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What is Python?

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A Brief History of Python

Python was first created by Guido von Rossum in 1990 and was named after the Brit-com Monty Python's Flying Circus. It has since been developed by a large team of volunteers and is freely available from the Python Software Foundation. The most recent version of Python, 2.5, was released in September, 2006.

Python is now found in many incarnations. At the website of the Python Software Foundation, Python is written in C. Other incarnations exist. A Java-based version of Python exists in Jython and may be used to work with Java code natively. Iron Python, a C# version, exists for the .Net and Mono platforms and allows C# programmers access to Python's power and flexibility. In each of these instances, Python is written in one language and works natively with that language; however, it also interacts very well with other languages through its many modules.

For purposes of research and development, there is also a Python implementation written in Python itself. The project PyPy was founded in 2003 in order to enable Python programmers to change the behaviour of the Python interpreter at will. While it is an open source project, being developed openly by a community of developers for free distribution and modification, PyPy is also supported by the European Union as a Specified Targeted Research Project (STReP), part of the FP6 funding program.

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