Sunday, 3 January 2016

Introduction to Python

So, we know about computer programs, how does it work, why do we need them etc. We are also capable of using the shell and a simple text editor.

Let's start our journey with Python.

Python is a general purpose, high level programming language. Python has a clear syntax which improves the readability of the code and is good for beginners. Python is less verbose than other languages like C++, Java etc. So, less code, more work !!!

Python supports multiple paradigm including Object Oriented, Imperative and Functional. Python is an interpreted language.

Following are the areas python can be used for development,

  • GUI Development - Standard Desktop Application
  • Web Application
  • System Administration tasks
  • Automation scripts
  • Financial Calculations
  • Data Analysis
You might find the list with more items in it in other places but these are the most concerned parts for development.

Now, let's take a look at the history...

Python started its life as a successor of ABC LanguageGuido van Rossum started writing the implementation on his Christmas holiday. Here is what Guido van Rossum wrote in 1996 about the origin of python,

Over six years ago, in December 1989, I was looking for a "hobby" programming project that would keep me occupied during the week around Christmas. My office ... would be closed, but I had a home computer, and not much else on my hands. I decided to write an interpreter for the new scripting language I had been thinking about lately: a descendant of ABC that would appeal to Unix/C hackers. I chose Python as a working title for the project, being in a slightly irreverent mood (and a big fan of Monty Python's Flying Circus).

Courtesy: Wikipedia

The first release of python appeared on 1991 and subsequently, the following releases came into existence,

Python is distributed under Python Software Foundation License and is compatible with GNU Public License. So, we can use python freely.


Some major Implementations of Python

Jython

Jython is a python implementation on Java Platform. This is designed to be run on JVM and can use Java Classes in Python Programming Language. This comes under Python Software Foundation License (v2). Curious readers are encouraged to take a look on Jython Website.

CPython

The default source code interpreter for Python written in C. So, when using the defaults, you are using this Interpreter.

PyPy

The python interpreter written in Python for speed and efficiency. This is designed to be compatible with the original CPython interpreter. This comes under MIT License. Curious readers are encouraged to take a look on PyPy Website.

IronPython

The python implementation written in C#, targeted for .NET platform. This project is open source under Apache License V2.0. Curious readers are encouraged to take a look on IronPython Website.

So, you can use any of the implementations mentioned above. If you are not sure which one to use, simply use the default one. I will be detailing the installation and verification of Python Installation in my next post.

1 comment:

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