Chapter 1. Introduction to Python

Python is a general-purpose programming language. It has been around for quite a while: Guido van Rossum, Python's creator, started developing Python back in 1990. This stable and mature language is very high level, dynamic, object-oriented, and cross-platformall characteristics that are very attractive to developers. Python runs on all major hardware platforms and operating systems, so it doesn't constrain your platform choices.

Python offers high productivity for all phases of the software life cycle: analysis, design, prototyping, coding, testing, debugging, tuning, documentation, deployment, and, of course, maintenance. Python's popularity has seen steady, unflagging growth over the years. Today, familiarity with Python is an advantage for every programmer, as Python is likely to have some useful role to play as a part of any software solution.

Python provides a unique mix of elegance, simplicity, and power. You'll quickly become productive with Python, thanks to its consistency and regularity, its rich standard library, and the many other modules that are readily available for it. Python is easy to learn, so it is quite suitable if you are new to programming, yet at the same time it is powerful enough for the most sophisticated expert.

    Part III: Python Library and Extension Modules