The Python Programming Language

Python is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language. It incorporates modules, exceptions, dynamic typing, very high level dynamic data types, and classes. Python combines remarkable power with very clear syntax. It has interfaces to many system calls and libraries, as well as to various window systems, and is extensible in C or C++. It is also usable as an extension language for applications that need a programmable interface. Finally, Python is portable: it runs on many brands of UNIX, on the Mac, and on MS-DOS.

The full Python documentation is on-line as hypertext: Tutorial, Language Reference, Library Reference, and Extensions Manual. Perl and Tcl programmers may first want to have a look at a testimonial by a convert. And of course there's a FAQ list (and a hypertext version of it by Skip Montanaro).

Source and documentation, as well as binaries for Macintosh and DOS are available by anonymous ftp from several sites:

Lance Ellinghouse <> maintains an ftp server with a growing collection of interesting Python scripts. To submit a script for inclusion, place it together with a readme file (with extension .readme) in the publicly writable directory /incoming/python on his site (

You can also have a peek at my working source set -- completely at your own risk!

There's a mailing list for discussion of Python-related subjects. Send mail to <> to subscribe (a human reads the mail, so no LISTSERV commands please!). There are plans to create a newsgroup; if you want to see this happen, join the mailing list!

Python owes much to ABC, a language developed in the eighties at CWI.

Guido van Rossum