Geekspeak: March 19, 2001

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2001-03-19 Print this article Print

Python language gains strength

Announcing the formation of the Python Software Foundation, the inventor of the popular Python scripting language welcomed this month more than 300 attendees to the Ninth International Python Conference in Long Beach, Calif. The foundation "starts life with a nice collection of intellectual property," said Python progenitor and conference chairman Guido van Rossum in his opening keynote address.

Pythons readable syntax, object-oriented design and efficiency in writing expressive programs inspired conference papers on using Python to wrap code written in other languages—from FORTRAN to Java—not to mention a poster detailing a fully istrumented, Python-powered bathroom.

"This is not a democracy," van Rossum reminded his audience. "Id rather have a language that fits my brain." At the same time, he announced significant enhancements in the forthcoming Python 2.1.

Van Rossum also noted with pride that a handheld version of Python has emerged for Palm OS. "Embedded platforms are ready," he said, for a language with Pythons strengths.

Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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