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Python Software Foundation: Press Release 29-Jul-2003

July 29, 2003
Press Release
SOURCE: Python Software Foundation

New release enhances powerful programming language

FREDERICKSBURG, Va., July 29, 2003 -- The Python Software Foundation (PSF) announces the release of version 2.3 of the Python programming language. This major release introduces performance enhancements, increased robustness, several minor language features, many additions to the extensive standard library, improved support for Mac OS X and several other Unix-based systems, and a large number of other improvements.

Python is a powerful and agile programming language that significantly increases programmer productivity. It is very easy to learn for programmers of other languages such as C, C++, Java, and Visual Basic. The language is the basis of mission-critical applications used by tens of thousands of companies and organizations worldwide, and its user base is growing rapidly. Python is increasingly used in large system development to decrease software costs, mitigate risk, and meet aggressive schedules.

"This new release combines a select set of language and standard library improvements with a substantial speed boost. Typical Python code runs 15 to 20 percent faster than it did in Python 2.2," said Guido van Rossum, creator of Python and president of the PSF. "With many bug fixes, enhancements, and a vastly improved IDLE, the Python Integrated Development Environment, Python has become an even better development platform."

Python 2.3 also adds boolean and set data types, source file encoding indicator, zipped code archives, package meta data, extended date/time processing, a logging module, and improved support for several operating systems, including Mac OS X.

"The combination of the open source Unix-based core of Mac OS X running on PowerBook G4 high-performance portables has attracted a large number of developers using open source scripting languages like Python," said Bud Tribble, Apple's vice president of Software Technology. "Python 2.3 provides greatly improved support for existing Mac OS X users, and with the upcoming release of Panther, Apple will provide Python 2.3 developers direct access to APIs for the PDF-based Quartz graphics engine and QuickTime image formats."

"Python's unique strengths, which include its interpreted nature, modern design, easy integration with existing C/C++ code, and open source license, make it ideally suited to be the high-level glue that holds together the Chandler application," said John Anderson of OSAF.

Other companies using Python include Google, Industrial Light & Magic, NASA, The New York Stock Exchange, RealNetworks, Philips, Hewlett Packard, Rackspace, RedHat, NASA, Disney, and AstraZeneca.

"Python has been an integral part of Google since the beginning, and remains so as the system grows and evolves. Today dozens of Google engineers use Python, and we're looking for more people with skills in this language," said Peter Norvig, director of search quality at Google, Inc.

"Python plays a key role in our production pipeline. Without it a project the size of Star Wars: Episode II would have been very difficult to pull off. From crowd rendering to batch processing to compositing, Python binds all things together," said Tommy Burnette, Senior Technical Director, Industrial Light & Magic.

"NASA is using Python to implement a CAD/CAE/PDM repository and model management, integration, and transformation system which will be the core infrastructure for its next generation collaborative engineering environment. Python has met or exceeded every requirement we've had," said Steve Waterbury, Software Group Leader, NASA STEP Testbed.

For more information about Python 2.3 or to download it, please visit

About Python

Python is a powerful object oriented programming language that is developed and maintained by a global community of Open Source contributors, under the oversight of the Python Software Foundation. Python's unique blend of simplicity and power excels in a wide range of software development tasks, including the construction of web applications, complex integrated business solutions, and large desktop applications. Python is often characterized as an agile language that promotes speedy development and includes a unit-testing framework for building more robust applications.

Key features of Python include:

  • Object orientation, modular name spaces, exceptions, and multi-threading
  • High-level dynamic data typing and very late binding
  • Tight integration with C, C++, and Java modules
  • May be compiled to Java byte code for use in any JVM
  • String and regular expression processing
  • Extensive XML and web services support
  • HTTP, FTP, SMTP, POP, IMAP, NNTP, telnet, and other IP protocols
  • HTML, MIME, base64, binhex, uuencode, and other internet data handling
  • GUI development and multimedia services
  • Unit testing, profiling, and documentation generation
  • Available third party modules for database access, math, 3D modeling, image processing, LDAP, WebDAV, jabber, MIDI, and much more
Python runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Unix, OS/2, WinCE, and many other operating systems. Full source code is available for the language and associated standard libraries.

Additional information and downloads are available at

About the PSF

The Python Software Foundation (PSF) is a non-profit organization devoted to advancing Open Source technology related to the Python programming language. The PSF holds the intellectual property rights to Python and plans to fund portions of future development of the language. Additional information on the PSF is available at To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit Company sponsorships are also being accepted.