>I know a question like "What is Python?" is potentially annoying, but
>I'm sure it's less so than reading messages by the surge of idiots
>writing about Monty Python and about being the first ones here.
The file BLURB in the Python distribution:
What is Python?
Python is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming
language. It incorporates modules, exceptions, dynamic typing, very
high level dynamic data types, and classes. Python combines
remarkable power with very clear syntax. It has interfaces to many
system calls and libraries, as well as to various window systems, and
is extensible in C or C++. It is also usable as an extension language
for applications that need a programmable interface. Finally, Python
is portable: it runs on many brands of UNIX, on the Mac, and on
As a short example of what Python looks like, here's a script to
print prime numbers (not blazingly fast, but readable!). When this
file is made executable, it is callable directly from the UNIX shell
(if your system supports #! in scripts and the python interpreter is
installed at the indicated place).
# Print prime numbers in a given range
min, max = 2, 0x7fffffff
min = int(eval(sys.argv))
max = int(eval(sys.argv))
def primes(min, max):
if 2 >= min: print 2
primes = 
i = 3
while i <= max:
for p in primes:
if i%p == 0 or p*p > i: break
if i%p <> 0:
if i >= min: print i
i = i+2
>Also, I'm seriously interested (at last until I find out what it's all
>I'm particularly interested in hearing about any special control
>operators that it might possess, whether its functional (in terms of
>side-effects, and in terms of first-class procedures), and so on.
The manuals are relatively short and concise. Try ftping 'm from
"//ftp.cwi.nl/pub/python/pythondoc-ps1.0.1.tar.Z" or whatever sites
mirror it (I don't know the list).
-- Jaap Vermeulen +--------------------------+ | Sequent Computer Systems | Internet : firstname.lastname@example.org | Beaverton, Oregon | Uucp : ...uunet!sequent!jaap +--------------------------+