In today’s digital world, everybody is interested in looking for the latest software , games etc. which come up in the market on daily basis, but only a few people give a thought regarding how they are created, who designed them and how. It’s the programming language which helps in writing codes that provides the way to work upon different types of software.
There are many programming languages in use now-a-days and each has its own set of features which separates it from the rest. This article addresses a dynamic programming language Python, which was released publicly in 1991 by Guido van Rossum. It is a general purpose, high-level programming language which supports object-oriented and functional programming.
The design of Python is inspired by many languages such as C, Modula-3 and mainly the educational language, ABC. It has been attracting a large and enthusiastic group of users including professional programmers, educators and computer scientists since the day it was launched. It became one of the preferred programming languages for creating web applications after the release of its first version in 1994, which was Python 1.0.
Python has a fully dynamic type system, automatic memory management and a large and comprehensive standard library. It is often used as a scripting language but has a wide use in non-scripting contexts too. It can be compared with various languages like Tcl, Ruby, Perl, Scheme or Java.
When it comes to the features of Python, there is not just one single feature that makes it such an amazing language. In fact, it has cherry-picked the best features of many languages and combined them in a very elegant and synergistic manner. Some of its key distinguishing features include:
- The standard library of Python is described by the word “batteries included” which covers everything from asynchronous processing to zip files such as documentation, unit testing, threading, databases, CGI, HTML, XML, FTP and many other system-specific functionalities.
- It can be used on the major operating systems like Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, Macintosh, Solaris, OS/2, Amiga, Pocket PC and even Nokia Series 60 mobile phones and a lot more.
- It does not need the compiling and linking/loading steps like other programming languages. All that is needed is to run the program directly from the source code. This feature makes Python easy to use and portable too.
- It can be used freely, even for commercial products because of its OSI approved open source license.
- Python’s newsgroup is considered as one of the friendliest around the world. The developers and the user community runs international and local conferences, runs development sprints and in this way contributes to online code repositories.
The other characteristics of Python include strong introspection capabilities, full modularity, natural expression of procedural code and it can be embedded within applications as a scripting interface. It can be said that Python has the right combination of performance and features that make program writing, an easy task.
For programmers, the scripting languages like Python are more productive in comparison of C, C++ and Java. The large organizations like Google, Yahoo, CERN, NASA etc. also use Python.
It has also achieved 7th rank in the TIOBE Programming Community Index as per the report collected in February 2013. The design and philosophy of Python has influenced many programming languages like Boo, Cobra, Go, OCaml, Ruby, Groovy etc.