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Introduction Python is an advanced scripting language that is being used successfully to glue together large software components It spans multiple platforms middleware products and application domains Python is an object-oriented language with high-level data structures dynamic typing and dynamic binding Python has been around since 1991 and has a very active user community For more information see the Python website httpwwwpythonorg Like Tcl Python is easily extensible with CCJava code and easily embeddable in applications Python even uses Tk the Tcl GUI toolkit for a de-facto standard portable GUI toolkit Unlike Tcl however Python supports object-oriented programming Python programmers can create classes use multiple inheritance define methods overload operators and so on Pythons Strengths Syntactically Python code looks like executable pseudo code Program development using Python is 5-10 times faster than using CC and 3-5 times faster than using Java In many cases a prototype of an application can be written in Python without writing any CCJava code Often the prototype is sufficiently functional and performs well enough to be delivered as the final product saving considerable development time Other times the prototype can be translated in part or in whole to C or Java -- Pythons object-oriented nature makes the translation a straightforward process The best approach is often to write only the performance-critical parts of the application in C or Java and use Python for all higher-level control and customization There are several anecdotes about applications that started out as pure C cpde to which Python was added as an extension language where in each new version the percentage of the application written in Python increased while also increasing the overall performance functionality and reliability of the application Eg Case Study Python in a Commercial Environment by Greg Stein Microsoft in Proceedings of the 6th International Python Conference and the Alice VR project at UvA and CMU Python has a strong presence
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