What is Python?
Python is a simple and case-sensitive programming language which runs on an interpreter. An interpreter is a program that executes one statement at a time which results in quick analyzation of the program and fast debugging.
Birth of Python
Python was designed by Guido Van Rossum in the year 1991 at Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Netherlands.
Many of you might think that the name python is inspired by the snake. But that's not true. Python was named after a British Comedy Group "Monty Python".
Python is the successor of ABC Language.
Features of Python
Python is a multi-purpose language which provides various features.
- Since Python is influenced by many other languages, it supports procedural programming, object-oriented programming and functional programming as well.
- Short-codes: The syntax of python is very simple, and it uses many English keywords. This makes the python code very short and precise. Python codes are relatively smaller in size than Java and C++ codes.
- Python provides Exception handling.
- Standard library: python owns a big standard library which consists of a large number of built-in functions.
- Portable: Python can work on different operating systems like Windows, Linux, UNIX, Mac etc.
- Python codes are very easy to read, understand and learn.
Uses of Python
- Python is used in software and server-side web development.
- Many organizations use python to maintain the website backend code on different devices.
- Python is also used for research purposes.
- Python is capable of handling Big Data.
- Python is used for server-scripting.
- Python is used for creating web search systems.
- Python is also used for client and server side scripting.
The Journey of Python
This version was released in January 1994.
It was the updated version of Python 0.9. Many new features were implemented in Python 1.0 including functional programming tools [map(), reduce(), filter(), lambda].
Python 1.6 was released on 5 September 2000.
This version was developed under BeOpen PythonLabs team. Minor problems in the previous versions were resolved in Python 1.6.
On 16 October 2000, the release of a revised version of python i.e. python 2.0 was made.
Updation and development of python never stop. New useful features were added with Python 2.0 and many bugs were fixed.
Features of Python 2.0:
- Augmented Assignments
- String Methods
- Minor changes in syntax
- Document Object Model Support (DOM) etc.
Python 2.1 was released on 17th April 2001 with only a few changes.
Features of Python 2.1:
- Rich Comparisons (<, <=, >, >=, ==, !=). This was termed as magic methods.
- Function attributes etc.
Python 2.2 was released on 14 October 2002.
Features of Python 2.2:
- Multiple Inheritance
- Attribute Access
- Changes in Unicode
- Nested Scope etc.
On 29 July 2003, the release of Python 2.3 was made. This version was created to enhance and upgrade the features of Python 2.2.
Features of Python 2.3:
- Standard datatype: Set
- Source Code Encoding
- Newline Support
- New built-in function: enumerate()
- Boolean datatype
- Error handling
- Date/Time Type
Python 2.4 was released on 30 March 2005.
There were no major changes in this version, but More features were introduced with python 2.4 as compared to the previous version.
Features of Python 2.4:
- Datatype: Long Integers, Decimal
- String Substitution
- Function decorators
- Reverse Iteration
- String/Float Conversion
Python 2.5 was released on 19 September 2006.
This version focuses on language and library improvements.
Features of Python 2.5:
- Conditional Operators
- With statement
- Try statement(try/expect/finally)
- New-Style Classes for exceptions
- _index_ method
- Interactive changes in Interpreter
- hashlib package
- ElementTree package
Python 2.6 was released on 1 October 2008.
This version adds compatibility functions to the language. Python 2.6 brought two major changes in the development process:
- A new issue tracker named RoundUp was now being used instead of SourceForge's issue tracker.
- The documentation format "old LaTex" was changed to "reStructuredtext".
Features of Python 2.6
- contextlib Package
- multiprocessing package
- Function : print()
- Advanced strings
- New I/O library
- Changes in exception handling
- Integer Literal support
- Byte Literals etc
On 3rd December 2008, Python 3.0 was released.
This version is also known as Python 3000 or py3k. This version was the first intentionally backwards incompatible version.
Many changes were introduced with python 3 including:
- Syntax changes
- Changes in operators and functions
- Library changes
Latest Version: Python 3.7.1
Currently, the latest version of python is Python 3.7.1. This version is released on 20 October 2018.
This version comes with a lot more improvements in performance and many new features and functions.
Python is being used by several leading companies including Google, YouTube, Netflix, BitTorrent, NASA, Hewlett Packard, JP Morgan Chase, IBM, Intel, Cisco etc.