Python Coils Around 2.5 Release

    September 26, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The latest major version of the Python programming language recently arrived online from the Python Software Foundation.

The final release of Python 2.5 became a reality with its debut, and the notation that it should be suitable for production use.

Several updates and tweaks in Python should improve its speed. Among those highlights were performance enhancing updates that delivered “major speedups in exception handling and string operations.”

Noteworthy Python developer Andrew Kuchling posted to the site that there have been more than 350 patches and over 450 bugs fixed since the previous Python version, 2.4.

Python’s profile has been gaining among the major Internet players. The language’s creator, Guido van Rossum, joined Google in 2005, and spends part of his time working on Python.

More recently, Microsoft added support for Python to its .NET engine. Earlier in September, the company’s Jim Hugunin reported the 1.0 release of IronPython 1.0, and recounted some of his history with that project:

I started work on IronPython almost 3 years ago. My initial motivation for the project was to understand all of the reports that I read on the web claiming that the Common Language Runtime (CLR) was a terrible platform for Python and other dynamic languages. I was surprised to read these reports because I knew that the JVM was an acceptable platform for these languages.

I wanted to understand how Microsoft could have screwed up so badly that the CLR was a worse platform for dynamic languages than the JVM. My plan was to take a couple of weeks to build a prototype implementation of Python on the CLR and then to use that work to write a short pithy article called, “Why the CLR is a terrible platform for dynamic languages”. My plans quickly changed as I worked on the prototype, because I found that Python could run extremely well on the CLR – in many cases noticeably faster than the C-based implementation.

Python also served as the topic for a recent Google TechTalk. Delivered by O’Reilly Media senior software engineer Ben Bangert, the talk covered “ReUsable Web Components with Python and Future Python Web Development.”

The 51-minute talk may be viewed for free at the Google Video website.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.