What is Python?

Python is a programming language that lets you work more quickly and integrate your systems more effectively.


  • Powerful and fast. Python lets you write the code you need, quickly. And, thanks to a highly optimized byte compiler and support libraries, Python code runs more than fast enough for most applications.
  • Runs everywhere. Python is available for all major operating systems: Windows, Linux/Unix, OS/2, Mac, Amiga, among others.
  • Easily integrated. Python can integrate with .COM, .NET, and .CORBA objects. There are implementation of Python for Java libraries and for .NET objects. Python is also supported for the Internet Communications Engine (ICE) and for many other integration technologies.
  • Clear & readable syntax. That is why Python is friendly and easy to learn. Python developer and user community maintains a wiki, hosts international and local conferences, runs development sprints, and contributes to online code repositories.
  • Freely usable and distributable. The Python implementation is under an open source license that makes it freely usable. Python is free to use, even for commercial products, because of its OSI-approved open source license.

Historical Background

Python was created in the early 1990s by Guido van Rossum at Stichting Mathematisch Centrum in the Netherlands as a successor of a language called ABC. Guido remains Python’s principal author, although it includes many contributions from others. In 1995, Guido continued his work on Python at the Corporation for National Research Initiatives in Reston, Virginia where he released several versions of the software.

In May 2000, Guido and the Python core development team moved to BeOpen.com to form the BeOpen PythonLabs team. In October of the same year, the PythonLabs team moved to Digital Creations. In 2001, the Python Software Foundation was formed, a non-profit organization created specifically to own Python-related Intellectual Property. Zope Corporation is a sponsoring member of the PSF.

Python software

Python is one of the powerful dynamic programming languages, which is widely used for developing various web systems, including:

Manage processes with Circus

Circus is a robust process and socket manager developed using Python and ZeroMQ to run, control and monitor processes and sockets.

SCons: efficient software build tool in Python

SCons is an open source computer software construction tool implemented in Python with automatic detection of source code file dependencies, MD5 signatures, and built-in support for C, C++, Objective-C, D, Yacc, Java, Qt, Fortran, Lex, and SWIG, as well as TeX and LaTeX documents.

IPython is more than just Python

IPython is an interactive shell for Python that provides enhanced introspection, additional shell syntax, flexible debugging, case-sensitive tab completion, parallel computing, etc.

Ansible: Python makes apps and systems easier to deploy

Ansible is a simple open-source software automation platform in Python that takes care of application deployment, configuration management, task execution, and multi-node orchestration. Ansible Playbook for automated deployment of Plone servers was introduced recently.

Pyjs: apps for desktop and browser with Python

Pyjs (also known as Pyjamas) is a development platform for creating rich client-side applications that can in a web browser and as a standalone desktop application. Pyjs includes: a stand-alone Python-to-JavaScript compiler, an AJAX widget toolkit and a Widget Set API.

SecureDrop - Python whistleblower platform

SecureDrop is an open source whistleblower platform developed mainly in Python and designed to securely accept documents from and communicate with anonymous sources.

Django Fiber - simple CMS on Python

Fiber is a friendly open source CMS for all your django projects that provides easy frontend administration and doesn’t get in your way and is built on JavaScript and Python

Exceeding OpenERP: Odoo with Python

Odoo (formerly OpenERP) is a suite of open source business Python apps that help in managing businesses and organizations using CMS, a fully-functional eCommerce, a Business Intelligence engine, etc.