Old Stuff Warning
This page is mostly from the 1990s and is embarrassingly old and out of date.
I stopped updating it early in 2000 due to lack of time — too much began
happening in the Python world after that to document usefully here.
I'm retaining this and a few other ancient pages
here as historic artifacts only, because they seem to reflect some of
the very early Python community spirit.
For up-to-date information on my Python books or Python training
classes, please see my
books page, and its
recent highlights. For current
news on Python itself, see the introductory chapter of Learning Python
available as a book sampler
News from the advocacy front
This page represents a first step towards a more complete Python
advocacy page. There is some very good news in the Python
world, and this is my attempt to document some of it.
Eventually, this page may include links to everything exciting
related to Python, whether free or not--products, services,
books, testimonials, magazine articles, and so on. For now, it's
nowhere near complete. Please see
python.org for more advocacy
And if you're looking for a more recent list of published
Python books, try clicking here.
--The Marketing Department :-)
Items added in early 2000
Alas, this page has grown to the point of unmaintainability. Since
I have no time to organize it better, I've simply grouped all the most
recent advocacy announcements into this one section. Enjoy.
The May 2000 Linux Journal features a Python supplement with articles
by Guido and Eric Raymond; the cover shot shows a naked guy seated in
front of a keyboard. More details available
here. The cover shot is also saved away here.
- Python shows up in the Doctor Fun cartoon,
- Python was recently awarded the Jolt Productivity Award in the
Languages and Development Environments category, by Software Development
Magazine (March 2000). See the announcement
- A report on the Python activity at the Software Development 2000
conference (see below) shows up on the O'Reilly Network site:
- Speaking of the O'Reilly Network site: it recently launched a new
Python forum called the
Python DevCenter, for discussion of all things Python.
- See also the coverage of a Software Development 2000 panel discussion
Among other things, it quotes one panelist as stating that Python is
"the most efficient language I've ever used. It's 10 times better than
any of the other tools I have used. It's free, it's object-oriented, it
adapts to everything, it runs on everything. There is almost an
indescribable, 'quality without a name' attraction on my part."
- Jon Udell, Byte editor, compares Python and Perl in
an online article on byte.com, available
It is titled "A Perl Hacker in the Land of Python."
- Python creator Guido van Rossum will give a keynote address on
the Python-based CP4E project, at the
Software Development 2000
conference in San Jose, in March 2000. The conference will also
host Python tutorials.
- Software Development magazine posted an online article
in February about prototyping in Python, with a focus on
scripting with Python on MS-Windows. The article is available
- Paul Prescod writes about some of the reasons he prefers Python
over certain other scripting languages, in an article posted by O'Reilly.
The article is available
- O'Reilly Editor in Chief Frank Willison chronicles the latest Foretec
Python conference, at this page.
The conference has been roughly doubling in size each year; this year's
event drew 250 attendees despite a major blizzard in DC.
a major Perl tools company, announced that they will also begin supporting Python,
at this page.
Like Hewlett-Packard and other companies, ActiveState has also joined the
Python consortium, and has
hired two key Python players, David Ascher (my co-author on
Learning Python), and
Mark Hammond (Python Windows guru and co-author of O'Reilly's new book
Python Programming on Win32).
- The new Python jobs board at
python.org is getting busy. Yes, you can now get paid to have fun programming
Python (just don't mention the fun part during the interview).
- A new
Sunworld Online article explores Python's growing popularity.
- The May 2000 issue of the
will include a Python supplement. You can request a free copy online.
- The February 2000 edition of Dr Dobb's Journal
includes a story on Python Server Pages.
- See my Python Books Page for some of the most
recent Python books to hit the shelves. We're close to having a dozen
Python books on the market, with more on the way.
- Python creator Guido van Rossum has
received a grant for a multi-year project called
Computer Programming for Everybody.
CP4E aims to make Python the language
of choice for people who have never programmed before, and will likely yield new
development tools. Given that the project will also investigate the ways that
school children learn to program, it may also produce game-development tools
for Python (my son would love to be a beta site).
- Greg Wilson has also received an arguably large pile of money to investigate
ways to use Python as the implementation language for a new suite of software development
tools. Los Alamos is behind this effort. As part of this multi-year project,
he is organizing a Software Carpentry contest, with cash prizes;
see this page.
- Zope, an open-source web applicatons development
framework built with and extended in Python, continues to attract funding and
industry interest. Zope is a web application server sometimes compared to Cold Fusion
and Lotus Notes, but is freely available. O'Reilly already has plans to publish a book
about Zope this year; see this page
for a Zope overview.
- A leading Python trainer (well, me) has joined forces with Tom Christiansen's
elite Perl training organization, to provide Python classes held in Boulder,
Colorado. These classes are open to individuals on a first-come first-served basis.
See this page for a session
overview, and this page for
additional details. Classes are scheduled for February and May 2000 so far.
- O'Reilly will host their second Python
conference in July 2000, in Monterey, California, as part of their second Open
Source Software Convention.
See this page
for early details. This conference provides an opportunity to meet leaders from
all Open Source communities at a single event.
- Recent interviews of Python creator Guido van Rossum, available online:
- Sweden-based Pythonware plans to
release a Python development environment IDE called PythonWorks later this year.
See this page for details.
Among other things, their product will include point-and-click GUI design tools.
An explosion of new Python books: There are at least
10 new Python books on the way in the '99-'00 timeframe! I've begun
keeping a list at
A handful of recent items,
which I would organize better if I had the time:
- A new online introductory article about Python:
- Guido is on the cover of the June '99 Dr. Dobbs Journal;
they awarded him an excellence in programming award:
- O'Reilly published Learning Python in April, '99, as described
on this site: here
- An introductory Python article available online, in LinuxWorld:
- The April '99 Dr. Dobb's Journal
has an article on JPython, which focuses on testing components with Python:
Python and Guido made the front page of the Washington
Post, in an article about Eric Raymond and Open Source:
Python is mentioned in an Open Source article from Tim
O'Reilly; it estimates 325,000 current Python users:
A summary of this year's Python conference ("IPC7"), at the
new Python Journal web site:
The December JavaPro magazine has an article about Python,
and JPython (the Java-based implementation of Python):
Guido on the cover of Linux Journal:
The November '98 issue of the Linux Journal features
a picture of Python creator Guido van Rossum
on the cover,
along with an interview of Guido and an article about Python's
HTMLgen utility inside.
Python article in Jan '99 ;login:
There will be a 7-page Python overview article in the January,
1998 issue of ;login: magazine (the USENIX organization's magazine).
It's an excerpt from the Python chapter I wrote
Handbook of Programming Languages.
Python popularity in Japan:
Described elsewhere on this site: O'Reilly has released the
of Programming Python. I haven't kept track of sales
lately, but the first volume reached number 5 on the computer
books best-sellers list the week after it was released. Volume 2
of the translation is now available too. See either
my description page or
O'Reilly Japan's page
for details and a look at the cover.
Python at O'Reilly's Open Source summit:
Exciting things are happening in the freeware world. The online magazine
"Web Review" recently put out a special edition with coverage of
the Open Source summit which Guido (Python's creator) attended. It's
available online, here.
A few subpages of interest:
Python in a Perl book:
Python gets a good amount of coverage in O'Reilly's new book,
"Advanced Perl Programming"
(check the index for "Python").
I'm not what you'd call the world's biggest Perl fan, but this is
a good book, and compares Perl with other tools like Python fairly.
JPython article at developer.com:
Guido van Rossum recently wrote an overview article about JPython--a
new alternative implementation of Python, which makes Python an ideal
scripting language for Java-based Web applications. The article
is available at developer.com's online site:
Python chapter in a languages text:
Described elsewhere on this site: a
120-page Python chapter was recently
published in the Handbook of Programming Languages, from
Macmillan (August 1998). The chapter works as another introduction
to Python, Python/C integration, and peripheral Python tools.
A new online introduction:
SunWorld Online recently published an arguably-fantastic article
about Python, in their February '98 issue. It's available online
Recent magazine articles:
Some of the more recent Python magazine articles:
See www.python.org for more details (I only update this list once
in awhile). Want to write an article yourself? See Andrew Kuchling's
editorial calendars page.
- The November Linux Journal features two Python articles (see note above).
- The November C/C++ Users Journal includes an article about the SWIG
wrapper-code generator, which uses Python as the example scripting language.
- The June "BYTE" has a great article on scripting languages, with
overviews of Python, Tcl, and Perl.
- The May "Linux Journal" includes an article about the Python
database API (portable to variety of database systems).
- The April "Software Development" includes an article on
scripting languages which is very favorable to Python.
- The February "Dr. Dobb's Journal"
features three Python-related articles in an issue devoted to scripting
- The February "Web Techniques" has a nice article about using Python
for web scripting work.
More books on the way:
plans to roll out two (or more) new Python books soon:
Python Pocket Reference
(described elsewhere on this site). See my
What's New? page for updates on both.
We're also starting to talk about updating
but it probably won't happen any time soon (unless I can figure out
how to clone myself). Also possible soon:
book (which includes advanced Tk GUI topics), and another Python book
under development ("Quick Python", to be published by Manning).
Python review in DDJ:
is reviewed in the November issue of
"Dr. Dobb's Journal".
The text of the review is available online,
He likes the book, but is less optimistic
about Python's future prospects than some (which I see more as a
challenge than a prognosis). Update: There's another review at
www.usenix.org (;login), but you need to be a USENIX member to
Other advocacy news
A Python development environment?:
Fredrik Lundh couldn't
make it to IPC6, but he is reportedly working on a development
environment-type tool for Python. Watch
for some exciting product announcements in 1998.
Other commercial news:
XOR will host a series of Python
courses, beginning in 1998 (see the main
Walnut Creek has started selling a
And commercial Python support is now available from a company called
Python Professional Services.
Companies using Python:
Python.org maintains a list of companies using Python:
click here. This
list isn't complete, since some companies consider Python to be a strategic
advantage. Some notable omissions mentioned at IPC6: Did you know
Microsoft shipped a product which
uses Python, or that Python is playing a role in creating the next Star
Wars movie? (Use the source, Luke...)
Embracing the Evil Empire(s)?:
Two of the more exciting talks at IPC6 involved the emerging COM
support in the Python
Windows ports, and the
JPython system, which
compiles Python programs to Java virtual machine code, and provides
hooks for Python/Java integration. Both promise to be killer apps.
Conference papers appear at
User base growth:
Looking for a figure to impress your manager (or investor)?
Based on combined book sales of all Python books, there are
probably at least one hundred thousand Python users out there today.
In fact, the Python newsgroup's traffic has shown signs of
exponential growth. (On the other hand, there are hundreds
of thousands of Perl users, and more for Java and Visual Basic;
we're growing rapidly, but there's still plenty of work to be done.)
An advocacy potpourri:
A number of Python testimonials and overviews have surfaced
recently. Here are four of my favorites:
There's another good book review
(you can find the bad ones on your own :-). And
finally, the official "Python Powered" logos are available
Plus lots of other cool stuff...
which I haven't added here yet. Naturally, this page is currently
skewed towards things I'm familiar with; apologies for things I missed.
If you want to add an item to an advocacy page, or want to help
maintain one, please drop me an email (see the end of this page).