerged into the computer
industry mainstream in recent years. It is rapidly gaining wide acceptance and
being deployed in major IT shops around the world.
Software developers now have an opportunity to learn more about this exciting
platform from the people who created it in the first place. The Python
Software Foundation’s first annual Python conference for developers, PyCon 2003, is a community-oriented event
that targets programmers working with the language — and on the language
itself. It provides opportunities to learn about significant advances in
Python development, to participate in a programming sprint with some of the
leading minds in the Python community, and to meet fellow developers from
around the world.
Python was originally created in the early ’90s by Guido van Rossum as a
language that could be used to teach the most advanced concepts of programming
to non-programmers. Over the past decade, Python has grown world-wide into a
programming language that is used in mission-critical applications by major
players such as Google, Philips, Nasa, AstraZeneca, Industrial Light and
Magic, and Rackspace. Python is also used extensively in universities and by
many research groups.
Python stresses readability, simplicity and elegance. Says van Rossum: “As an
object-oriented language, Python aims to encourage the creation of reusable
code. Even if we all wrote perfect documentation all of the time, code can
hardly be considered reusable if it’s not readable.” Python is also extremely
portable. There are currently identical versions available for nearly every
computing platform, major and obscure, from PDAs to mainframes. Python is also
an open-source platform, which encourages sharing of ideas and code. These
characteristics make Python an excellent choice for enterprise application
integration, large-scale web development, Web services, XML processing,
application scripting, and even GUI development.